This last week has been the most wonderful week of my life. I am not the person I was seven days ago, and I never will be again. It has also been one of the most emotionally tumultuous weeks of my life. You know how they say you can love someone so much it hurts? You can, and I do. I love him so much it hurts my heart.
I’m grateful that I pulled together a bunch of posts on completely unrelated topics prior to going into the hospital, because I’ve been struggling a lot with figuring out how to express myself here, and have felt more or less paralyzed every time I sit down to type. Over the past two years I’ve learned to work through things that are on my mind by writing about them…but I just can’t write about this in the way that I’m used to writing about things — which is to say, openly and vulnerably. Not yet.
It’s felt so strange, having such a momentous thing happen and all of a sudden wanting to pull back – hard – from expressing my feelings about it. Because it’s so important to me to examine things honestly…and yet when it comes to this baby, I can’t be open and free like I’m used to being. To write about my feelings for my baby is to open up conversation about those feelings, and they are so precious and so mine that it would be heartbreaking for me were they to be trivialized, misunderstood, or interpreted in any other way than as they are as a result of my inability to express them in all their complexity.
But it is also so important to me to explore my feelings here, to share them with you and to take these steps forward together. Because I see now that mothers are scared, and mothers need to talk to one another, and mothers fear that they are doing things wrong, or imperfectly. I want to offer my vulnerability and inexperience as a mother, because I know that feeling uncertain is a part of motherhood – and a part of life, regardless of whether or not you’re a parent – that is universal and scary, and so very important to talk about. That said, what I’m interested in exploring here are my feelings about motherhood, not my child’s life in and of itself; this is not a website about Indy (hence the nickname – which I may change my mind about using, but not for now), and that’s a line I’m still trying to figure out how to walk.
Parents can so often fall into the trap of saying “No one but a parent can understand.” And while it’s true to some extent – there are emotions going on here that I did not realize existed, and that I absolutely did not understand until I held my son in my arms – it’s not true that an exploration of parenthood has to be alienating. Parents aren’t in one club, with everyone else in another. I don’t want to pick sides here; I want to talk about all this like a person, not like a Mom with a capital M. I want to focus on what’s universal about motherhood, and I haven’t yet figured out what’s universal and what’s mine.
I will be able to sort through these feelings and talk about this remarkable journey, I know I will. But I need these emotional waters to calm down a bit before I can see straight enough to figure out how to tell you what’s going on in my head these days. Right now, it’s too filled up with this little boy for me to separate one thought from the next.
And there you go: I feel better already. Writing about things that are on your mind always helps, huh?