Mom Envy and Other Moms
I’ve had a hard time relating to other moms and don’t feel like I have much in common with them. I’ve seen happy pregnant women, joyful moms who don’t seem to have a care in the world at play dates, and I’ve listened to them tell stories about their baby’s newest achievements. All the while I sit in silence because I feel like I have nothing to contribute. I haven’t had it easy with my first child because he was born with a Congenital Heart Defect. At five days old my son had a stroke, at seven days old he had open heart surgery, at 13 months old he had surgery again, and we were just told he’ll have another surgery before the end of the year. So much time has been spent worrying if my child will live or die that I haven’t had the ability at time to enjoy the simple joys of motherhood.
A Happy Surprise Turns to Fear
For the first 20 weeks of that pregnancy I was overjoyed with the anticipation of our baby. The second half of my pregnancy was filled with sorrow because we didn’t know if we’d ever get to bring our baby home. My days were spent at home where eating my feelings, to the tune of over 100 pounds (gained in just nine months). I avoided going out in public because I hated making small talk with people about my pregnancy. Most of the time I sat in the nursery crying and praying he’d make it through. But our boy overcame so many obstacles in the first month of his life. We were some of the lucky ones and he got to come home.
My Worries are the Same
Does my baby eat enough? Sleep enough? When will he rollover? Why hasn’t he sat up yet? The only difference is that my son has medical issues that affect every milestone. I’m grateful that there are early intervention programs to help my son and our family learn how to support his growth. These programs are a blessing and keep us busy with in-home teachers, physical therapy, and specialized playgroups. My son meets his milestones now. If you met him today you’d have no idea that he has a major medical condition.
Am I Selfish to Want More?
I’m terrified to have more children. I worry adding another child will take time and attention away from the child I already have, the one I already invested so much into to ensure that he succeeds. I worry that our second child will have medical needs, going through surgeries and countless appointments all over again. Mostly I worry that I’m being selfish for wanting more than what I already have.
We All Want the Same Things
I’ve spent so much time focusing on the things I don’t have in common with other moms, that I overlooked what we do have in common. Becoming a new mother is challenging for all of us, with or without medical problems. We all worry about the same things, even if it’s for different reasons. We all wonder if we’re making the right decisions and doing what’s best for our children. In the end, I’ve discovered that I have a lot more in common with other moms than I thought.