Posted in Motherhood, Parenting

Standing On The Outside

Had you asked me whether I was prepared to have a baby 4 months back, when I was seven months pregnant, I would’ve answered “Yes” without missing a heartbeat.

If you were to ask me now, I would say that I don’t deserve to have a baby.

I was all that into the vital stats of a baby – the APGAR score, what color should his poo be if he wasn’t getting enough milk, how many times should I change his diaper, how to burp a baby – I read all the pregnancy books there are from front cover to the back credits.

What none of the books tell me was, what to expect after I have a baby.

Now, all I feel was like an absurdly incompetent person whose inadequacy is measured by how loud my baby cries or how often my mother scoff and scuffle into the room, taking the baby away from me as soon as he cries a little above the normal human decibel’s tolerance.

I want to be there all the time when Eros needs me but I also want to be alone, a little time for me, like I used to. I want to hold him, telling him everything is okay while I too want to be hold and be told that everything will work out fine, both for my baby and me.

It has been 68days since Eros is born and still, I feel like a stranger, standing on the outside looking in. Everyone around me is doing something that pleases Eros, with Mohen topping the list. Eros, who was the previous minute crying hysterically to the point of mania will cooed and chuckle once in Mohen’s arm. I don’t hold any resentment towards him because at least Eros stops crying and it won’t cause him sore throat and a trip to the doctor, but it makes me feel like, well, an outsider.

How can I not know how to console this baby, this little creature that played soccer with my liver and perform somersaults in my belly for 9months,36weeks,280days,67

20hours? Strangely, every time I look at Eros, I feel like he was more familiar in his monthly black and white sonogram printout than he is in my arms.

I didn’t know that having a baby managed to make me feel like crap most of the time.

I feel angry when I don’t know what to do when Eros cries. I feel angry with myself for being angry. I cry because I feel dumb,numb and hopeless as though I have been pushed to very end of my existence. I cry because I cry. I feel like screaming at the top of my lungs but my throat feels tight, my ribs grip my lungs and yet my chest feels like exploding.

When I get away from Eros because he cries and cries and cries when I try to do something, I feel an incredible sense of loss and guilt. As though I shouldn’t be away from him, as though I should stay right next to him and simply hear him cry or endure his kicks and punches if I try to pick him up. I want to be away because I don’t know what to do and I’m afraid that if I let my anger get to me, Eros might be the one there to receive the blow and I would never forgive myself if anything were to ever happen to him.

Do I ought to feel ashamed for wanting to be away from my own baby? Ought harangue myself for not feeling happy by having a baby? Why there is that insistent little voice somewhere inside me that digs at my conscience telling me that I should know how to be a mother by now? Why didn’t I know that I would be feeling this way when I was pregnant?

Can’t a mother, a new mother especially, be happy and sad with her baby all at once? Can’t she be filled with this unspeakable feeling of blessed and be overwhelmed with a sense of bounded at the same time? Why can’t I cry and laugh at myself and still be strong to grit my teeth to face another day tomorrow of the baby’s crying and the day after and the day after that and the day after that day? Can’t I feel like I want to be taken care of too as well? Whose needs are more important and why do I feel like we are as if 2 worlds colliding, with each of us competing for attention?

I don’t know whether I can do this at all or not.

This is not the scared shitless feeling I was anticipating because I am not scared by having Eros with me.

I feel hopeless and a burning need to prove myself. I feel angry and inspired. I feel tormented and gifted at the same time. I feel like I’m chained to the earth with shackles yet my spirit roars to the sky at every sight of Eros.

With people surrounded me all the time, I still feel like I am fighting this battle alone, feeling like a wounded soldier that fights with all his might even though he knows he will lose the fight once he lowers his sword. I feel like I am screaming but no one even turn my way to glance.

For the first time in a very long time, I pray for God to help me get through because I am tired of being an outsider just looking in, I’m tired of being tired, I’m tired of being told I am not a good mother because my baby cries each time he is with me, I’m tired of being compared to Mohen at who is being a better parent and most of all,

I’m tired of waiting for someone to take care of me.

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Author:

A feminist mother of 3 who thinks she can write.

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