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Becoming a Mom: The Hardest Transition of My Life

Becoming a Mom - Bathrobe

I’ll never forget that day. That moment. I was sitting at the dining room table in my robe and nursing gown. It’s the wardrobe I lived in that first few weeks of my firstborn’s life. My boobs were throbbing, my body exhausted, my brain overwhelmed. And my new baby, crying from Grandma’s arms in the next room, was needing me again.

Life as I’d known it was over. I wasn’t sure how much more of this new livelihood (or maybe death-ly-hood – to self, that is) I could handle.

“I just wanna like… check out of life for a while.”

My husband was floored. How could I say such a thing?

He didn’t get it. How could he? It wasn’t he whose every waking (and sleeping) minute was being controlled by a helpless human being.

I was miserable. And in that moment, what hurt even more than my cracked nipple was the complete draining of myself.

My life was no longer my own, and there was no foreseeable way out of this new and not-so-euphoric existence.

When my mom was set to leave a couple weeks later, sheer fear of the self-sufficiency that must set in mingled with the scary reality that this was my life now.

I had no idea what I was doing – or how I was going to do it – or why I should want to.

At the job I was leaving behind, I knew the procedures and performed them well. And on the other side of my effort was recognition and praise.

In this new role, the most proof of a job well-done was the dirty diaper that came with each painful feeding.

Nobody saw me wash the poop-stained laundry. Nobody noticed when I cleared the counters before rushing to join my sleeping baby for a desperate nap.

I just did what I had to do, thankless as it was, and gradually, I began to own the new life I had momentarily wanted leave from.

Less than four years later, I left the hospital a well-adjusted mother of two plus twins.

Bringing Home Twins

Onlookers would see me with my four under four and wonder at just how difficult the transition from two kids to four must have been.

My truthful answer? It was nothing. Nothing could have been harder for me than becoming a mom had been.

Learning to be a mom (not just how to mother) – to live for someone other than myself – to exist for someone else’s existence – was the toughest transition of my life.

But I made it through. And my life is fuller now than it ever could have been before motherhood emptied me.

You’ll make it through, weary mom. Don’t check out now. You die to yourself daily that another may live. There is no better place to pour yourself out than into the life of the little one who needs you… again.

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7 Responses to Becoming a Mom: The Hardest Transition of My Life

  1. Katie May 7, 2014 at 1:23 pm #

    Great post Angela! I felt the same way- going from 0 kids to 1 was such a huge and emotional adjustment. When we went from having 1 to 2 kids things seemed SO much easier than the first time around. I think just knowing that even the really, really hard stages are just a stage and will eventually end made the 2nd time around a breeze compared to the first. Thanks for sharing your heart!

  2. Becky @ bybmg May 7, 2014 at 1:35 pm #

    Wonderful post. I feel the same. #2 wasn’t that big of a change… being a mommy for the first time was so hard. Life is never the same. You can’t really explain it fully until it’s experienced.

  3. Elaine Cooper May 7, 2014 at 2:14 pm #

    Beautifully written, Angela, and so true! As a grandma of triplets (talk about exhausting for a first time mom!), it is truly a self-sacrifice to enter the gates of motherhood. And it’s terrifying the first time left on your own. I still remember that moment that I cried realizing with my firstborn that this helpless baby depended on ME to stay alive!!

    Speaking from the previous generation of young mothers, the beginnings of changes in the importance of being a mom surfaced when I was having my kids. Such comments as, “I hope she doesn’t waste her life just being a mom,” were hurtful. Some of that “Moms are more fulfilled in the workplace outside the home” still lives on and causes many young moms to question just how important changing a dozen diapers a day is when they could be getting
    accolades at work. We are not a society that necessarily preaches “dying to our own desires” and “living for others.” So happy you found contentment in your role as “Mom.” It is truly fulfilling and a God-given blessing.

    • Angela Squires
      Angela Squires May 8, 2014 at 5:19 am #

      As hard as becoming a mother of one was for me, I can’t even imagine what it would have been like if my twins had come first. Talk about a tough transition! 🙂

      I appreciate your comments regarding the societal shift in thinking towards motherhood. It must have been difficult to be raising children during that time. I think you’re right that some of that mentality lives on, but I’m thankful to be surrounded by people who have never questioned my decision to be “just a mom.” (And that wasn’t as easy a decision for me as I’d always thought it would be, by the way! The workplace truly was a fulfilling place for me, and choosing to not return there is probably the biggest self-sacrifice I’ve made so far as a mother.)

      Thanks so much for the comment, Elaine!

  4. Margaret May 12, 2014 at 6:35 am #

    This is easily my favorite post on this blog. While I wish this had come along when I was a brand new mom, I’m certain your words have blessed many, Angela.

    • Angela Squires
      Angela Squires May 13, 2014 at 3:09 am #

      Thank you for the kind comment, Margaret, and thanks for reading!

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