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For my little girl—I’m so blessed I get to be a part of her world.

My life changed in a minute. She came into this world so perfect and innocent. I heard her cry and then they handed her over. I held her in my arms and thought I would know her. I longed for that feeling, like I finally felt whole.

But the longer I held her, the bigger the hole grew in my soul.

It wasn’t long after, in a room full of people, I felt so alone. Motherhood can be evil. I just wanted to go home.

I wasn’t myself, but who was I supposed to be?

Asking for help wasn’t easy for me. Soon I became the one who was being avoided, who cried about nothing, always complaining, instead of enjoying the moment. People were quick to tell me their opinion. I didn’t need it, I just needed to be understood and forgiven. I felt I was failing before I began. Having no connection to the baby I created was not in my birth plan. Becoming a mother was my cruelest lesson. Not only was it hard, it was textbook.

Silently, I was begging for someone to see that all I really needed was for them to accept me. This isn’t who I am, this is the disease. I knew I was broken but I couldn’t fix myself. My friends didn’t visit, maybe they didn’t know how to help. I was sorry for crying, the tears wouldn’t stop. I just needed a hug and for everyone to shut up.

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Life with a baby was not what I thought. Barely surviving wasn’t something I’d been taught. Most days it felt like I couldn’t breathe, I just wanted to go, I wanted to leave. When I looked in the mirror, I hated what I’d see. It was someone’s mother staring back at me.

I was reminded over and over it’s a love like no other, so why couldn’t I feel like I was someone’s mother? It just wasn’t fair. It didn’t feel real, a beautiful baby stuck with me. I just couldn’t be who she needed me to be.

“In a world full of perfect ones, I’m sorry you got me as your mom. This isn’t where you belong.” These are the words I would say, more often than I’ll admit. Her life would be so much better without me in it, I thought.

Then her little hand wrapped around my finger.

My tears stopped and the hole in my soul stopped getting bigger. This feeling was new, it was like no other. For the first time ever, I felt like her mother. The weight lifted and I could finally feel the gift I was given. I held her closer, she rested on my shoulder. My war with myself was finally over. This moment in time, I’ll never forget. It was one I’d never felt before and my favorite one yet. I looked into the mirror and finally, I could see—my little girl knew I needed her more than she needed me.

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I wish it could’ve been sooner that my heart had known I was more than a mom, I had literally been someone’s home. My skin was her skin, my blood was her blood. I wish someone had told me, but nobody would. I’m more than a mom, I am her world. If only I could’ve seen myself through the eyes of my girl.

If you’re planning your birth, know your journey is yours, and you deserve to be there. But if at first you don’t recognize the face you’ve made, that’s normal and everything’s going to be OK. We all struggle, some not as loud as the others. But you need to remember you are more than just someone’s mother.

When nights are long and you feel anger inside, or you just want to sleep and the guilt floods from your eyes; when the baby is screaming and you just want to run—remember there’s no one else they’d rather have as their mom.

When you question whether you’re doing it wrong, you probably are but there’s nowhere else on earth they’d want to belong. If only you could see yourself through the eyes of your child, you’d know there’s nothing more important to them than seeing you smile.

Originally published on the author’s blog

Maree Reams

Maree Reams has just begun writing with a love for poetry, true stories and all things motherhood related. 

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