Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Lessons, Part 1

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.


  1. thats some great lessons for everyone...

  2. Hey, I felt the same way after I had my first child. I think isolated would describe the feeling best. As a word of encouragement, today I turned 61 and I could not love my life more! I worked hard for 33 years between raising two wonderful children and working full time at what most people would consider a difficult job. Now I am retired and have time to volunteer and spend time with friends. I think its a season of your life that you can look forward to! BLessings, Mary

  3. Good for you for sharing honestly rather than just hiding this time you went through. And I love how you worked through this trial by reminding yourself of the Gospel...always hope there.

  4. Thank you for the kind words. I DO look forward to the seasons ahead. Sometimes these thoughts come out of nowhere and (unfortunately?) as women we can be vulnerable.

    Stephanie, you may or may not face similar struggles. Know that the Lord cares for you. I suppose one of the things I meant in my post was that it would be hard to get through WITHOUT the Gospel...I just can't imagine!

  5. You describe that set of feelings so well! For me these came with marriage, actually....and then again as Aidan's HS graduation approached. My feelings then were along the lines of - if I'm not a mother, what good am I in the world? Something like that. t It resulted, at that time in a full-fledged panic attack. The coincidence is that at the same time our brilliant, new, newly-ordained priest was going through the SAME THING. I have not heard too much discussion of the emotional peril of milestones....but it seems like a pattern.

    These feelings are based in fear and do all have spiritual answers.

    1. Oh yes, I can definitely see that. I think mine was, "If I'm not a GOOD mother/wife, what good am I?" If my ONLY tasks are to make husband/baby happy and I can't even do THAT, then what am I good for? But that relates more to the second lesson. I think I have the milestone anxiety AFTER the event, once I start seeing how expectations measure up.


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