First of all, I want to clarify that I have no intention of turning this into a Mommy blog. My posts will continue to be about my work, building business, relationships, and other relevant topics to my clients.
A large part of my work involves coaching people through adversity they're facing and building a life they desire. So, in this case, I found my recent experience quite relevant and wanted to share...
"Have a baby" they said... "It will come naturally" they said.... Well there's nothing natural about walking up every three hours and being a slave to a small human!
Daphne [my new daughter] is 6 weeks old now.
I had no idea how hard this would be. Yes, caring for a newborn is physically demanding. I'm up throughout the night, constantly doing chores in the day, and am solely responsible for feeding a human everyday.
But the physical demand is not the most difficult part.
I've found the emotional strain and identity crisis to be much more challenging. This girl pulls at my heart strings - literally! Right now, my body is hardwired to have an intense response to Daphne's needs. I have a physical response to her cries, and feel an overwhelming urge to comfort her as quickly as possible. My husband tries to calm me by saying "it's ok that she cries a little, she's a baby." And while that may be true, it doesn't change the fact that my body is signaling "code RED" and "all systems GO" at the start of her whimper.
So right now, by body doesn't feel like my own. It feels like it's been overrun by a control center in some other location, and there's no knowing when it will return.
This has not been easy for me. It is very anxiety provoking and draining to go from 0-60 emotionally several times throughout the day. Also, it doesn't leave a lot of emotional energy left for my husband, myself, and other loved ones in my life.
Needless to say, this has been my greatest challenge in life.
Luckily, it has also been the most rewarding. We're still awaiting the elusive smile from her - which I hear will happen soon!
This journey has been rewarding in several ways:
- I didn't lose my identity, I gained another.
I was nervous about working less. I love my work, I love my clients, and I love how it makes me feel. I wasn't sure what would happen when I stepped away from it. What I realized is that part of me is still there and still alive in me. And as a bonus, I gained a new identity - Mom. Seeing how I can incorporate what I'm learning and better relate to certain challenges will only enhance the work I do, not diminish it.
- I found new strengths.
I'm stronger than I thought I was. In addition to the physical demands of birth and breastfeeding, I'm strong enough to keep going on very little sleep. I was afraid I'd fail at this part. But failing is not a choice when it comes to this. And my strength keeps me going.
- I can persevere.
I've discover new depths to my emotional strength and commitment to caring for a dependent child. I can give to another more that I ever thought possible. And feel great doing it. Even when I feel worn down, anxious, and overwhelmed, I can still show up for this person. It's another strength I didn't know I had.
So, in the process of getting to know my daughter, I'm also getting to better know myself. What a beautiful gift.
Here's another pic :)