I feel like becoming a mother made me so overtly emotional its almost comical. In fact, I have actually laughed at myself while crying, and no I’m not a crazy person. Moms are evolutionarily and emotionally built to love this little human so much anything relating to them can make you weep at a moment’s notice. Before my son came along I hardly cried at all, and I definitely did not show my emotions in front of others. I just wasn’t ‘a crier’. After having my son, four years later I’m still an emotional mess. So blaming it on those after baby hormones is kind of out the window. I cry almost every day! Sometimes over things that are understandable, sometimes over a cereal commercial. While I acknowledge the silliness of tearing up at Nemo, I’m not ashamed of these tears. So many things about becoming a mother pushes my emotional capacity. These are just a few reasons becoming a mother has made me so incredibly emotional, and more importantly why I totally get it, and it’s totally okay. Oh, and its normal, you’re not the only one!
- The love you feel for this little human is beyond anything you’ve ever felt before in your life. This emotion will feel overwhelming at times. There is really no way to prepare for what this will feel like. Seasoned parents will try explain it, and you’ll think you understand and you’re prepared-but you cannot prepare for this kind of life altering love. You are suddenly more connected with everything, it changes you as a person in many ways, shifting your perspective. The amazing love I feel for my son magnifies every emotion I have; fear, happiness, excitement, they all almost always end in me crying. When he was first born, this love was so intense I would have vivid hallucinations of him being lost somewhere in my bed any time I got any real sleep. I would frantically dig through the sheets and comforter, half awake, while my son slept peacefully in his father’s arms in another room. There were many tears shed from fear when he was an infant. Now that he’s’ two, I find myself overwhelmed with pride on almost a daily basis. My son will say a new word, or do something on his own for the first time and I’m immediately in tears. Beyond these moments of overwhelming emotions this new love also makes anything involving children or a family immediately emotional for me. Any given week you can find me crying about a Disney or Pixar movie, any number of TV commercials, and most commonly just the thought of how much love my son brings to my life. I’m here to tell you it’s normal, let it out momma! Those tears are beautiful, just like that complex life you are living raising a little human. I’m not ashamed of my tears and you shouldn’t be either!
- You are responsible for not only keeping your kid alive, but you’re also expected to raise a kind, well rounded, person who contributes to society. The pressure and responsibility of that expectation is no joke. You feel that, on your shoulders, and your heart, every moment of everyday. When your toddler throws a tantrum you instantly wonder if it’s because you lost your temper and raised your voice at him last week. You blame yourself for the diaper rash he gets after eating too many oranges. These are unavoidable turbulence of raising a child-as avoidable as the common cold, which by the way, you will also blame yourself for if anyone in the household gets it. Point is, the pressure mothers put on themselves and society puts on us can sometimes feel crushing. Of course, this results in emotionally charged reactions. When my son was a baby I cried over the fear of not being able to take care of him properly. Every cold I feared death, every booboo was surly caused by my neglect. The constant self judgement always left me in tears. Now, I worry more about the person I am raising. I cry when we have a terrible day that starts out with timeout by 8am. I also cry later in that day when I lose my temper and yell, still judging myself for any moment of weakness. To me these tears aren’t as beautiful as the tears inspired by love. The responsibilities mothers are faced with can feel overwhelming to say the least. We are essentially told by ourselves and society that we are the only thing between our child and either death, or becoming a serial killer. When my son was almost a year he tripped, and fell down three steps before I could catch him. He got a tiny cut in his eyebrow and I will never forget that moment. It was his first real booboo and I swear it hurt me more than him. I was so ashamed that I had somehow failed him as a mother I cried about it for weeks when I told the story. This is the result of the pressure mothers feel every day. Of course this was an accident and he forgot about it an hour later. But it’s a perfect example of the crushing pressures mothers are put under. So, while I will never encourage anyone not to cry if they feel like it; I want you MOM monsters to try not to cry over the pressure of others. Trust that you are doing your best to take care of your child. Accidents happen, don’t waste your tears over what someone else will think.
- Everything is new, every day. Even with the second kid, every big moment is going to be your very first try at it. Let’s let that sink in for a minute, mothers are given the biggest responsibility of their life and they’re expected to do it perfect right out of the gate. The second you get that little bean in your arms your suddenly expected to have all the answers. Babys got a fever, mom? Baby’s hungry, mom? Later they become more complex things that you are immediately expected to be an expert on. Delayed speech, mom? Sleep issues, mom? Separation anxiety, mom? Not only are you going to feel the pressure from yourself to be the best you can for your child but in this motherhood climate you feel pressure from all around you as well. Every moment with your child is fleeting, especially when they are young. Their habits, needs, and desires are constantly changing. Just when you think you’ve got it down they will decide everything you’re doing is wrong and you start back at square one again. Even when the second one comes you quickly learn each baby is their own adventure. Things that you learned with your first don’t work for your second. Everything you are doing as a mother is new, it’s likely the first time you’ve ever been faced with this exact problem. Yet as a mother you are expected to know the perfect way to handle it at a moment’s notice. That feeling of butterflies in your stomach in anticipation of a result is a constant staple in any mother. As a new mother, I remember almost always feeling these nerves before making decisions. Now I trust myself a little bit more, but I still feel those butterflies in big moments, the anticipation of seeing if the choice I made as his mother was the right one. I have a feeling that these butterflies will always be there in certain moments, but I’d like to hope we are feeling them due to the anticipation of excitement not the fear of judgment. The most important thing is to let yourself off the hook for the mistakes you will undoubtedly make. None of us are perfect, even though society may make you feel that way, real moms make mistakes. That’s okay!
These are just a few reasons motherhood has made me so emotional. Of course there are so many more reasons, including our hormonal balance, but these are a few that I feel every mom out there can relate to. If you take one thing from this post I hope that it is that its ok to feel those overwhelming emotions and more importantly YOU ARE NOT ALONE. As mothers we are expected to stay strong and always be ‘on’. I’m here to tell you if you are sometimes a hot mess, if you cry when your kid gets hurt, or because you are doubting yourself as a mother; you are not alone. Stand with me in throwing out all that mom guilt and just accepting ourselves as we are. Messy bun, yoga pants, smeared mascara and all.