A Few Notes on Motherhood for You, Dena...

To My Sister, On the Eve of Your Becoming a First-Time Mother By Mary Beth Maziarz

You’re just a breath away from this baby arriving.  You feel like you have lots of time, but it'll go by in a snap, just like that.   *!*

I can’t know what motherhood will be like for you.  Some of us struggle against it as if we’ve been suddenly caught in a binding net; some slip into it like a warm, soft sweatshirt that feels finally perfect and easy.  You’ll find your own way.  But I’m your big sister.  And as usual, I’ve learned a couple things that I wanted to share.

Giving birth hurts, whether traditionally or by c-section, epidural or not.  But you’ll get over it – truly, you will.  It’s weird and chaotic and natural and focused and unbelievable.  It’s an exhilarating, thrilling rush.  It’s also exhausting – some say the most intensely physical experience of a woman’s life.  In any case, the feeling of that new baby against your skin, that warm, wet, little wriggling pink crying thing, will be worth your incredible efforts, bringing a sense of reward and arrival unlike anything you’ve ever felt.

You will soon see your husband in new ways, loving him with a deeper connection (and dependence) than you have in the past.  You’ll be touched by his awkwardness at first, perhaps, and when his confidence grows, his pride. You’ll love him more than you ever thought possible.  You will also discover that he is capable of being far more clueless, insensitive, and LOUD, than you ever imagined.  Help bring him in when he feels left out.  Try really hard not to criticize his childcare efforts if they're clumsy or just different from yours.  It's good to have the balance of  both of you, the yin and yang.  And remember that he’s in a new life, too.  His new responsibilities feel different from yours, but they’re just as deeply instinctive and just as real.

Your friends will offer to do things for you.  Let them.  You’ll think that you need to do everything yourself for a while, and this is okay, but eventually the adrenaline and novelty will wear off and those friends who offer to bring you a meal or stop by the store for you will seem like true angels.  They are.  Accept their generosity and help in the same spirit that you’ve given it yourself in the past.

Be prepared for your friends without kids to drift a little.  This, too, is okay.  They care about you, and they will eventually find your child completely charming, but they may not find the gory details of birth, breastfeeding, hemorrhoids, or baby-poop color as riveting as some of your other Mom friends will.  If you stay selective with photos, stories, and updates, and they’ll be more interested in staying in the loop.

Alternately, be prepared to feel a new kinship with other Moms, experienced or new.  You’re in the club now. You get it.  You won’t all agree on everything, and you’ll discover that there are lots of different approaches to child-rearing, but you’ll share a devotion that binds you to other women in a new, almost primal, way.

Get ready to see Mom and Dad with completely new respect and admiration.  You’ll find yourself astonished at all the things they made look so easy for so many years.  You’ll understand why they’re a little nuts.  And why they look tired.  You’ll find yourself especially thankful for Mom and her help when the baby arrives (more than you can even fathom right now).

Trust that things will return to normal.  Well, a new normal.  Your house will come back into order.  (Mostly.)  The seemingly never-ending, gargantuan laundry piles will recede.  You’ll have time to shower regularly, allowing you to once again smell nice and look presentable.  You’ll eventually be able to run to the grocery store or Starbucks without it being a grand production.   You'll someday read a magazine again. 

Your body will return to its familiar self.  (You’ll both miss the boobs).  You’ll sleep.  You’ll have sex.  (Okay, probably less, but you will have it.)  You’ll remember who you are.  You’ll contribute to society beyond fulfilling the needs of this demanding little bundle.

You’ll work harder at this than you ever have in your life at anything.  It will seem impossible at times, ridiculous and beyond comprehension.  You will seriously ponder how the world moves forward, how people choose to have new children all the time, how whole families live in tiny two-bedroom apartments in New York.  You’ll wonder how idiots do this, how people ever consider having more than one child, how parents of multiples possibly manage (which you once thought sounded like fun).

