Parenthood-especially for women- is billed as this transformational, magic experience. TV is filled with uplifting stories of individuals following the “wrong path” until their newborn filled them with motivation to get it together . Mothers are shown nestled in pillows and flowy robes, their babies cooing or-better yet-sleeping.
Lovely, isn’t it?
Perhaps, also, this WAS your experience. If so, my hat is off to you. Your life is now on the straight and narrow, and/or you and your baby and spouse/partner/involved parties are snuggling happily in your matching loungewear.
For the rest of us, however, there emerges a terrible truth: you plan. You procrastinate. You prepare. You despair. And then: the baby arrives, there is a huge rush of adrenaline, and then, you realize that you are just YOU. Still. With a baby.
What a fucking letdown this was for me. Add that I had postpartum depression and anxiety after my first, and not only was I still me, I was the most anxious, difficult, messy version of myself when I first became a parent.
Despite being a borderline cynical realist about most things, I really, deep down, believed parenthood would make me “more”-organized, patient, crafty, housewifey-
The only thing I have become more of is humble. I fail, in this role, all the time, as myself, my best self, my worst self, and everywhere in between, yet, every day, my girls trust that I will continue to be there, to be the parent. Just me-except with kids-is alright by them.
And finally, it’s alright by me, too.