Early Parenthood Struggles
DD has been asking me very sweetly for a sibling for a while now, the same pleading that came from my husband since two years ago that I’ve been ignoring. It would be good for her to have a sibling, I guess, but I wonder if it’s the right reason to have a child. Then again, is there really such a thing as the right reason to have a child? Because most reasons to procreate are selfish ones — to want a mini version of you (or your partner) roaming the already overpopulated earth, to want them to share your values and your religion, to have someone to carry your genes.
But still I’m considering the possibility of another child, something in the past 4 years I swore I’d never do again. I tried to recall what my early motherhood days looked like, so I read old entries from my journal and they were dark. Right now I’m writing while my daughter is at school. I know in an hour she will be out, and we will hold hands and go home. She will do a kind of mischief and I will scold her, but then we will hug and smile.
If you tell me four years ago this is what our relationship would be like, I wouldn’t believe you. I had difficulty bonding with my baby, had no maternal instinct whatsoever, and was really depressed in general. Here is what I wrote back then.
September 8th, 2014
There isn’t anyone on earth to whom I can safely confide and tell the truth. Because the truth is, I’m really drained. Every day I’m faced with the reality that she’s here to stay, and that I’m responsible for her. The truth is, I’m dying for someone, anyone, to take that responsibility off my shoulder. For the first time, I wish I were back at my parents’ home, being the child.
But I cannot say that. Because to admit that your life is less than perfect would be ungrateful.
October 3rd, 2014
Why am I even lonelier now than I’ve ever been before? Why does the presence of a baby who constantly needs me only emphasize my loneliness? Why doesn’t anyone have it as hard as I do? Why do they keep having kids? Keep bragging about their kids. Why is it that they have no difficulty in loving their kids?
October 16th, 2014
I never wondered whether I’m a good mother or not. I know I am a bad one. At this point, though, I don’t care anymore. I just don’t want to become a mother anymore.
October 22nd, 2014
I don’t know how much longer I can stand this. Every day is exhausting. Every day is unbearable. It’s just so hard, and I feel so trapped.
2015 was the year my mother died, and my writings were mostly about her. I didn’t write down a single word in 2016, and only a few in 2017. 2018 was mostly about tantrums, but I also found this one:
January 22nd, 2018
Earlier tonight, DD told me she wanted to sleep alone in her room. She didn’t want me to stay with her, she only wanted her [stuffed] dolphin. I left her with a somewhat sinking feeling, but as soon as I went into my room, she came bursting in. She said she wanted to sleep with Mama. Guess my baby is still a baby after all.
I held her close as she fell asleep. Her body was warm and nice.
As for today, I’m still feeling nauseous. I hope this is just viral or bacterial infection and not pregnancy.
No I wasn’t pregnant, the IUD is doing its job very well. I have this fear that if I ever have a newborn again, I’d fall into the same dark pit. There is quote by Sylvia Plath that I could relate so well back then:
So I began to think maybe it was true that when you were married and had children it was like being brainwashed, and afterward you went about as numb as a slave in a totalitarian state.
Maybe it was because I didn’t have enough support system. It’s the phrase that has been repeated too many times, but I guess it’s true: it does take a village to raise a child.