Today is my first official mother's day. What a strange concept. I never really thought too much about "graduating to a holiday" as it may be. In honour of this, I thought I would share something.
You know how people talk about the overwhelming wave of love that you feel when you first hold your child in your arms? I don't know if I felt it.
I remember them handing Vivian to me, and I definitely felt something, but I don't know if I would call it love. I felt shock, relief, and disbelief more than anything. It just felt so surreal - I just kept saying, "I can't believe she's real."
The first few months with Vivian were rough, and while I definitely loved her, I still don't know if I felt the way most other new moms feel. I think I was struggling with a bit more of the baby blues than I wanted to admit. A lot of the time, I wondered things like "Do I love her enough? Do I feel differently about her than other babies?"
I think the fact that I've spent so much time around other babies made me really question if I felt more bonded to her than to any other babies. I knew that I loved her, but I just didn't know if it was enough. I didn't know if I told her I loved her enough. I wondered how I would feel if she wasn't here - would I miss her enough?
In the first few weeks especially, I worried a lot that I didn't really know what she looked like or that I wouldn't be able to pick her out of a baby lineup. What kind of a mother would think these things?
I think an exhausted mother thinks these things. A mother who puts too much pressure on herself. A mother who is trying too hard. A mother who wants so badly to be the best mother she can be, but just isn't sure if she has it in her.
Things are definitely different now. Now, I feel it. I know every little eyelash, every little dimple and roll on her sweet little body. I miss her when she naps and peek at her while she's sleeping. I tell her I love her all day long.
Things don't always come easily, and I think that's okay. It definitely has made me appreciate how far our relationship has come, and I can only imagine how much stronger it will get as the years go by.
So today, on Mother's Day, I say thank you to my sweet little daughter. Thank you for loving me when I couldn't love myself, and for knowing I could give you everything you needed when I felt I had nothing left to give. Mom loves you.
(And now I'm crying.)
(P.S. - A friend of mine sent me a link to this video while I was pregnant and it really resonated with me. It's a bit long, but very honest and worth watching)
Let's talk parenting taboos: Rufus Griscom + Alisa Volkman | Video on TED.com