It lives with me in ways I did not think possible. The three days leading up to the birth of my son were the worst days of my life. Even writing that makes me feel numb. For those of us that experience anxiety and haven't necessarily found ways or ears to work through these moments, it feels as if our own hands are pushing us over the edge. The uncontrollable worrying and incessant pressure (sometimes we do not even know the source) lays with us at night and shadows us throughout the day. It's paralyzing and crippling and almost every new mother I know, shares this ache with me.
You predict the myriad of ways the bookshelf will topple over and surely crush you and your child while you walk across the room or how thinking about your maiden life guilts you into wondering perhaps you weren't ready after all. But then you quickly shush the flashbacks and remember that this is what you wanted and this is where you want to be. You fell in beautiful, sweet, sweet love and now that love is what's pushing you both to become more for each other and the little guy.
I wonder, how much of this is hormonal? How much of this is raising a baby without a village? How much of this is a "rite of passage" of sorts so that you really don't fuck up your child's life? How much of this is actually ours and how much of this is society's?
Becoming a mom has multiplied me beautifully, tenfold. But becoming a mom has also made me reckon with parts of myself I never thought I'd welcome or develop. And in some ways, I'm loving it. I remember how much I cried during the early days of my son's arrival. The tears washed me and came from different sources and what I most remember was how overall, they made me feel alive. I was SO incredibly human. Nothing I have ever experienced before made me see what exactly I was made of. I grew him within me and now sustained him through me. It really is too much.
Fear and guilt ride close and are like evil twin sisters sitting across each shoulder. Thankfully, I've got tons of mirrors throughout my home to let me see how I am my own inspiration and that this, is just part of the territory, not necessarily the path.