This letter might come to a shock to you. By the time you are old enough to read and understand this, you will probably be grown and expecting a baby yourself. In truth, you won’t really care about anything baby related until that time of your life. But, it’s important to me to write this to you for the hopes that maybe you can understand what the mother of your child may go through.
First you need to know that I love you so much. You are the one that gave me the title “Mom” and for that I thank you. I also need you to understand that becoming and being a Mom is not an easy thing. As a man, it may be something you may never understand but I hope to help you a little as you begin the journey yourself. There are some things I want to tell you to help your significant other and ultimately, you as well.
Looking back on April 3, it was one of the happiest days of my life. I remember looking at you through your clear bassinet beside my bed and feeling like I was ready to bust from happiness. As your father slept peacefully that first night, I stayed awake staring in awe at how beautiful you were.
Things were blissfully happy for the first few days. I had a huge smile on my face pretty much 24/7! The only time that a tear streamed down my face for the first few days was the day that you were born. Then, something changed.
I think it all began a few days before your Dad went back to work. The thought of our little newborn baby honeymoon being over would instantly cause me to break out into a cry. Then after that, I would cry at anything and everything. I remember one time your Dad and I were loading you into the car to go somewhere. I went to shut the door and your Dad kindly suggested that I should close the door more quietly. In a millisecond I was crying and your Dad felt bad. But he really didn’t do anything and yet I felt like I was a failure. Like I was doing it all wrong. I was upset with myself for not thinking to close the car door more softly.
For almost 3 days straight I cried non-stop. I think your Dad was getting a little worried and so when the CLSC nurse came to weigh you he mentioned it to her when she asked how I was feeling. Again, I broke out into a cry right in front of the nurse. She quickly wrote down my emotional state and I could tell by the look in her eyes that she was worried.
The next visit with the nurse she asked me how I was feeling. I had a hard time saying “oh, good” without a few tears coming to my eyes. She asked me some strange questions that day. She asked me if I felt like hurting myself or you. She asked if I was able to eat and if I was feeding you. She asked if I was feeling resentment towards you.
I had to walk away from her and I am surprised I made it across the room safely as I couldn’t see through the tears.
I knew how it looked. Of course someone would be worried about a child when the mother seemed so over-emotional. I instantly felt guilty for how I was feeling and acting. Your father started watching me with worry thinking that I was going to hurt you like the nurse suggested which made me resent him for that thought even crossing his mind. I was confused as to why they didn’t trust me because I knew how I felt and this is where I want to be clear with you….I never once, for one second ever felt like hurting you or myself.
I started to become so hard on myself for the fact that I was so easily able to cry. I joined a Mommy group on social media and I started to read about other women in a similar situation as me. I began to dig deeper and deeper and the more I read, the more I realized what was happening is normal.
I’m not sure what I went through will happen with your significant other but I want you to be prepared. When a woman becomes a Mom her life is forever changed. Life is no longer about herself. Her life will forever revolve around her child now. Her body just did an amazing thing by growing, protecting and welcoming this baby into her life. It is a huge thing for her to go through both mentally and physically. The hormones going through her are amazing things. These hormones can help feed a child if she chooses to nurse but they can also make her emotions be all over the place. Sometimes like in my case, it can make her appear very sad.
The things that would make me cry were almost indescribable. I remember one night singing to you “You Are My Sunshine” for the first time and crying controllably. It was just that the song had a whole new meaning to me now that you were here. Everything had a whole new meaning to me now that I was a Mom for the firs time. Tears are a funny thing. Not only do they represent sadness but sometimes they can be a display of great happiness, pride and gratitude.
If you are reading this Sam it is probably because you are going to welcome a baby of your own, congratulations. Nothing will enrich your life more than having a family. If by some chance you see your wife easily crying during this new transition, don’t talk. Don’t make suggestions on how to fix her. Sometimes just listen if that is what she needs. Or sometimes she might just need a moment to herself to kiss the baby and rock him/her to help her express the love she feels. She may even need to just cry for no reason at all and that is ok. Be there with a tissue box and that is it. Let her cry without judgement or speculation and hold her if that is what she needs. Sometimes, girls just need to cry. Have you ever heard of the saying “My cup runneth over”? That is a perfect way to describe what is happening. She is so full of love, happiness, confusion, fear…you name it, she feels it and the only way to let all of those emotions out is to cry.
Know that sometimes people do feel great sadness after having a baby and that is ok too and there is help. But also know before jumping to conclusions that it may not always be the case. Keep a watchful eye on your family but also know about this emotional time I am describing. It will be a hard thing for you to sit back and watch but know that it does eventually pass. The hormones stabilize and you will have a less emotional wife again.
Son, I just want to reiterate how much I love you. I never ONCE felt resentment or sadness about you coming into my life. As you took your first breath my life was forever changed for the better and I know yours will too as you become a father.
I love you so much.
Forever your Mommy