Pages

3.27.2007

I Wish I Could Have Known

Savannah's preschool teacher asked me for pictures of Savannah as a baby. Oddly enough, she was able to talk about pictures of my daughter without sweating and getting shifty. Anyway, as I sifted through pictures of Savannah's first year, I was struck by two things.

One, how many there were. I am not exaggerating when I say I spent a roll of film A DAY. (Would you like to see Savannah shake a rattle for an hour frame by frame? No?)

Two, that I'm hardly in any of them.

And then I came across this one:

I Wish I Could Be Her Friend Now


Five years later I guarantee I can tell you what we did that day. I was in sweats and a t-shirt with an unwashed ponytail, a baby girl strapped to my body, at some stage in the process of going to Target. Then I likely headed to the grocery store to stare at the oranges. Then Chris would have come home, I would have mumbled something about peanut butter and handed him the baby as I walked out the front door.

I would've waited until I couldn't see our condo in my rearview mirror before I let go. Huge heaving sobs would have torn through me as I struggled to breathe. Hopelessness and loneliness would have gripped me until it made me physically ache.

And then the guilt would come.

I look at this picture and I see a girl who felt utterly alone. And thinks she is holding an innocent victim who was dealt a horrible mother. I feel so sad for that girl. I want to reach into that photograph and wrap my arms around her and tell her she's doing a wonderful job and that this too shall pass. I want to invite her to lunch and make her laugh and tell her all moms feel the way she does.

I want her to know that five years is going to fly by like that. And that she'll soon be buying that baby a backpack and singing along with her to "Hollaback Girl". And that that baby is not going to be scarred if she lets her cry it out or feeds her formula. That that baby is going to grow into a delightful little person.

Very soon. She's going to feel proud.

Most of all, I want to tell her to ask for help. To reach out without shame. Because her life is pretty damn sweet. She just needs someone to show her.

27 comments:

Kristin said...

The first 6 months of Jake's life were the loneliest I have ever experienced... I had no faith in myself and I was scared of how deep my feelings were for this little person... I was sure I was ruining him a million times a day.

Now, I look at him... this handsome and smart and polite (and yes, obnoxious pain in the arse) 10 year old and I think, damn, he's great... I did good!

KK said...

I am immediately sending my friend michelle to read this post. She is having a rough time right now, and I guarantee this will save her. Thank you.

Tanya said...

I think that if I had known about blogs when I was a new mom I would not have had PPD. Most of my problem was typical new mom worry and doubt.

Fabulous post - thank you!

Anonymous said...

How long does it take for these feelings to pass?
My son is 4 1/2 and sometimes it's great, but mostly it's really rough.

~T said...

You described one of my days (including the target shopping), except I was in a fit of sobs on the kitchen floor. Glad those days have past.

Janet a.k.a. "Wonder Mom" said...

Damnit I'm crying again. I have to STOP coming here when I'm PMSing.

I've been there. I wish I knew you back then, we could have shared stories...and made each other feel normal.

Jennifer said...

What a great post...with a terrific, hopeful ending.

Butrfly4404 said...

((HUGS!!))

That was beautifully and painfully honest, dear.

There are so many things in our lives that we can look back on and say, "You know, if only I'd known this, everything would have been so much easier!" But the fact of the matter is that is what growing up is all about - learning from your "mistakes"...teaching yourself how to get through the hard times so the next time you go through a rough patch, you'll know what to do.

PPD is SO common - SO many women get it - yet they all feel SO alone. It's very ironic and I hope your post helped someone!

A said...

Sniff, sniff.

I know. I think the whole first year was so hard. Now as I look back, I wish someone would've told me it really was that difficult, and it's OK to feel that way. Now my daughter is almost ready to head to kindergarten, and I just can't believe it. Time does fly. But we live & learn. I'm so thankful there are blogs that show the real side of motherhood. Thanks for sharing Lena.

Ash said...

Poi-fectly said.

mamatulip said...

I'm glad you got through that time in your life; that you can look back now and see how much better it's gotten.

ali said...

i feel like we moms are all lucky to have the internet...it has allowed me to discover that i wasn't the only mother in the world who at times felt like a failure and who at times cried buckets while holding a tiny baby. we've all been there. and now we all know!!

great post!

chirky said...

When I have children, I'm coming back and reading this entry. I may need the reminder.

Lena said...

Kristin is right - it is ALL about a total lack of confidence. Combine that with hormones, lack of sleep, and a bleeding va-jay-jay and you've got yourself the perfect storm!

I too wish I'd known about blogs then.

Bobealia... said...

I think I'm going to get a dog instead.

Mrs. Chicky said...

Can I hug you for this? For real? Since it was only about a year ago for me I still remember that feeling too well. I still feel it from time to time.

But Target saves me from myself. :)

Oh, The Joys said...

You promise?

Taryn said...

I could have written this post today. Thank you!

Brillig said...

Perfect. Thanks for this. I STILL have those days. My oldest is 5, but my youngest is 7 months, and sometimes I still feel like I'm ruining them all.

You say that you wish that you could go back and hug yourself and tell yourself that you were doing a great job. Well, of course, you can't. But you were able to give ME a cyberhug and tell ME that I'm doing a great job and I'm really grateful for it.

Kateastrophe said...

I think it's so great that you are willing to put yourself out there and talk about some of the trials that you went through as a new mom. It gives me hope for when I have children that, no matter what I think, I will never be alone!

rachel said...

I'm with the last commenter. I don't have kids yet and came here from mamapop. But reading your raw honesty really makes me feel like I can get through what I know I will face when my dh and I finally go for it.

Lei said...

Gosh... I think this is my first time here. ANd this post! Oh. Beautiful and touching and I am sure REALLY rings true for so many of us. We can all relate in some way. Thank you, thank you for sharing!

Mom101 said...

While you can't reach back and tell it to yourself, you can reach forward and tell it to others. Which I think you just did. This is beautiful.

PDX Mama said...

Just beautiful. I remember feeling much of that with my first.

I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who made frequent Target trips (still do!).

Laural Dawn said...

Wow. I was her too (and still am sometimes). That was beautiful.

Lisa said...

Oh yeah. Remember that feeling.

THis is a wonderful post.

Mommy Machiatto said...

Read this and bawled. I see that in many pictures looking back.


 photo copyright.jpg
envye template.