My little girl is a month old. They’re not kidding when they tell you their life is going to flash before your eyes. I’m still expecting to wake up tomorrow and she’ll be starting high school!
A lot has happened in a month…and I really wasn’t prepared for motherhood like I thought I would be. This is really hard for me to talk about, but I’m assuming if I can feel it then I’m not alone in the sea of mothers, and hopefully this may give a struggling mum the confidence she needs.
The whole time I was pregnant I had surges of love followed by resentment. The pregnancy just didn’t feel right most of the time, like there was no bond between me and the baby, and the only time I felt a bond was when she would give me a little kick. I honestly hated being pregnant with a passion and vowed to never do it again.
When she was born I had an instant connection to her, with love just flowing from me, and this continued the whole time I was in hospital. Any doubt of not bonding flew away. Even with the nurses bustling around helping it was like it was just her and I, ready to take on the world together one step at a time. It was beautifully perfect!
Since moving down the coast with her, I’m sad to say things started to slowly decline. It was a really gradual process that I’m not sure could have been avoided. I started to feel like I didn’t love her and it was slowly killing me inside. I hated when she was awake, hated when I had to feed her, hated the fact my parents seemed to have a better bond with her…but I think the hardest was looking at her and seeing her father staring right back at me with love in her eyes.
I wasn’t sure if I was suffering PND, I certainly know I wasn’t copping though. One minute I would just adore her, love her, want to be with her; I was happy. The next, nothing but sadness. I didn’t want to feel like this. I’d always wanted a child, and it was breaking my heart that I could feel that I just didn’t love her. But at the same time I knew I would do anything for her regardless. I’d die for her. Just like my mum always says she would die for me, I finally understood where she was coming from.
I started being more assertive, every time my parents wanted to pick her up, hold her, play with her, I said no, I would do it. I wanted to get that bond back; the bond I knew I had, the bond that I couldn’t understand why it was lost. All I knew was that I would do anything to get it back.
I think things finally started to get better when I had a visit from my two good friends from back home.
Until this point, I had been with my daughter for nine months of pregnancy and then 24/7 since birth. I had forgotten what it was like to just be me. They took me to the beach and to dinner while mum took care of her. Although I didn’t want to leave her, I think this was an important factor that got me where I am now. It helped me realise that I can still go out and have me time, but also that going out isn’t what it used to be for me anymore. Sure I could go out clubbing getting wasted if I really wanted every weekend, but what kind of message would that send? How could I live with myself doing something like that when the whole time I was out (which wasn’t every long at all), all I could think about was her and wanting to get back to hold her. The fact remains, that kind of lifestyle that I had been so used to wasn’t me anymore. Going out to dinner with good company for an hour was all it took for me to change my perspective, and I think that’s all I need once in a while to keep my sanity in check.
It’s been a week since they were here, and this past week has really opened my eyes. I get so emotional now just looking at her, I can honestly say I love her with my all. Something just snapped and the bond grew back instantly. I had the realisation that I’m happy, I’m better off without her dad and that I’m actually happy I’m a single mum; that she and I have such a great life ahead of us and nothing can stop us now.
I was walking down the street yesterday going to pay my solicitor large amounts of money (all for my daughter, she’s worth every cent!) when I looked in a window reflection and saw myself, but I was different. I was wearing the same clothes, my hair was the same mess it always is, but I looked like a mother, and I looked utterly happy about it, I am utterly happy about it!
Despite the fact that her father had a go at me for going out, that I constantly feel sorry for him when he goes on and on about how much he misses and loves her (even though I know I shouldn’t because it was his choice to leave: not mine), that he makes me feel like a terrible mum most of the time and that I’m always just waiting for the next hurtful attack to come my way; I know in my heart that I’m doing the very best I can and that my daughter is going to love me always. She may hate me growing up at times, heaven knows I’m going to be so strict when it comes to boys (I never want her to be hurt, betrayed and used like I have been), butI’m holding on to the knowledge that one day she’ll understand and hopefully respect every choice I’m making for the two of us.
I hope she never has to feel the loss of love for her children like I did, but if she does I trust that (like me) she will discover it deep in her heart where it was the whole time, kept safe for the keeping.
Who is Louise? I’m a first time mum to my beautiful little Tessa. Every day I excitedly look forward to her smiles and developments while trying to hold it together as a single parent. I’m here to let you know how I’m honestly handling this scary but amazing life changing new direction in life. I’m hoping you can all relate and I’m not just going crazy! To see all of Louise’s articles, click here.