Ever since being pregnant, and birthing a baby, and being a mom, there’s a lot of extra hormones raging around inside my body. I cry a lot. I’ve always cried– like at the movies or on the NYC Subway. But now I cry more, and from the faintest hint of any commercial involving babies (the first time Giles successfully put Cheerios in his mouth I cried retroactively at every Cheerios commercial I’ve ever seen). When we first brought Giles home I cried every evening at 5:00 sharp. For two months.
Sometimes I am crying about more than what it appears I am crying about.
Luckily, Greg often seems to understand exactly what it is I’m really upset about. Sometimes he doesn’t know, so he asks. Sometimes he puts a bowl of cereal in front of me because he knows I am actually just hungry.
Being a mom is so complex. I am so in love, and deep parts of myself that have been waiting are coming to the surface and blooming. Being a mom is something I’ve always wanted.
But there are moments, sometimes whole days, when I feel completely overwhelmed and like my whole existence is dedicated to this tiny human and there’s none left over for me.
Sometimes I cry a lot.
Sometimes Giles smiles and my whole being melts.
Sometimes I want to ask for help and I don’t know how. Or I want so badly to figure it out for myself, do it my own way, that I just don’t want anyone’s help.
I try to take a few minutes each day to do something that makes me feel like myself. And I try to let other people help me. It’s good for Giles and me to have breaks from each other, for him to be with other people and for me to be by myself. I’ve always needed alone time and being a mom doesn’t make that go away.
I’m still navigating this. How to be a mom and be a wife and be me and be an artist and do all the things. We’ll figure it out. As a family. I think I’m doing pretty okay so far.
When I lived in Brooklyn my favorite part at the end of each day was riding the D or N train over the Manhattan bridge. In the pink twilight or pitch black that ride was magical. I like walking to work now in my current life, that I live in a small place and I can walk almost everywhere. But sometimes I miss that train– the rumbling, the anonymity, coming out of the dark tunnel onto that bridge with the lights twinkling on the water and the sky fading over the buildings.
One time on the subway I was suddenly sad and started crying. I was in college then, and had just come from a particular class that penetrated an emotional wall I didn’t quite understand. I couldn’t hold it in– these big bawling sobs were just pouring out of me. I didn’t think anyone was paying attention because crazier things than a girl crying happen on the subway all the time. After a while, a woman sitting across the car got up and walked over to me. As we pulled into a station, she handed me a packet of tissues, smiled, and got off the train. I was so stunned my crying stopped. Inside the tissues was a note.
I saved that tissue packet and note for a long time. It was one of my most human experiences.