About Motherhood

The kid and I stopped to see a friend acquaintance who just had a baby over the weekend. She’s younger than me and this is her second child (her first is four). There was another, much closer friend, visiting already when we arrived. I felt this friend’s judgement as soon as I walked in.

“You an only child?” She asked.

Confused, I replied, “He is.”

“Didn’t break the cycle, Mom?”

I replied, “Oh no, I have a sister, but he’s an only child.”

I’ve heard this response before. The judgement-non-judgement of those who hold disdain for parents of only children. Even when the judger has no children. For a long time, there was part of me that felt ashamed that I haven’t had another child. But then I look back at the last nine years, and I remember the following:

  • Pregnancy was full of anxiety for me. Having been born with a birth defect myself, I spent the majority of my baby-growing wondering if the baby would be healthy.
  • My birth experience was literally a nightmare. I am not exaggerating. Let’s just say the epidural wore off just in time for the c-section.
  • I have chronic depression, so feelings of inadequacy are pretty much standard. Add that I knew nothing about boys … I’ve spent much of motherhood asking my husband, “Is this normal?” Not a huge confidence-builder.
  • We miscarried. All our excitement for a second child was shattered when, at my first check-up, things didn’t look good. I had to wait another two weeks (to analyze blood work, allow for changes in the ultrasound) to learn that I was carrying a dead embryo inside me. And I didn’t miscarry naturally. I had to have a D&C.
  • When we decided to try again, I chose to go off all my meds. No more sleeping pills or antidepressants. I stopped drinking alcohol. After about two months of this, with a three-year-old testing his boundaries, I came to the realization that I would rather be a good mom to one child than a fractured, damaged, and anxiety-ridden mom of two.

When I reflect on the above, my shame melts away. I just take a deep breath, smile, and try to ignore the judgment.  But while I feel no shame, I do feel judged. And I don’t like to feel judged. So I guess I was feeling a little down this evening. Until this:

The Kid: (as I’m taking out my contacts and getting ready for bed). Mommy, are you coming in my room tonight (to read and snuggle)?

Me: Yes.

The Kid: Yes!!! (then singing, intentionally with the speech impediment) I wuv my Mommy. I wuv my Mommy! (over and over again).

And I realized that I am right where I should be, doing exactly what I should be — and can be — doing.  So, in honor of last night’s post, as Taylor Swift so appropriately puts it, “Haters gonna hate hate hate … I’m gonna shake it off shake it off …”

xo

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2 thoughts on “About Motherhood

  1. Never let anyone shame you honey. Every family is different. You are a great mommy and person. So many people make comments without understanding that there is so much going on behind the scenes they never know about.

    Smile and hug that beautiful boy of yours!

    Like

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