Dear Mel, I wish someone had told me that motherhood isn’t always the most joyous, beautiful, glamorous event that the media portrays. I wish someone had prepared me for the fact that it might be the most humbling, emotional experience of my life, and that I might not actually love my new role as a Mommy. Instead, I was blindsided by trauma, plagued with incessant fears and anxieties that I was abnormal, that every other new mom was happier than I felt, and that I was therefore, an exceptionally bad, inept mom. In retrospect, I now know that there’s a conspiracy to trick billions of smart, independent and progressive women into believing that motherhood is fabulous, the penultimate joy, and that we can successfully juggle our careers, parenthood and mariages, all with a cheery smile. The truth is, some new moms don’t instantly bond with their babies, many of us have extreme difficulty breastfeeding (a learned behavior that we cannot possibly learn when it’s not visible for us to learn!), and more women experience crippling postpartum mental health issues than is accurately reported. I believe that this is due to unrealistic expectations, and the lack of awareness about how hard and humbling motherhood really is. So today, as you recover from a c-section and prepare for going home with Walker, who you and Hudson will love like you’ve never loved before, I wonder… Should I break it down and tell you the truth, or let you find out on your own how emotional and painful this transition may be? Because I wish someone had told me, I am dedicating this post to you and Hudson, as you embark on this remarkably profound journey. May it be peaceful, uneventful, and easier than my experience.
Hi, I’m Natalie, founder of Mommywise. I’m a Brooklyn mom of two (now) teenagers, PPD survivor, still humbled by the early years of parenting. I started this blog in 2004 as a way to help other parents who felt as dark and lonely as I felt to feel less shame, normalize the feelings of not loving parenthood, and raise awareness about postpartum mood disorders. I’m passionately committed to helping new parents feel more joy, offering sustainable employment for women and mothers, and contributing to positive change in the world.