How am I doing 3 months postpartum?  Overall, great!  But I also have challenges.  Here are some of my thoughts and feelings I’d like to share.

Honestly, I don’t feel that different after having a baby.  I seem to be missing the whole “Wow, my life has changed so much and now I truly know what life is about!” or the “OMG what have I gotten myself into?”  How I feel largely depends on the day!  The biggest challenge for me is when I’m not at my best, having to put on a happy face anyway – I’ve always been pretty transparent about emotions – because I want Catherine to always see a twinkle in my eye, no matter what.  This is huge motivation for me to do what I need to do to be healthy and happy so I can be a strong momma for her.  When I’m having a bad moment, it truly breaks my heart when I can’t muster up the heart for an enthusiastic smile for her.  So I can’t imagine how people who have children under very difficult circumstances such as poverty, a bad marriage, or illness cope.

The other thing I can say is thank goodness for naps, and moms with babies who aren’t nappers deserve a salute.  Naps are when mommies recharge for the next round of play.  Catherine has days when she doesn’t want to nap, and today is one of those days – this week, actually. So with this experience fresh on my mind – not yet forgotten after a sweet smile from her – I can honestly say that as I rush around trying to get one thing done and she constantly wakes up the second I put her down, there are days when you don’t just wish she’d take a nap – you just wish she’d take a *$@-ing nap!

In general, I have enough energy and I don’t mind that Catherine keeps me on my toes.  In fact, I like it.  I like playing with her, changing her diaper, feeding her, and rocking her to sleep all while attempting to prepare dinner and apply mascara.  There’s not much difference between this and work, except I’m taking care of my daughter instead of some client’s efforts to sell more of a product (I ask you – which matters more???). Our days are busy and have moments of monotony but mostly they are fun and I definitely fall more and more in love with her every day.  I easily love her way more than I love myself.  Not even a question.  But there are times, like this week, when I’ve started to wonder about my own hopes and dreams.  As busy as I am with Catherine, will I ever publish a novel, move to that quaint seaside town, and basically live the complete life I envisioned for myself?  I think I can, but the early days are for adjusting and I’ll have to come up with a frame of mind and a strategy if I ever hope to see those kinds of dreams become a reality.  I think that’s where a partner can come in.  When you’re not alone in your dreams but have a partner who shares your vision and can help you work towards it, it’s easier to imagine those dreams coming true.

Other than those worries that crop up occasionally as a result of major, permanent life changes, things are good.  Nothing like people said.  People are so different, so every person’s experience with motherhood will be different.  I find being a mommy to Catherine comes naturally.  But it isn’t without its “days” as I’ve expressed to you above.

The feelings I have are all because I love her. I love her so much that I feel an enormous pressure to do everything right – for her.  So I guess what I’m trying to say is, it isn’t the daily tasks that come with caring for a baby that have shocked me – it is the more long-term implications of having a baby.  How I’m living my life for someone else in a way, not just myself.  That’s a big deal!