If I’m Being Completely Honest…

There have been days when I haven’t enjoyed being Matthew’s mother.

There have been days when I have resented him for pulling me from Katie.

There have been days when I have fantasized about getting a job outside the home so that I could get a break from him.

He is beautiful and sweet. He is tender and vulnerable. He is mine.

Though I never lost sight of the fact that I was truly blessed to have been given this healthy, beautiful baby boy, there were days when I wondered what I had done to our threesome by adding him to our family.

In those first days after we brought him home, I cried every day. I cried for the lost time with my treasured Katie. I cried because I couldn’t wholly give myself to her the way I always had. I cried, wondering if life would eventually even out. I cried at the thought that the most I could imagine was getting used to him. I cried because I felt such shame.

As the early weeks passed, he became gassy and cried so often that I felt that I might truly go crazy. It killed me that there were times when he cried so much that I couldn’t hear Katie when she spoke to me. When Craig’s two months of paternity leave ended I was wracked with fear that I wouldn’t be able to go it alone.   I had never before questioned my ability as a mom.

I resented him in a way that I felt a mother shouldn’t. And I hated myself for it.

Friends had told me it would be much harder once I had two children–that I would feel torn between them. I never could have imagined just how much my heart would break day in and day out.

No one told me that it was okay to feel the way I did.  No one told me that it didn’t make me a bad mother.

There were days sprinkled in where I loved him so much I thought I’d explode. There were days when I knew that I was meant to have him. These are the days that I clung to, as they represented what could be.

As time has passed, I have come to love him as I do Katie. I know that I am not me without him. He has changed me and he has taught me about love in the most difficult of times. He needs me and his eyes tell me just how much he loves me.

He is now five months old and I treasure him. I eagerly await his morning smiles. I breathe him in and marvel at how far we’ve come in these months. He giggles and plays with his feet and I can spend hours kissing his belly.  I love my quiet moments with him when he reaches for my hand and touches my face. I often catch myself thinking of these past months, feeling as though they were lost.  I wonder if I would appreciate him as much as I do if I hadn’t gone through such a difficult time.  With each passing day, I feel the bond between us strengthening and I am so incredibly grateful for him.

He is mine.  And I am his.

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7 responses to “If I’m Being Completely Honest…

  1. Janelle

    What a journey. I had tears reading your experience over the last five months. You are open and honest – raw and beautiful; we are females, strong and independent, unfailingly passionate with our imperfections not always perfectly balanced who absolutely, in the end, love our life’s path and perhaps even wonder in awe, at how we got here. Hugs to you Chole!

    • Thank you for your kind words, Janelle. I try to remain mindful that there is beauty in imperfection and that lessons learned along the journey are never forgotten.

  2. These little moments of doubt continue . . . Mark recently surveyed the wreckage of our day and commented, “You know that whole plan to have a second child? It has completely backfired on us.”

    But most of the time? Having two kids is glorious. Loud but glorious. Most of the time.

    • Our mistake was believing that the second child would be easy. I keep telling myself that when Katie is 16, sullen, and surly, Matthew will be 14, compliant, and sweet. Right? Please, oh please, let that be the case.

  3. Jess

    I love your blog! You are so brave to have two. I can only imagine how challenging it must be to divide your time, multi-task and yet you appear to be doing an amazing job. I love this passage about Matthew 🙂 It sounds like having two just keeps getting better and better for you – that’s wonderful. Your writing is so eloquent. It’s a joy to read!

    • Thank you for leaving a comment, Jess.
      Yes, every day gets a little easier. It is such a difficult thing, to say anything less than wonderful things about your relationship with your child, but for me, writing about it helped me to deal with what I had been feeling.
      He is such a sweet and beautiful boy and I’m so looking forward to seeing him grow and thrive. I know that we’re on the upswing now!

  4. Pingback: Gender Disappointment, Unanswered Prayers, and Getting Lost « in these small moments

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