NEW ZEALAND: What I Didn’t Expect

NEW ZEALAND: What I Didn’t Expect

When I became a mother, I expected the sleepless nights. I expected that breastfeeding might not always be fun. I expected that my body might temporarily (for ten years or so) look like a bag of laundry. I expected that I would have to be more organised than I had ever been in my life.

I did not expect the emotional intensity of mothering. I had no concept of what it felt like to have all of my emotions sucked from me – leaving me dry as a prune and in need of ‘plumping’.

I had no idea that all of my baggage – the stuff I had managed to keep suppressed or hidden under my social-shell would be brought to the surface and pushed into my face.

When *that * happened I had a choice – to ignore it all and push it all back down, (hopefully) never to be seen again – or to ride those emotional waves, like I rode the waves of pain with each contraction when giving birth.

Initially, I tried to ignore it. Eventually, I chose to ride the waves and to let each emotion swamp me. It wasn’t pretty. My emotional state at any one time was well reflected in my outer world. I put on 20kg (44lbs). I caught every cold and vomiting bug, and I regularly had mouth ulcers and cold-sores. I walked hunched over. My clothes were often shabby or stained from my knickers to my coat. The house was in constant disarray. And, I did a lot of crying. (more…)

Karyn Wills

Karyn is a teacher, writer and solo mother to three sons. She lives in the sunny wine region of Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand in the city of Napier.

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