I sit on the hospital bed as a new mother, which I became in mere seconds, to a perfectly healthy baby.

The river running down my face must mean I’m ungrateful.

“Mama, wipe away those tears.”

The congratulatory messages flood in:
You must be overwhelmed with happiness.
Enjoy every minute.

It’s not their faultI’ve said it, too. It’s what we say to new mothers, isn’t it?

“Mama, wipe away those tears.”

Look at what I have! I don’t deserve to feel sad, let’s throw that emotion in the corner with the postpartum underwear.

Nothing to see here.

“Mama, wipe away those tears.”

Why do I feel like a prisoner?

Why are these four walls closing in?

You have a roof over your headyou have a lovely home. Some people live on the street!

“Mama, wipe away those tears.”

My body feels different, it looks different.

But many women would kill for your silvery stripes, the lines of motherhood, look at what it gave you!

“Mama, wipe away those tears.”

I have a husband who steps uphe is the definition of the word father. I know some women struggle without support.

See? You have it so good!

“Mama, wipe away those tears.”

I don’t know this new me, I haven’t met her before, I’m doubting her a lot.

But you’re alive, you’re breathing, be thankful!

“Mama, wipe away those tears.”

I can’t feel sad, there’s no room for my sadness with all that’s going on.

My heart is full, but I’m running on empty, and I’m overwhelmed.

My body has broken and the pain is still in my bones.

My life has changed direction in an instant, and I just need to feel it all for a moment and cry without judgment, without question.

I stand here in the shower touching my spongy belly, and I’m alone in here for the first time in nine months, the sprays of water drown away my tears.

I know you compare others’ misfortunes against my nonexistent ones in the attempt to dam this river.

But my sadness belongs to me, it doesn’t need to be measured.

I may not understand it either.

But please, let me cry these tears

So I can feel lighter again.

So I can be the mother I am destined to be.

Without this shade of blue.

Because I am lucky.
I’m strong.

We are unbelievably strong.

Originally published on the author’s Facebook page

Jessica Urlichs

Stay at home mother to my two children Holly & Harry born a year apart. Lives in New Zealand with her husband and of course Bentleigh & Winson, my two adorable fur babies. Writing has always been my passion since a young girl, I love to connect with others on this challenging yet incredible journey of motherhood. Follow along on Facebook and Instagram.