Brady babbles happily in his crib, staring up at the sea creatures on his mobile and wildly kicking his feet. When he sees me come into the room, a huge, toothless smile forms on his face, showing off his one dimple that he got from me. He calls out to me in a screech, almost as if to say “I love you mom!”
And it breaks my heart like a crack in an eggshell, because I wish I could be as happy as he is.
It’s not that I don’t love being a mother. It’s not that I don’t find what I’m doing rewarding, or fulfilling or worthwhile. Staying home and taking care of Brady is what I want to be doing, and I’m blessed enough to have an opportunity to do it… but then, why do I feel so lonely and sad and unmotivated?
I’ve postponed my career, put a strain on my marriage, and lost touch with a lot of my friends since having Brady. Not that those things are his fault. But as the months go on, I find myself growing more and more apathetic about everything that isn’t Brady. There is a painful emptiness that I can’t seem to deal with- and it makes me feel awful.
What kind of mother cries in front of her baby?
What kind of mother looks at her child and doesn’t feel complete and total wonder or joy at the life she has brought into the world?
What kind of mother blames her kid for things he can’t possibly help or understand?
And I’m so ashamed and hurt by the fact that I do. My life outside of Brady has become void, listless, unimportant. How do I talk about how I feel? Husbands shrug and tell you to get over it. Friends listen sympathetically but don’t understand. I would never hurt him or neglect Brady, but I seem to be hurting and neglecting myself- and what kind of mother does that for her kids to watch? I want to force myself to move on from the dark shadows I feel I’m constantly casting. How?
I’m trying to do something worthwhile every day. Something to prove to Brady, and myself, that I am more than a shade of vacancy.
Is being a mom supposed to be this hard?