I knew being a mom wasn’t going to be easy. I looked forward to having a child to bond with, to nurture and love, but I prepared myself for the paramount responsibility of having a child – a child whose needs would come before mine and who would be dependent on me for a long time. A child who would need me, all of me, all of the time. Although Julia came as a surprise at first, by the end of my pregnancy I was ready for the responsibility – the early mornings and late-night feedings, the inevitable worrying that comes with raising a child, the diaper changes and the demands – physical, emotional and mental – that I knew would be made of me. I was ready for it all.
And yet, as ready as I was to be a mother, I didn’t think it would be this hard to stay true to myself. After Julia was born I was hit by exhaustion, the kind of exhaustion that creeps into your bones and settles in for a good long while. I had absolutely no idea just how tiring it would be, nor did I realize that the feeling of complete and utter exhaustion doesn’t go away; instead, it’s something that you get used to after a while and learn to live with. I was too tired to stay in touch with myself, the person I was before I became a mother.