Motherhood, Pregnancy

The Hazy Transition to Motherhood

4 Comments 17 November 2010

“What? Did you say something? I’m sorry, I have no idea what you just said.”

My friend and I giggle as she fans her face with her hand. “Is it hot in here?”

I tell her I don’t feel that warm and remind her that her newborn is sleeping in the next room.

Is her baby okay? Is he waking up right now and wondering where she is? If he cries she will dash away as if to save his life. Her eyes glaze over as she strains to hear him utter a noise.

This is my friend’s first time out (socializing) with baby.

It’s an art hop event downtown and we’re standing in the back of the salon that my mother owns. She was the receptionist here and is on maternity leave.

Baby boy is in the massage room sleeping away.

We’re ten feet from the door, hovering over the snack table sipping red wine. Familiar faces come to greet her and ask about the little one. She smiles a lot, talks fast and tells everyone where he is and why she’s sweating.

It’s absolutely adorable. I remember that time just after Ella was born.

My friend and I didn’t see each other much for the next few months.

She was home and I was home, but conflicting nap schedules kept getting in our way. I was still transitioning, and she was just beginning hers, into a life consumed with my baby. Friendships can be hard to maintain when finding our way in this balancing act.

New mothers are absorbed in a fog so thick – it’s the baby moon. Engorged breasts. Lack of sleep. True love. Hormones cascading up and down. A truly magical and maddening time.

When motherhood hits, a new mom can feel completely overwhelmed with all these emotions.

We thought pregnancy was tough? Even the most sleepless of nights of sweating laying uncomfortably large with pillows every which way don’t compare to waking every 2 hours to a helpless newborn.

The transition can be rough.

One day you’re a gleaming pregnant woman. All walks of life stop to open a door or offer to help you carry groceries to your car.

The next day, those same helpful strangers can cast an annoyed eye to the new mother whose infant is screaming inconsolably.

There are things no one tells you about pregnancy, birth or becoming a new mother.

How it’s as hard as it is blissful.

But that’s another post.

My point today is this: sometimes we (new mothers) don’t even realize how much help we actually need because we’re so absorbed in trying to take care of ourselves and our newborn.

We hardly know what we’re doing and don’t always know how to ask for help. Sometimes we’re so out of it and/or tired, picking up the phone to give direction about what we need seems painfully hard.

So help a new mom in any way you can, whether it be an encouraging word or delivering a meal. We’re doing the best we can, but we can’t do it alone.

Your Comments

4 Comments so far

  1. Sarah says:

    A perfect timing for this! My SIL just had her second and today I brought them dinner. Emma and I spent about an hour there; she played with her cousin Noah, and I held the baby while Momma got to make herself a healthy lunch. I just reposted this on her FB with a reminder that I’m here to help whenever she needs it! Thanks again, Katie!

  2. Kateisfun says:

    Great post! Reminds me of this from Gloria Lemay:
    I so wish we lived in a culture where during that transition, mamas were flocked with love and care from all the women around us, from the immediate postpartum through the transition you write so accurately of. One day, perhaps?

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