I think I was too exhausted to really soak in the newborn stage.
It almost seems unfair doesn’t it.
Even some days now I’ll get flashes of smiles or fragments of conversations in the evenings, it still feels a bit wispy, I wonder if it will always be that way.
The feeling of only being half alive.
But I am so alive, I’m right here… problem is I’m somewhere else a lot of the time too.
Somewhere with the mental load in the motherhood maze.
I think back to those days often, a toddler learning to walk and a newborn baby. The overwhelm and juggle of it. My eyes that could leak at any given moment.
The sheer state of me, a shadow in my mind, but wow did she shine.
As do all mothers, but newborn mothers have a soft strength to them, a loud stillness, a shy confidence.
I think back to the many moments I thought were for them, where I held them close and rocked in our chair, I see they were mine too.
That I needed them, my aching body pleaded for them.
I think back to the birth, the breastfeeding, the little hands grabbing for me, someone always on me, my husband wanting a kiss when he got home and me not wanting anyone to touch me for a second. I smile because I get it, and yet my heart twists at the thought of them needing me less.
I think back to the purees, the bottles, the mess, the many things I mastered in the kitchen with one hand. How sometimes just getting out the door was the biggest achievement and how I had to make peace with that.
I think back to trying to explain to my husband how exhausted I was after a hard day, but never doing it justice, the words not quite fitting in my mouth and then smiling like it didn’t hurt.
I think back to the days that felt like remakes, but now I see they were all originals, especially to them. Their world expanding at a rapid rate, the most beautiful magic unfolding, did I see that? Did I miss it through the fog?
And I think back to the days I would say, “I just can’t do this”, when I was drowning.
But I was doing it.
Coming up for air, rebuilding and rising.
Maybe you’ll think back like me one day, or maybe I can remind you now.
You’re doing this too.
No matter what that looks like.
You’re doing it.
Because that’s what mothers do.