I obviously need to pop the cherry, brake the ice, tare down the wall - whatever - because I have writer's block and I want it gone. I've tried to produce this most awesome of awesome texts about what motherhood is for me for about five months now, and every time I try I end up with nothing but huge frustration. I am trying too hard. My expectations are too high and I am thinking waaay too much about what you guys on the other side of the screen will think. So I'll just start with putting into simple and honest words what I at this moment feel.
I feel us women, in our attempt to maintain our hard earned freedom and strength, are putting added strains and expectations upon ourselves and each other. There is such an immense pressure out there nowadays to not let life change a bit when becoming a mother. Bodies that need to be back in pre baby shape as soon as possible. Lunches that need to be lunched, dinners that need to be dined - where ever and whenever. Hobbies, events, activities, trips, dates, meetings, careers - all need to remain unaffected by the fact that one now has a baby. Because the women who do let a baby "get in the way" are considered old school, maybe boring, possibly even a bit lame and weak.
I was one of the women who thought like this, because I had no idea what having a baby is all about. I thought nothing would and/or should change. Well, of course something, but I saw myself carrying on almost exactly as before - but with a baby. What I instead found was, that I very much do know how to surprise myself... Turns out I am that annoying mother who says No to an invitation because the timing is inconvenient due to baby eat, sleep or whatever other reason. (And oh, how I've beaten myself up about that.) Turns out I am that mother who wears those sweat pants and showers twice (or once) a week. I am that mother whose weight sticks to her like glue, something I only thought happens to lazy people. (But then again, I haven't lifted a weight or broken a sweat to get back into pre baby shape, which in its turn has made me feel like I am a bad woman and wife for not trying enough or putting in the effort to look my best. (Note to self: are these the feelings and thoughts of a modern, independent woman? Sounds a bit 1950's to me...) But: my energy levels are simply not high enough to care and/or take this on right now. And I am on a mission to learn to love myself - no matter what I look like - a state I did not really think I would reach, but in fact, as late as this morning I looked myself in the mirror and actually liked the reflection of my soft baby tummy and rounded hips - because they were mine! And Grace made them!) And finally, my biggest shame: I am the furthest you can come from a "normalize breastfeeding" mother. The only place I bare my boobs is at home. (And oh, oh, oh, how I have beaten myself up about this!)
Now, knowing women, I'm sure many are happy to hear that I am not perfect. But there are also many who might think of me as being lazy and weak. Maybe even feel a bit disappointed in me, that I am allowing for this to happen. But I am. And what I've now found is that basically it has nothing to do with my baby "getting in the way". It has to do with me. With me making choices that feel best for me. With the sort of person I am. With the sort of woman the mother in me turned out to be. It's all and only about what I feel comfortable with. And after kicking myself for five months over everything and anything, I have come to the conclusion that, what does make me a strong and independent woman, what does keep my hard earned freedom unaffected, is the fact that I get to do and be however and whatever I want. So, I am hereby releaving myself of all expectations - others' and my own. And for the sake of women's rights, I hope you do the same.
PS. For those who were expecting a post about introvert mothers: post is in labour, but yet to be born.