Parenthood: Chapter 2

I have clocked in so many hours with babies in both my young and adult life, but none of it prepared me for a newborn.

I find myself fumbling in the dark, just looking for a wall to find comfort in. There have already been tears shed in the early hours of twilight due to shear exhaustion. I am not sure how much people stress the fact that a newborn wields the incredible ability to bring out the ugly in you.

Really fast.

From friends and strangers alike, I have heard the tales of sleepless nights and cranky babies. I was schooled on what parenthood would do to me physically, but not emotionally and psychologically. I have been curt on more than one occasion with Keith, felt the agitation rising in my chest whenever he needed my help to care for our son. I could get to that place so fast, I hardly had time to simmer before I said what was on my mind. 

But the scariest part has been the frustration waiting to erupt when I have hit my limit with our son. He's the worst boss we could ever get, Keith often jokes. It's true though. Always demanding, leaving us to guess what he actually wants, long hours, and most times without thanks. Disappearing into the background as he becomes the main priority and sometimes the only priority.

suddenly, i can't remember when i last brushed my teeth or took a shower or saw the sun. the days blur into one continuous loop and the house begins to feel like alcatraz. exhausted. half-starved. depleted. exploited. frustrated. abandoned. trapped. alone.

invisible.

black mother breast feeding

I am finding it easy to lose myself in motherhood, not that I am trying to or want to entirely. One day my son will find his identity apart from mine and the last thing I want to be asking myself is who am I? I am fighting to stay present, to stay connected with myself, to stay in control, but the only things I find surfacing in the two short months that we have been with our son are insecurity, selfishness, and a lack of patience, all wrapped in a warm blanket of guilt and anxiety.

I knew I would have to sacrifice, I just didn't know this much and this soon. Part of me naively wished that God would make it easier for us since it was so hard the first time. I guess he has, although I was hoping for something with training wheels.

baby crying

Losing myself to care for our son is far easier than losing our firstborn. The reminder stings and haunts me, but it is far better for my growth than the sweet honey my own selfishness tempts me with.

So I celebrate the poopy diapers, the spit ups, the moments where he is inconsolable, yet his tiny arms wrap around as much of me as he can manage because he needs me. Most days are rough. Most days I am not the best I can be for him.

But he still gives me a smile. 

 

photoography by Jesse Walsh