I hope you don’t mind, I hope you don’t mind, that I put down in words,
How wonderful life is now you’re in the world
Elton John, Your Song
When my son was born this is the song I used to sing to him. Over and over.
It must have been on the radio at the time because it really stuck and became the song which defined our early days together.
I would mime the words because my voice would crack with emotion and tears prick my eyes as I said the line ‘how wonderful life is now you’re in the world’ because it truly was how I felt when I held my first baby in my arms at the age of 34.
Then I had the Baby Blues ‘crash’. I recall my husband coming home from work one day to find me sitting on the toilet seat in our bathroom, our sweet baby in my arms, and me sobbing my heart out.
And when he asked what was wrong I honestly could not tell him. Or I couldn’t find the words to tell him. Or there were just too many words to tell him.
But it was a very black moment which now sits in my memory as a marker for how motherhood can be a very lonely, frightening, overwhelming experience, no matter what your age, experience or personality.
Luckily I climbed out of that crash.
Now I have two children – one in school, one about to start this September – and I am in a whole other place.
I feel comfortable, content, confident even.
I look back on those days and wonder how I got through it all, how I functioned, how on earth we stayed married when I felt like I was this whole other person and how could I ever be expected to be the girl he married when I felt so alone and so different.
I look back on those days now and realise it was all a learning curve. The highs and the lows have made me the person I am now.
I read two posts recently from two different women who are in that dark place at the moment and wanted so much to show them that it does get better; easier; more enjoyable. It really really does.
It’s not overnight. And it may get worse before it gets better. But just knowing that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, that you will one day feel something other than despair can be enough to help spur you on.
It’s only now I am in my 40s do I feel that motherhood ‘fits’ me.
You don’t ever lose that feeling of being all at sea, you just learn to live with it.
I listened to Your Song again yesterday (this version by of all people by the actor Ewan McGregor from the movie Moulin Rouge) and it made me cry. Big tears of love and remembrance and joy and sadness as I recall those days when I too was lost and in need of something, someone, anyone, words, comfort, a hand on my back, love.