May 29, 2013

Why I Don't Regret Having Post-Partum Depression

If hating motherhood is the new black then I'm wearing a purple unicorn shirt with pink rhinestone pants and lime green glitter high tops.
Perhaps I should duck when I say this, but I'm really enjoying the two year old phase. I'm always afraid to say things like that though. Like somehow not being miserable in motherhood is going to get me booted out of the club or something, like people are going to think either A) what a smug bitch or B) she's got it comin' one day.
This pink glitter pant wearing bliss has not come easily to me. It was hard fought and dearly won.

If you want to know a secret, I wasn't always sure I loved my child. I wasn't always sure that I even wanted my child. I hated motherhood. I don't say that as hyperbole, either. I loathed motherhood. That's a struggle I may always always live with. The tiny cross body bag of emotional baggage I may never be able to let go: that for at least the first three months of my daughter's life I didn't want to be in hers.

I don't regret it though. I'll never regret it, and although I will do everything within my power to prevent it a second time I wouldn't change a thing.

We've all heard it said that you can never really appreciate what you have until you've had to live without it. I'm not saying that I appreciate my kid anymore than you or you or you or even, you do. I'm saying that I appreciate my child and motherhood more than I ever could have without it, because I know what it feels like to not feel and to want to feel desperately. I know what it is to be dying of thirst, staring at the well surrounded by the normal, sane mothers and to want nothing more than a drink of cool water.  In this crazy time of toddler hood when I never know what the next day, or hell even minute, will bring I love motherhood. Even when I am tired, frustrated and wading through temper tantrums I am always amazed by the depth of love I feel. I love motherhood because I didn't always, and each time I realize how very much I love being a mother is like a discovery to me. I drink deeply from the well because I was so thirsty for so long.

In the frustrated flustered rush of the morning my daughter reaches up for my hand to step out the door, looks up at me and says the most earnest funny thing. In that moment love explodes like liquid sunshine bursting bright shiny gold through my heart. A revelation. A promise. A gift. A perfect hope.

She is mine, and I am hers; and beneath the blouse I wear to work you can see the tip of glittery unicorn horn sticking out.
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