I seem to have lost some of my Mommy Mojo. And I didn’t start with all that much in the first place. When we decided to have a baby I more or less assumed I would be good at being a mommy because (a) it’s in my genes (I have a great mom and my sister is an awesome mom, too) and (b) I’m usually pretty good at whatever I do. Yes, I sound snotty. But I think a lot of being good at what you do is about confidence and believing in yourself and so most of the time, my confidence/snottiness has served me well.
Not so (or at least, not lately) in the mommyhood.
It’s been up and down since Dane’s birth. There was panic when I brought him home from the hospital, partly because I felt like someone pulled out my heart, wrapped it in a blanket and handed it to me, and partly because (in addition to loving this miniscule smushy thing SO FREAKING MUCH), what the hell did I know about caring for a tiny baby?, and also because he lost almost 20% of his birth weight in the first three days of his life when my milk didn’t come in in a timely manner (like I ordered it, and it just came late, right? Who’s the supervisor here? Can I call to complain?). After three months, when I was finally in a groove, I had the low milk supply/falling off the weight curve debacle and we all stopped sleeping and bad hoodoo, friends, I could barely remember my middle name. Over the past month or so (with help from my aforementioned genetically-motherhood-gifted family), I regained some confidence, only to get a sinus infection and hit a rough patch in trying to help Dane nap, and now it’s all up in the air again. Not to put too fine a point on it, but WTF, mommyworld?
I know motherhood is two steps forward and one step back (or three. or five.). I’ve tried church, and exercise, and talking it out, and writing. All of those things help, but what I really want to do is look inside myself and find my inner snottiness. Of course I’m a great mom, because hey, I’m a badass. Why have I forgotten that? How has having a baby somehow made me lose faith in myself? Maybe because the stakes are higher than any other time? This isn’t about failing a class or losing a job or failing at a relationship. This is about supporting and nurturing another human being, whom I love above all else. My fear of failing him is raw and visceral. And learning to live with it – master it, even – is one of the most important things I’ll ever do. So God help me and cowboy up. Right?