I “fake it till I make it” a lot. It’s a survival technique that has served me well in motherhood. My boys get the love, patience, attention, care, and laughter that they need, and I get extra time to get there. And that’s ok.
The first thing that I faked as a momma was that swoon-worthy feeling that some moms say they have the moment they first meet their little one.
I did not fall in love with big brother right away. In fact, I’d even say that I didn’t fall in love with him for a while. It took weeks for me to really feel attached to him.
Big brother was an ‘easy baby’. He ate well and slept through the night, but I was still exhausted.
We’d had a tough nine months leading up to big brother’s arrival, and the effects of that weighed on me long after he was born. I had post partum anxiety that I was unaware of. Babies are a ton of work. I didn’t know what loving my baby was supposed to feel like. My body was healing from a c section, and I was in pain when I held my baby. I didn’t feel the way I thought new moms felt about their babies, but I faked it really hard. No one can know that I’m not a natural mother! Ever!
Not loving your newborn is not an option. Actively loving them is physically caring for them, and a newborn must be cared for. I didn’t feel the love, but I did it, and eventually (after a while and meds and counseling) the feeling followed.
I realize now that tons of mother’s don’t feel massively affectionate toward their newborns. Tons of moms have to take time to bond with their tiny strangers. Love is a choice. The feeling is irrelevant, though it makes the choice a LOT easier.
Other things that I have faked as a momma (get ready for this…):
I don’t clean my house that often. If it was clean when you visited it’s because I anxiety cleaned right before you got here.
I sleep as late as I can! That makeup that you saw me wearing was a three times a month thing that happened in the parking lot.
Homemade food only happens for people other than my family. I only pull out my recipe box for the five or six functions that I have to cook for every year. I know you think I’m a fantastic cook and my family is ‘so lucky’, but they eat ready rice, smoked sausage, and frozen veggies when I cook for them.
My kids don’t get bathed everyday. Their fingernails aren’t dirty because we played outside really hard before coming to church. It’s leftover from last night. That fresh smell in their hair isn’t shampoo, it’s baby wipe residue…because what’s the point of bathing a three year old boy every day? He has eczema, it dries out his skin. And he’s just going to get super dirty again today.
I am not patient. My kids drive me bonkers sometimes. Sometimes I raise my voice. You don’t see that though, because I fake it when you’re around. I fake it a lot at home too! I walk away and be impatient with them somewhere else. That way they don’t see my freak out, and I get to pretend like I deserve a patience award.
I fake a lot as a momma. I consider myself an open book. I’m fairly honest about my faking it, but I don’t walk around openly being the mess that I am.
I don’t think I’m the only mom who does this! Actually, I know I’m not!
New moms, a lot of it is a mirage. Your perception of other moms is a mixture of what they’re allowing you to see and what you’re choosing to see. It’s likely very inaccurate! I’d encourage you to really get to know some other mommas. You’ll see that we’re all doing the best that we can to get through each day with happy, cared for children. It’s not always fun, and it’s rarely easy!
Thanks for reading! Feel free to comment below. I’d love to know if you’ve ever faked it too.