*The following is a guest post from my friend Amanda Robertson.*
I’d like to think I was fairly prepared for the physical demands of motherhood. Throughout your entire pregnancy people love to warn you about the exhaustion to come, and to “get your sleep now,” which lets face it, is a level of hindsight that really only resonates after you’ve had your baby.
I was prepared for the pain in my back as I would lean over the crib singing song after song (song being a loose interpretation for the nursery rhymes I ad lib until he falls asleep; none of which rhyme and all of which suck).
And of course I expected the burning in my arms as my 7 lb. 9 oz. bag of feathers grew into a 15 lb. sack of concrete.
I was even warned during one particularly graphic conversation of the painful effects that come from being the sole food source for a tiny insatiable piranha.
The fact is the physical demands are real and they are tough. (Sidenote: You’ll be fine. Your body just performed the miracle of birth and it sure as hell can sustain you through caring for that miracle.)
What I wasn’t prepared for was the emotional weight that parks itself on your chest around the same time your doctor parks that baby on your chest.
You fall in love with this perfect little person, and consequently, you will now worry about this perfect little person for the rest of your life. THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. For the rest of your freaking life you will never totally be at ease unless you know him to be alive and well.
The first week of Conor’s life I cried every day because I just couldn’t process or handle how much I already loved him.
I was so happy to finally hold him, and simultaneously wishing I could safely tuck him back inside like a baby kangaroo.
But I’m pretty sure it was the very real and very permanent realization that I love someone so much that the thought of anything causing him pain or sadness turned me into a crying mess. (My husband, for the record, was terrified of me during this time.)
It scared me how much I loved Conor and I wondered if I was doomed for a life of paranoia and anxiety. (Yes).
But here is the thing, you learn quickly to adapt. You have to. You simply can’t live in fear, both for your own emotional survival, and because raising a child with those types of neuroses would turn your kid into a mental case.
You realize it is an amazing thing to love someone so selflessly and fully, even if its terrifying. You start to grasp that it really is a privilege to care for this baby, be his mom, and then hopefully, the woman that no future girlfriend will ever live up to.
You become a person that truly lives in the moment, not wanting to miss any second of this new life.
You take it day by day and do your best, trying not to let any of those anxieties cloud the amazing moments you now get to witness every single day.
Yes, it is scary, but it’s also so, so good.
Except that piranha thing. That shit hurts.
Amanda lives outside of Boston with her husband and four-month-old. Former interests include travel, wine, reading, and enjoying a nice meal outside. Current interests include none of those. Didn’t you see she has a four-month-old?!