Can you guys believe Kennedy is 14 weeks old!? I for one, can’t believe it. I wanted to just touch base with you guys, write out my thoughts on motherhood and so on and so forth. What a crazy couple of months it has been, I can barely wrap my head around it myself. But I really want to document my feelings because I know I’ll want to look back on this phase and remember it one day!
What a blessing it has been to watch Kennedy grow over the past three months. I can literally see the wheels turning in that little brain of hers as she learns new skills and seems to grow bigger every day! She smiles and coos to herself all day long… and she reserves the biggest smiles just for me (again, my heart could burst!). She’s a very vocal and happy baby. She likes to have conversations where we “talk” back and forth, and she enjoys being held while we dance to music. Last week, she learned how to grab fistfuls of mama’s hair, and this week she’s started to reach for toys in front of her. She loves for someone to help her stand, but still dislikes tummy time (although we make her practice every day). Her head control is getting better, and I can’t wait for the day when she can sit up on her own! We are starting to see her little personality shine through – or should I say big personality? I have a feeling this little girl is going to be a force of nature! She certainly doesn’t like to miss out on much (which makes getting to her to fall asleep a huge struggle, haha!).
While I love Kennedy with all of my heart and more, motherhood has not been the easiest transition for me. Everyone tells you motherhood is hard, but it’s completely different experiencing it yourself. The easy part is loving your baby… it’s everything else that is so hard: dealing with your postpartum body, managing relationships, navigating your new role as a mom, etc. It’s so strange, because in many ways I still feel like “me,” but in many ways I do not. Sometimes I don’t even know who I am anymore. But to be completely honest, the hardest part for me is not any of that – it’s the sleep deprivation. If Kennedy sleeps well at night, then I can handle the next day. But when she doesn’t… let’s just say, there is a reason that people use sleep deprivation as a form of torture! There are days when I’m so tired, I feel like I could die. I can’t even drag myself out of bed to pour myself a cup of coffee… I barely feel human. My friends have reassured me that this phase is short-lived and we will sleep again, but it doesn’t feel like it in the moment. The other thing that I’ve really struggled with is anxiety over Kennedy’s health. She is perfectly healthy, yet I find myself Googling things like “why is my baby drooling so much?,” or “my baby won’t stop crying” and then finding a zillion reasons to worry about her. You guys know that I have struggled with anxiety in the past, and motherhood has “unlocked” that side of me that I had finally gotten under control. I don’t mean to be so negative, but I do want to keep it real with you guys. Motherhood is hard, and all of you mamas out there are rockstars.
While it is the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life, it’s also the best thing that’s ever happened to me. My daughter is the best thing that’s ever happened to me. For the first time in my life, I truly, truly understand the meaning of unconditional love. It is a love so deep, so great, my heart feels like it can’t hold it all. Like it will burst into a million little pieces. There have been quite a few times that I heard God whisper in my ear, “Caitlin, now you understand how I feel about you!” (It’s true… it’s how He feels about all of us!) And without a doubt, motherhood has strengthened my relationship with God. I want so badly for Kennedy to grow up knowing Him, too.
To sum up motherhood: it’s constantly feeling hundreds of intense, conflicting emotions all at the same time. Most of the time I absolutely love being a mom, but there are other times when I feel sad and grieve my carefree life pre-baby. I love my job, but I resent that it takes me away from Kennedy. I love watching Chris as a father, but I also miss the relationship we had before baby. I love the newborn stage, and yet can’t wait for it to be over and the next stage to be here. I feel all of these emotions, all the time, and they change moment to moment. And you know what? It’s okay. I’m figuring it out.
I’ll leave you with this poem from the Jessica Urlichs. It makes me cry every time I read it!
I can’t see past you right now, I’m so small and everything’s a little blurry.
All I see is you.
When you feel alone, like the walls are closing in, remember I’m here too. I know your world has changed and the days feel a little lonely. But they aren’t lonely for me.
You are my everything.
When you feel like you don’t know what you’re doing, you’re making it look easy to me. Even though we’re still getting to know each other, you know me better than anyone.
I trust you.
When you think some nights you’ll never sleep again, you will. We both will. But I’m scared right now. I promise I’m not manipulating you. I just need your smell and comfort. Do you feel that tug in your heart when we’re apart? I do too.
I miss you.
When you feel as if you’ve achieved nothing, please know, my cup has never been so full. The days that get away on you will be some of my best memories of us playing together on the ground.
I love you.
When you feel like you don’t know who you are anymore, when you turn away from the mirror. That face will be the one I look to when I achieve something, the one I search for in a crowd. The reason for my first smile.
You’re perfect to me.
When you feel like the weight of it all is heavy in your heart, please know I’ve never felt lighter. Can I lay here with you a little longer? I won’t always need you like this.
But I need you right now.
When you feel as if you have nothing left to give, when I see your hands outstretched at me, pleading. When we’re both crying. I wish I could talk, but I can’t. If I could I would tell you,
There’s a reason I chose you.
I can’t see past you right now mama, because you are my world. It will get bigger, soon enough.
But for now,
All I see is you.“