thoughts on feeling lost as a new mama

Mar 22, 2011 | Being A Mama, Life in Progress

(available as an 8×8 matted print)

it happens when i least expect it, usually late at night: an unsettling and sharp feeling of being lost. it comes out of nowhere and it feels like i’m in the middle of some wildly unfamiliar world, wondering if i’ll ever find my way back to safe waters, if i’ll ever feel like myself again, if i’ll ever feel back in my body. because it happens in an instant, it feels like a shock to my emotional system. the only accurate word i can use to describe the feeling is lost. suddenly lost. i remember being lost in the mall once when i was a kid. my mom and i got separated and i was panicked until security scooped me up and found her. that same feeling of being lost and panicked is what i’m experiencing in those sudden moments – like i don’t belong to anyone or anything, like i’m out there on my own in a strange world trying to survive. it doesn’t happen every day, not even every week, but enough to leave me frightened and hoping it doesn’t happen again. the only thing that helps are tears and words. a lot of those two things.

i am a brand new mom.

sometimes, most of the time, we are getting along beautifully – especially since month three. we’re getting sleep, baby true is happy, healthy. we’re blissed out, taking photos, taking walks, working on our milestones, singing songs, learning to let go and simplify, balancing work and life. but then that lost feeling rushes in every once in awhile and i’m all out of sorts. i remember that same acute unfamiliar feeling being present quite a bit in the early days just after true was born but over time the grounding of all of this has begun to build its support and it’s all become much, much easier. a couple of months ago i began to recognize myself again, to see myself coming through the fog. and most days, that’s how it is. but every now and again, i’m right back to the scary place where i don’t recognize any of this, and it’s all as unfamiliar as it was in the beginning.

(fearless, now available as a wall canvas)

these are the sort of moments that you can’t prepare for, the ones that shock you in and out of reality, the ones that can make you feel utterly undone. in these really hard moments, i go back to the beginning. i rely on my mantras (brave in sadness, brave in love. nothing is wasted.). i sing to true. i soothe myself. i cry. i write. i talk. i look for the beauty in tiny places. i look for myself in tiny places. i surrender the day, the work, the to-do lists, the schedule. i sit with my words for the year: gentle and simple, and try to go easy on myself. most importantly, i try really really hard to keep my heart open despite the inclination to close it up with fear.

everyday, this is a practice. of surrendering. of staying open. of being free.

i keep thinking about something i wrote the week true was born:
surrendering is surrendering, even if if you are surrendering to love. it’s powerful, hard, life changing, vulnerable, yet it feels like it sets you free. like truth. like how truth sets you free. but in this case, it’s a baby boy named True.

Sending much love,

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I’m Kelly Rae Roberts

Before I picked up my first paintbrush at the age of 30, I was a medical social worker. I followed my creative whispers, and today I’m an artist & Possibilitarian. I’m passionate about creating meaningful art and experiences that awaken and inspire our spirits.

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