I realize now why becoming a mom threw my world into upheaval and sent me spiraling into the black hole of postpartum depression in that first year. The answer is actually very simple. I was completely unprepared for motherhood past the act of giving birth and I had a false notion of what having a child actually entailed. Well duh…because no one talks about any of that.
No one told me about postpartum depression or that I would wouldn’t fall in love with my baby immediately. No one told me that breastfeeding could kill my spirit every time my son refused to latch and screamed in the process. No one told me that I would rather stay in bed asleep all day then smile and coo at my new little one. No one warned me that motherhood could strip me of my identity in a matter of minutes. And I definitely had no idea then when I got better, my version of motherhood would be completely different than the one I had pictured during pregnancy. I had no idea I would spend the first year of motherhood on antidepressants, talking to a therapist who finally convinced me that my identity as a mother was good enough and to not give a fuck about the identity I thought I should have had based on moms I knew, celebrity moms I followed on social media, and Pinterest boards.
All I knew was the vision of motherhood I had created for myself based on what I thought others experienced. I would welcome my baby into the world and feel an overwhelming sense of love, joy, and amazement the minute I brought him home. I would happily breastfeed him while supplementing with formula at night for the baby nurse so I could sleep. I would spend my days outside walking him to the park and meeting other moms with new babies. As he got older, I would make his baby food, sit on the floor and play with him, read him books, and continue smiling and cooing. Time would pass, and he would be my little buddy, coming with me everywhere. We would do crafts together and build towers out of blocks and legos. I would be supermom, master and lover of all things motherhood.