Motherhood; day 1. Image: Leslie-Gray family archive, 1998.
The boy-child was not a model baby. Although delivered full-term, he weighed barely 2.5kg at birth, and we struggled hugely in his first few months with feeding difficulties and erratic sleeping patterns.
I’m not entirely sure what I expected of motherhood, but certainly not the exhaustion, guilt, fear, loneliness and utter helplessness I experienced. I had told clients I’d probably be back to work after about eight weeks. In reality, as eight weeks became twelve, I still considered it a good day if I managed to get both the baby and I dressed and out of the house.
The post-natal depression with which I was diagnosed lasted for years. Long after the boy-child’s sleeping ceased to be a problem, I still experienced the same sick, clenched stomach if he did cry out in the night.
There is a lot I just don’t remember about my son’s first year — and I certainly wasn’t up to taking lots of photos, or keeping a “Milestones” book as many of the other new mothers I knew did.
When I think back on that time, what I do remember is the music. The soundtrack of my son’s babyhood may well be the best bit, and there are so many songs I could choose from that time.
But I’ve always loved the opening line of this song, and I think that although it isn’t about motherhood, it speaks brilliantly to the essence of a mother’s love.
Love, love is a verb
Love is a doing word
— Massive Attack, Teardrop
Sarah at Art Expedition is hosting 30 Days, 30 Songs for the month of June. You can see her latest post here.
Why not join in — as Tracy at Reflections of an Untidy Mind so brilliantly puts it “casual players welcome.”