At 7 weeks old, it finally feels like Spencer is developing into his own little person, which is both wonderful and terrifying. We’re past that newborn phase where he needed us every minute of every hour. We’re past the fear of his little cries and not knowing what to do to satiate him. We know these things will come back around, but we’re also watching as things slowly but surely transform into a little routine. It’s made me very reflective on motherhood and what it really means for women.
Motherhood is selflessness. It’s letting go of the things that felt important before and embracing a new sense of self in which your child’s needs are as important – if not moreso – than your own. It’s learning that sleep is a forgotten past time that seems like a luxury you’ll never get back. And when you do get 3 hours of sleep at a time, you awake for the next feeding rested and alive. Motherhood is almost constant exhaustion couple with the elation of knowing you helped to create this little life.
Motherhood means forgetting a meal, or two, or three, and when you finally learn that you must eat, it means scarfing down your food quicker than ever if only to stave off those quickly-escalating wails. It means coming to terms with a new body that’s different than before; it might not be perfect, but it grew a human, and that makes it flawless.
Motherhood means many tears of frustration, sadness when you can’t calm the storm of your child’s fury and happiness when you see that first smile as your child actually sees and recognizes you. It means questioning yourself, double-guessing your judgment and looking for any and all solutions to spit up, gassiness, fussing, sleeplessness, etc. Sometimes, it means pain. Giving so much of your body takes its toll, and motherhood means learning to make yourself a priority so that your child can remain your priority.
Motherhood, to me, means a stronger bond with my husband. This partnership we’ve had has increased tenfold since Spencer was born. We’re navigating these murky waters of parenthood together, and while it’s hard, and we’ve definitely had our arguments and share of frustration, I could never do this without him. Fatherhood has made him a million times more attractive in my eyes, and I am so grateful for the struggles, the challenges and the changes that come.