A friend recently asked me what I find the easiest about motherhood. The question caught me off guard. I had to think about it. I'm actually still thinking about it. Then she asked about the hardest parts of motherhood. I was able to answer that question quickly and deftly. It struck me that I had so much to say about why motherhood was so hard. I had plenty to say about what I was doing to adjust to my new life and how I'd been trying so hard to figure this motherhood thing out.
It made me realize that since Mary Clare was born, I haven't given the first question much thought. I've been so focused on being honest about my struggle that I haven't taken any time to consider what about motherhood comes naturally to me.
So when I tried to answer that question, about what was easy for me, I didn't know what to say. That felt pretty embarrassing to me. I ended up saying, "the easiest part of being a mom is loving her." I thought, 'well that's pretty sappy of you,' but honest to God it's the first thing I thought of. The most natural, easy part of being a mom is loving her so much that sometimes it hurts. Loving her so much I can't stop kissing her pudgy cheeks or the soft skin on the back of her neck. Loving her so much that I feel like I can't even get it out. Then I went onto say that, it feels really natural to be together. I love that I feel like we are a pair, like she's my little side kick.
This is significant for me. It's the first time I have acknowledged that for me, it can feel easy, natural, fun to be a mom. When I first brought the baby home I felt a lot of different emotions. The fear was almost unbearable though. Everything about motherhood was hard and scary with a just few fleeting moments of happiness here and there. I was not feeling a bond with my baby, nothing felt natural about being a mom. What terrified me most was the thought that I might never enjoy being a mom. I would come to find out I was struggling with postpartum depression and anxiety. So then I focused intently on figuring it out, adjusting, feeling like myself again. As it always does, time passed. I found my way into a routine, Mary Clare got older, my medication kicked in and just like everybody had told me...it got easier. Yet I don't think I ever really accepted that not only had I "adjusted" so to speak but I had found some ease in my new life as a mother.
It feels wonderful to realize that the most important part of being a mom is also the easiest. The easiest part is loving her.