Home Addiction Recovery Surviving the First Year of Motherhood

Surviving the First Year of Motherhood

Surviving the First Year of Motherhood


 Surviving the First Year of Motherhood

Becoming a mother is a paradox. It can be the toughest and most magical year of your life all at once. You can love your child with all your heart, but also feel like his presence has turned your world upside down.

As I celebrate surviving my first year of motherhood, I must admit that it was intense. I waited until I was 34 to start trying for a baby because I knew it would be a lot. I read books, listened to podcasts, and asked questions, but nothing prepared me for the emotional rollercoaster that awaited me.

On one hand, I birthed a perfect human, kept him and myself alive through all the first-year obstacles and stages, and faced insurmountable situations. I cared for and fed my baby while sick, even when I had COVID. We survived two scary ER trips, six months of a mold-infested house, and insurance company battles. I learned to ask for help with my depression and anxiety, breastfed for 12 months, and became more confident in my mothering abilities. I advocated for my child medically and in daycare settings. In short, I became a mother, a figure that I never thought I could be.

On the other hand, I lost myself. I feel like a stranger in my own body. My body feels and looks different. It’s been stitched up, filled up with milk, decorated with hives, and bears the proof that emotional eating is my norm. My brain feels like it doesn’t work properly. I’m constantly searching for joy and coming up empty. I’m in a constant state of hypervigilance because I feel like the next bad thing is just around the corner. The last time I remember feeling this way was when I was drinking and using drugs. The feelings are similar – numbness, apathy, hopelessness, feeling like my life is not my own.

Before becoming a mother, my main goal was not to lose myself. I wanted to keep doing the things I loved, take time for myself, and maintain my own identity while also being a mother. But this past year, I felt like I had no choice. Simply surviving, feeding myself, completing work, and getting sleep were the most I was capable of doing. And because of this, I became angry and jealous of other mothers who seemed to have it all – ample work, following their dreams, mental and physical health, happiness, thinness, and so on.

Because of all these circumstances, my mental health has not been in the best state. I feel sad about feeling sad. Writing became a luxury until I was reminded it’s a creative outlet and I’m allowed to put myself first.

Motherhood has been an earth-shattering, life-altering, changes-every-aspect-of-who-you-are moment. I’m not who I was before. Everything has come into question. Who am I? What do I want? What will I do?

But motherhood has also been incredible. I made a human who hugs me, calls for me, and comes walking in my direction for comfort. I feel most at peace when he’s in my arms falling asleep. I still look at him and shake my head in awe. I can’t believe he’s here. I can’t believe he’s mine.

In summary, becoming a mother is a paradox. It can be tough, but also magical. Surviving the first year of motherhood can be intense, but it can also teach you more about yourself and your abilities than you ever thought possible.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here