When Being a Mom Didn’t Make Me Feel Happy

When you have kids, everything changes.  Kids bring levels of mental and physical exhaustion that you cannot imagine.  You may not feel immediate joy once kids come into your life.  Being a mom, you may even find that you are sad or angry.  We were married for seven years before we had children.  This is a long time to become comfortable with just each other and a long time for selfishness to creep in and stay.  As much as we desired children, we had gotten quite used to life without them.

So my husband and I heard the above words and advice from our married couple friends, long before we adopted our first child.  All these things that were said made sense, but really only on an intellectual level.  At worst, the words made a coherent sentence and at best, we understood, in theory, how someone could feel this way.  But we, or at least I, thought, or maybe just really hoped, that I wouldn’t experience these kinds of emotions or at the very least, would sprint through them quickly.  I wanted to be delighted with the reality of finally having children and to simply be able to push through the hard days without any dark or gloomy moods.  After all, I saw being a mom as a wonderful and unique gift given by God, so I should always be able to keep that in view and this view should be a check on my emotions, or so I thought.  Real life and real emotions, when real change is encountered, don’t work this way though.  Some days, slogging through the hard emotions of motherhood feels more like a marathon than a sprint.

We had wanted to adopt for a long time, but we never had enough money or didn’t live in the right space.  There were always reasons why it wasn’t a possibility.  This finally changed over three years ago, and we started the long, crazy, roller coaster that is the international adoption process.  As we prepared to go meet our daughter, we had dinner with a couple who had adopted from the same country.  They helped us prepare for all the practical and logistical aspects but even more important, as I realize now, they told us about the hard things we would probably think and feel.  It didn’t matter how much we wanted kids or how much we had always desired to adopt, once the reality of this child being fully and completely our responsibility occurred, we would struggle.  They shared with us their own struggles and thoughts.  Find those friends in your life, the ones who aren’t afraid to be real with you about life and themselves.  Look for friends who will tell you the harder things, the things that you’d prefer not to hear or think about because these are the very things we need to ponder.

I’ll never forget that long day, with three flights, a nine-hour time difference and a jet-lagged, exhausted and confused two-and-a-half-year-old and her parents, making the trek back home.  The day was focused on just getting through it, on surviving.  We arrived home, and all crashed around midnight and our new daughter, who didn’t sleep for 99% of that long day, woke up at five.  I remember thinking at that moment, what on earth have I done. I can’t give her back!

Ashley Wayne
Ashley Waynehttp://life-the-braille-edition.blogspot.com/
Ashley is a wife, mother and writer who happens to be totally blind. She and her sighted husband are raising two children, both adopted from eastern Europe and who are also both blind, and are expecting their third, due in late April. Ashley has had articles published on various parenting and disability related sites. She writes primarily over on Facebook, covering topics such as adoption, blindness, parenting, grief and loss and homeschooling.

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