It’ll also feel more natural and instinctive than you know.  And your baby’s face will be the best show in town. You’ll find yourself looking at him or her with distractingly absorbing fascination.  You’ll watch the child sleep, cry, wiggle, eat, and every moment will be full of emotion and a love different from the love you’ve known until now.  It will feel like your privilege to make sure this child is warm and fed and clean and kicking with delight.  You will feel gratitude and attachment, and sometimes even fear, or fierce protectiveness, that is shocking at times in its intensity.  You will love this kid like nobody's business.  And the child will love you back.  Little arms reaching out to you will be like coming home.  You'll wish that he or she would sleep on your chest forever in this warm little content  bundle.  You'll feel both powerful and small at once.  

You'll want to do everything right.  You'll want to be a better person, so that you can raise a better person in this little one.  You'll suddenly care a lot more about recycling, hormones in the milk, clean water, and other stuff affecting the state of the planet.  You'll find yourself wanting to make the earth a beautiful, safe place for your child and all other children for a long time, not just your stay here.  

Motherhood has a way of getting both easier and more demanding by the day.  You’ll sometimes look back with nostalgia and longing for the stages just passed, suddenly realizing that there were elements you should have savored while you could.  You’ll mean to write things down or take more pictures or movies or remember, remember, dammit! but it’s hard to do it all.  Do the best you can.

Actually, that’s a good policy for all of it.   Just do the best you can.

You’re going to be great.
Good luck, babe. The fun is just beginning.









2 comments

  • Nazo

    Nazo

    I'm not a mother but i completely agree with your thoughts and feelings (maybe with the help of instinct and sensitivity of a women).. I believe that if you decide to have a baby, motherhood must be the most important duty of your life from now on. But today we see that lots and lots of people have children but most of them are not aware of this big responsibility. :( Yes, maybe they care for feeding, healthy conditions, school education(generally=a horse race from parents' point of view) etc.. Yes, they all important but what about emotional and spiritual raising? In my opinion, teaching a child how to be happy, how to be full of love.. Self confidence, respectfulness and kindness to other creatures... They are as important as other visible things. This is the reason why there are so many problematic grown-ups today. This is why people don't know how to establish healthy relationships while they are looking for love.. They fail in the real-life. So, unhappy grown-ups naturally raise unhappy grown-ups and it continues as a neverending cycle.. I wish for a better world where children don't lose their natural inborn treasures. And i wish your dear sister happiness and good lucks in her new and best journey.. With :love::love::love:

    I'm not a mother but i completely agree with your thoughts and feelings (maybe with the
    help of instinct and sensitivity of a women).. I believe that if you decide to have a baby,
    motherhood must be the most important duty of your life from now on. But today we
    see that lots and lots of people have children but most of them are not aware of this big
    responsibility. frown Yes, maybe they care for feeding, healthy conditions, school
    education(generally=a horse race from parents' point of view) etc.. Yes, they all
    important but what about emotional and spiritual raising? In my opinion, teaching a
    child how to be happy, how to be full of love.. Self confidence, respectfulness and
    kindness to other creatures... They are as important as other visible things. This is the
    reason why there are so many problematic grown-ups today. This is why people don't
    know how to establish healthy relationships while they are looking for love.. They fail in
    the real-life. So, unhappy grown-ups naturally raise unhappy grown-ups and it
    continues as a neverending cycle..
    I wish for a better world where children don't lose their natural inborn treasures. And i
    wish your dear sister happiness and good lucks in her new and best journey..
    With lovelovelove

  • Mathurini

    Mathurini UK

    Couldn't agree more with this as a first time mother myself. It's very true what they say about growing up when you have a baby. I have never felt more adult and kid like at the same time! Hope your sister had a safe delivery. www.mathurini.wordpress.com

    Couldn't agree more with this as a first time mother myself. It's very true what they say about growing up when you have a baby. I have never felt more adult and kid like at the same time! Hope your sister had a safe delivery. www.mathurini.wordpress.com

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All content © 2018 Mary Beth Maziarz, Mystical Universe Music / Musaic Records. P.O. Box 4093, Park City UT 84060.  To book a show, email us HERE