I have this theory in life...
If something out of the ordinary comes up more than once in a short amount of time---take it as sign.
For example: I randomly heard of Benefits They're Real Mascara one day and thought, "hmm". That's all. The very next day I was scrolling through insta and saw an old friend post a photo of her eyelashes saying she just bought the same mascara. Double 'hmm'--one or two more days after that, a reader wrote in telling me they thought I would like it.
Wow, Universe. I get the hint. For whatever reason, I need that mascara.
I bought it and love it, by the way....its actually my favorite mascara I've ever owned.
To me, this rule of 3's theory I have comes about in all ways. Thinking of someone out of the blue, seeing an old item and remembering past times...basically, if something or someone presents itself to you in 3 different ways---you're meant to act on it. Call that person, send someone flowers, check in with people from your past, go through old journals, etc.
So, Ive had this nagging thought this past week. Its like a pest thought, actually. I would be right about to fall asleep and would have a flash back to the first 16 months of Zuri's life and remember how difficult of a time it was for me. Then I would be washing the dishes and have the same thought out of no where. Finally, today the thought that came to me was I need to write about this time in my life...and my second thought was, I don't want to.
I don't want to because it seems so long ago A, and B, its something that I don't think women are proud to talk about. I think its something most mothers, especially new mothers feel, but don't dare to speak of..But I have this damn rule of 3's theory--So, I have to talk about it.
Here I go...
Zuri was an unplanned pregnancy. A very, very unplanned pregnancy. We were young and poor, and wild, and not ready for kids or to settle down, but this type of story has been told a million different times by a million different people, so you know how it goes.
The only thing that is different with us is that we knew we already wanted to get married, just not at 19 and 20 years old. And no, you cynics out there, I won't accept that saying, "You're young...you don't know what love is....you don't know who you want spend the rest of your life with as a teenager." I believe that a heart is a heart, and young or old, it knows when its in love. So, yes, we knew we wanted to be together forever--lets get married!
The part I want to talk about is the where after our first born child comes into the world. The difficult and wonderful part all at once.
And this is where its hard....becoming no longer you for a weird period of time is, well, weird. I think this didn't happen to me just because I was young, or my pregnancy was unplanned-although those 2 things made it a more difficult, I think every woman in every type of situation, and at every age, experiences this emotion after having a baby.
I feel like its a feeling of resentment that is not talked about. Its socially not accepted to express feelings of resentment towards your innocent, beautiful new baby that you love more than your own life. It doesn't makes sense to love something so much that you devote your life to it, and then you're angry because of it.
Are mothers gasping aloud at me saying this?? I think I can actually already feel the judgement.....
But that's how I felt for 16 months. I was angry. I loved my baby, I just didn't love my life as much anymore. It wasn't my role as a new mama making me unhappy--it was more like the disappointment I felt in myself. My whole adolescence had consisted of the thought that I would become an adult, have babies, and be the best mom in the world, so, that's what I did. I had babies and was [and still am] the best mom I could ever be to my little girls.....But I didn't expect not to like it in the beginning.
Did I dare say a word of this to anyone? Nope. Not to my husband, not to my mom, not to my closest friends. I was too ashamed to admit that I was having a hard time, because it caught me so off guard. How could I not like it?! It was all I ever wanted, and there I was with a perfect baby who was wonderful and I wasn't fulfilled being just her mom? I hated myself for this...I thought something was so wrong with me for feeling this way--surely no one else ever feels this way because no one talks about it.
So there I was.... I didn't know who I was as a mom and as an individual. I couldn't marry the two. I thought I had to change myself into a woman who loved scrap booking parties, and bake sales to become a real mom.....and that's just not me.
If that's not me, am I still a good mom?
Am I good wife?
Can mom's still say the "F" word?
[...it turns out they can...and do.]
I feel like a lot of these thoughts and feelings were maybe a symptom of postpartum depression, but not all of them. These are normal feelings that have to get worked out...Its just a part of becoming someone's mother.
So after 16 months, I finally did figure it out. I was myself and a mom all at the same time, and life became happier and more enjoyable for me. I finally created who I was as little ZuZu babes mom and as me, Weslie, again.
So, why am I rambling on and on about all this? Because I wish this part of motherhood was more openly talked about. You hear about the sleepless nights, and wanting to pull your hair out, and the extra laundry, the weird issues you have with your new body....you hear about alll of that....that's the easy part, but no one really talks to you about the inner struggle that has nothing to do with your new baby, but with your new role, and more importantly, how you're reacting to it.
I feel like no one needs to be ashamed of those feeling like I was for so long. I want to tell people its normal....Almost to expect it, and I want people to know I am grateful for that period of time in my life now.
Don't get me wrong, I am happy its over, but also happy to have gone through it.