Lessons in Motherhood

My husband and I had wanted to have a baby for quite awhile before I was finally pregnant. That waiting period gave me lots of time to read too many parenting books. Brett and I even took two parenting classes, Love and Logic and Preparations for Parenting (Babywise). We thought we knew what we were getting into. We said on many occasions that our life was not going to change because of a baby. Our baby would fit our schedule, not the other way around.

For some reason or another I could not get pregnant. Was God trying to tell me something?!

I was finally diagnosed with endometriosis and eventually had surgery for it, which apparently did the trick because the very next month I was pregnant.

 I really had a great pregnancy. I was one of those women who just glowed and walked around with a permanent smile on my face, even labor and delivery were smooth for me.

Then reality hit. Hard. I had this new baby that cried a lot. She did not fit into the picture I had painted in my head of how motherhood would look. I no longer had that plastered smile on my face. I wore one that looked tired, distraught and quite frankly, angry. This was not what I thought motherhood would be like.

Brett and I learned something about ourselves very early on. We quickly found out we couldn't force our baby to do anything, much less sleep by herself. And since I was nursing around the clock, on demand, I had no time to myself. I was naive to think our baby would be the kind portrayed in the baby books.

Every night we had the ever-hated 'witching hour'. It was pretty much clock work. She would start crying and there would be absolutely nothing we could do to console her. I would cry. I would scream. I would demand of God WHY???? I felt betrayed. Betrayed by God for not answering my cries, betrayed by idealistic views of motherhood, and betrayed by other mothers who would talk about how wonderful it was to have a baby.

It did get better. Eventually. Courtney stopped with the colic around 4 months. That made a big difference. I didn't have to dread nighttime anymore. Plus, I realized that I had postpartum depression, after the fact. And, then there was the help that came from my mother.

Let me just say, I have never appreciated my own mother more than I have since having a baby. I honestly do not know what I would have done without her. She seemed to know just when I was at a breaking point and would help out. There were times when all I wanted was to be a small child again and for my mother to be the one in control. In my eyes, she has always been in control. Even though I've gotten a better grip on my own motherhood I still look to her when I hit a bump in the road or need a break away.

Finally, I came to grips with the fact that I'm not one of those mothers that just rolls with the flow. Motherhood does not come easily for me. I worry about every single "what if" I can conjure up in my head. I will never understand women that want more and more children. That just doesn't compute in my head. At all.

But with that said, I should also add that this does not mean that I don't love my children with all my heart. I do. I would not trade my motherhood for anything in the world. Because for me not only has motherhood giving me the gift of my beautiful children, but it has also given the gift of knowing myself even better. And that has been the greatest lesson of all.

Do you have a lesson or wisdom you'd like to share on Motherhood? We'd like to hear it!

~Mrs. Albright

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