Painting a Rosier Picture

Those first few weeks I was alone at home were awful. The first two weeks were hard, but Ross was here, my midwife was regularly here, and I didn’t feel quite so crushed by the realization that OH MY GOD I HAVE TO TAKE CARE OF THIS LITTLE BOY HOLY CRAP. But after those first two weeks, Ross had to go back to work, my midwife came less and less, and there were many hours when I was questioning myself, my abilities, and our decision to even have a baby. I don’t think anything that I felt was unusual – in fact, now that I have a ten months under my belt I can say with a fair degree of confidence that things were 100% normal. 

But there were many times when I recall painting a rosier picture that what I was really feeling. As in: “Yes, I’m fine! I’m doing lovely! Things are just excellent!” Said with as much fake happiness and sunshine as I could muster. I didn’t want to admit that I was TERRIFIED. That I was totally questioning my abilities. That some tiny little part of me thought I was a horrific mother and had no business doing so. I guess I did this because I wanted to convince myself that I was doing a great job, because a tiny part of me recognized that things were improving, that I was slowly getting the hang of it. I felt that if I told everyone how GREAT stuff was, eventually I would start believing it myself and eventually it would simply because the truth. 

Admittedly, there was also a degree of shame. Like, how could things possibly NOT be great? I’m a woman, who just gave birth, and all this should just come naturally to me. So therefore, I had better tell everyone how HAPPY I am and how GREAT things are. 

A part of me knew that if I faked it till I made it, everything would be okay. Fake it till you make it has got to be one of the best pieces of wisdom I’ve ever followed, and I am not just talking about realizing my role as Kale’s mama. 

And you know what? Things eventually got easier. I started enjoying it rather than just living through it. I started looking forward to things. I started planning. And eventually, I made it. 

Ross says this isn’t the best picture of us because I’m not smiling, but I like it. I like that I look pretty darn peaceful.

From Kale 9-12 months
10 years ago

4 Comments

  1. You are not alone. Everyone is very overwhelmed at first. You are very lucky to have such a loving husband and a terrific Daddy for Kale. My generation Dad’s did not get as involved in the child rearing. This is a wonderful improvement. I am very proud of how you are both doing and especially you, my little girl. You are amazing!!! I know you enjoy your role now and it will be even better as Kale grows along with you. You are doing a great job and never be afraid to admit you are having a bad day or even a moment, we’ve all been there and we “get it” Being a parent is never easy and it doesn’t come with a manual. As Kale grows the challenges will change and he will, I am sure, make you just as proud as you have made me. (Man this is mushy) but I truly mean it from the bottom of my heart!!!!!!!!

  2. I really love this post. Even though it is still early days and I have months to go, I still wonder what it will be like when the baby is finally here and I am totally responsible for a whole other life. And I love this picture. You look beautiful and you both look content .

  3. Oh, pretty picture! “Fake it til you make it” is one of my favourites, too. I’ve also been using “suck it up” on myself a lot lately. 🙂 Totally normal, your new-mom thoughts, but things get easier the more kids you have. No, really!

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