Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What are you on and where can I get some: mommy hormones and me

Okay, so that last post was not the happiest I have ever written, but I am compelled to be honest about my transition into motherhood.  I feel as though one of the primary problems setting moms up to for discouragement and frustration during early motherhood is very few people talk about what it is really like to be a mom.
Think about it: no commercial uses the slogan, "Used by ambivalent mothers everywhere".  (Although I really feel that is a missed opportunity; I would totally buy whatever it was they were selling.)
Also, TV moms have this comical, zany birth, which the most ridiculous element of which is how short it is (labor the first time often takes DAYS), and at the end of which they are smiley and out of breath and gently moist with sweat, but beaming and over joyed at their new baby.  Jackasses.  I mean, who gives birth like that?
Also...why do I trust TV so much?
But it's not just TV.  Naomi Wolf, a prominent feminist who wrote a book that was intended to reveal the darker side of motherhood, actually described her child as "queenly", even as "glowing", upon the child's expulsion from the womb.  I can promise you, I did not see my child as queenly, or glowing, nor did my heart sing with our loving bond when they placed her on my chest.  Mostly I was relieved to be done with the labor, and honestly only vaguely aware of what else was happening.
I know there are moms who are attached to their babies right away and just float on clouds immediately after their babies are born, but I feel like those of us who don't experience that face a double whammy: first having a new baby but no hormonal high, and then the second blow of feeling guilty because the mom does not instantly bond with the small bodily fluid production unit that has taken over their home, time, and mind space.
There are a few moms out there that describe more of an experience I can relate to. Anne Lamont wrote a great book about dealing with being a single mom. I also liked this article from a mom honestly describing the time it took to really feel a bond with her twins.
The truth is though, most of the time it's really hard to express anything other than bliss when talking about your baby without fear that someone will call social services.  That's I left in my bummer of a post. To hell with June Cleaver!  She is over represented.  Someone needs to speak up from the disenchanted mommies group, so the negative-nelly blog post stays.

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