I will be returning to work next Monday. So this Friday marks the end of my 4 month maternity leave. Just when I have started to get into the groove of things, when I am more confident, when I am truly enjoying motherhood. As I prepare myself to return to work, I have also been reflecting on the past 4 months.
I experienced the highest and lowest points in my life during the past four months. The joy I felt when I held Aly in my arms was soon replaced by insecurities, sometimes anger, other times bitterness and a whole load of other negative emotions. I was happy to have Aly with me but I was too tired and too worried (about many random things, blame it on those hormones) to enjoy her arrival. The first month was honestly a nightmare for me and was nothing like what I imagined life after baby would be. I doubted myself, doubted the foundation of our family, doubted my ability to be a good mum and hated myself for the mean, negative person I was morphing into. I think I had never felt more alone. The only times I was happy were the times I nursed Aly and as I watched her sleep. Those moments kept me sane. And I kept telling myself, these dark days would pass.
Then bit by bit, I found myself again. I can’t quite explain this in words but I really had to make an effort to pull myself out of my depressive state. It wasn’t like things started getting better on their own (as a matter of course). It was really a conscious effort to be happy. I started to let go of those bitter feelings and insecurities and that allowed me to start enjoying motherhood. I went out more, spent a lot of time with my mum, read, learnt how to take power naps and multi task efficiently. I grew more confident of myself, both a mother and as an individual. I found an inner strength that I never knew I had, that has been helping me to stay happy and sane despite the fatigue and sleep deprivation, that has given me the patience to care for a fussy baby 24/7, that has allowed me to be more affirmative in my parenting style. And even though I’m still in the process of learning and finding my way, I think I have become a happier, stronger and more confident person.
The past month especially, has been great. I have been enjoying all my time spent with Aly. I find immense joy in reading to her, carrying her in my arms, having “conversations” with her, bathing her, nursing her…I also feel that ys and I have grown as a couple, as we take on heavier responsibilities as Aly’s parents. We work well as a team and I am glad we have each other on this tough but fulfilling parenting journey.
Let’s just say even though i feel like i have aged by ten years, I am now at a point where I am happy and contented, and thankful that I have grown into the woman I now am.