I still remember the moment I realized that my baby is my whole heart and soul. It was only five days after my baby had come into this world, and I already felt like my life would be incomplete without him. It was a Thursday afternoon, and as I sat by the window with my little one in my arms, I saw him smile at me. He grabbed my finger with his whole hand and held on to it tightly. My heart melted instantaneously, and I knew that there was nothing more important to me than my baby boy. I thought it could be the maternal instincts kicking in or the post-pregnancy hormones taking a toll on me. I wondered how it was possible that I felt such strong feelings of love, protection, and overwhelming joy in less than a week of giving birth. It was beautifully calming and miraculous because I felt my heart open and accommodate overflowing love. But it wasn’t just I who felt this way.
It took me just another week or so to figure out that I wasn’t the only one who got so attached to my baby. He was a little mamma’s boy who didn’t want anyone else but me. He would scream out loud if I wasn’t around or even if he didn’t feel my touch for a few seconds (and by few seconds, I mean 0.3 seconds). I couldn’t bear to let him cry. Especially because I knew he was crying for me. I would feel guilty every time he bellowed because I knew that I was the reason for it.
Before I knew it, I had mastered the art of doing daily chores with my baby in my arms. Or I would carry him around the house while I got things done. Dishes, laundry, cleaning, eating, washing my face, and even brushing my teeth, were things I did while holding my baby boy. I would take less than five minutes to shower because I could hear my little one screaming loud, and I couldn’t help but blame myself. Because of my baby’s loud cries, I only stayed away from him for small intervals. I thought to myself that everything would be alright.
However, my master plan had a flaw — a big one. I started noticing that I had no time to myself and began longing for space. Even the thought of wanting space made me feel like a selfish mom. I felt like a bad mom because I wanted some time to myself and a break from constantly being with my baby. What kind of a mom does that make me?
Then one day, I broke. My baby couldn’t stop crying, and neither could I. We both wept for a while until my partner came to my rescue. He took the baby and told me to take a break. He insisted that I step away for a while, and for the first time in four months, I did. I stepped away from my baby and let my husband take care of him. I let myself out of the room, went into another room, and balled my eyes out. Everything that I had been holding on to for months came out.
After a much-needed sob session, I went back into my baby’s room only to find him fast asleep in my husband’s arms. Seeing that sight made me realize that it’s okay to take a break from my baby. I realized that I need to take some time for myself to help me feel refreshed. It helps to create a positive space for a better and healthier connection with my baby.
If you’re a new mom who feels like you’re drowning, know that it’ll get better. Don’t beat yourself up if you want to take a break from your baby every now and then. It doesn’t make you any less of a mom. In fact, it makes you a better mother and a happier one, and that’s what we want to be for our children!