Some surprising (to me) observations about the parenting experience…
After a baby joins the family, the mother will go through a certain emotional reaction. Of course the father has his own emotions, but all the hormones and everything are happening to the mother.
Soo…a few weeks after a baby has been born, the mother may experience the “baby blues.” For me this was a feeling of intense sadness mixed with disappointment that my status as a heroine had dwindled and that all energy now needed to be focused on the baby (just quoting my journal here).
Lots of crying. New parents may feel emotional for different reasons. What surprised me was that I began to think a lot about death. While struggling with feeling like I had been abandoned (though surrounded by loved ones 24/7), I began to think about future milestones in the baby’s life. I think partly I was trying to give myself some bright moments to look forward to.
I pictured him growing up and going to school and going off to college and getting married. But instead of thinking of these as accomplishments, I pictured myself growing older and my life coming to an end. When I was single, or even when we were first married, it felt like there was a lot of living left to do. There wasn’t really anything to mark how old I was. Age really was “just a number.”
But having a child made me think more about my mortality, in more than a wrinkles/gray hair way. Yes, that particular emotional period is over, but I’m still changed forever through this experience. When I think about the future, I have much to look forward to, but I also have to remind myself of the Gospel daily. I just can’t imagine approaching death without that hope.
I know this may sound depressing, but I wanted to share.