The Mom in Me: “You Think You Know, but You Have No Idea”

October 19, 2014  |  

I had an extensive journey into motherhood. My first pregnancy in the Spring of 2012 ended with a 6-week miscarriage. My second pregnancy was completed with the birth of our son, Joshua, stillborn at 38 weeks. By the time, I began my third pregnancy, I had buried my great-grandmother who raised me, made arrangements for my sons after-life care, and buried my biological mother all within 3-months of each other. Finally on January 23, 2014 at 4:11 PM my new beginning emerged from the depths of uterus, Genesis Olivia Middleton.

The first few weeks with Genesis were some of the most shocking, enlightening, challenging, and loving days of my life. I labored actively for 18 hours, 8 at home and10 in the hospital. I chose to deliver my 8lb 4oz new heart all-natural. Being a mother is no walk through the park, and the slow torture like stabbing sensations across your abdomen, also-known-as contractions, are like the ground breaking on a plot of land for a new development, aka just the beginning.

See it’s a lot more than never ever fully going into a deep sleep again because your conscious can’t go off the clock when you are responsible for the life of another human being. It’s more mind-boggling than having to provide the every waking and sleeping need of someone who can’t actually articulate what it is that they need.

It’s more daunting than the guilt you feel every time you need to leave their little wittle side for whatever adult matters require your attention i.e. a shower, the preparation of a meal, a clean house, a day at work, or even just a little retreat to the car for some much needed alone time to gather your sanity.

Motherhood is challenging because it disrupts every aspect of our secure being. Before becoming mothers we thought we knew what life was or at least we thought we could figure it out if we wanted to. If you are like me, you thought everything you ever needed to know was already taught to you or pre-packaged nicely in some book at Barnes and Nobles waiting for your debit card to rescue it.

Then here comes this cute little cooing, gooing, pooping, screaming, and needing mini you as a 24/7 constant reminder of that line from MTV’s The Real World “You Think You Know, but You Have No Idea.” I had been through hell and back by the time I birthed Genesis in the middle of 3-day blizzard. Of course, being a mom would be easy for me, the motherless daughter who conquered the fire of Shedrach, Meshach, and Abendego. I was going to be the mother Jessie Christ the Superstar! Genesis was going to have the mother-daughter relationship I longed for as a kid. Life had come full circle and it was my time to harvest! Yes, God!

I ate 85 grams of protein a day. I popped my pre-natals on schedule like sweet tarts. We were at the doctor’s appointments on time if not early with questions. I took classes, watched documentaries, read every book, prayed every prayer, and bought every baby item my Baby Bump application told me our sweet little boo boo needed. And yet two weeks into the job, I admitted myself into E.R. under the notion that I was having a heart attack.

Of course all the tests came back negative, and I was unofficially diagnosed with “new mom anxiety.” Supermom had made me manic mom who then turned into overwhelmed highly fatigued mom. Then add into the equation all the hormonal adjustments from after birth and breastfeeding. I was a walking, talking, and breathing emoticon library very confused as to where the confident, intelligent, sexy, ambitious, worship her way through the pits of hell me had disappeared.

Was this motherhood? A second by second order my steps and lean on the Lord at the edge of your sanity type life. Would I ever be at ease again knowing my heart now resided in the body of another human being. How was I to function in this world? Live by instinct over intellect? Allow myself to feel instead of judge? Actually sit still long enough to observe life before bulldozing my way through it. Who does these things?

Well I couldn’t give her back if I wanted to, and I couldn’t’ afford to manage my anxiety with ER visits every other week. So like all the other women before me I had to figure it out. Hi Everyone, my name is Clarissa Joan Middleton and I am a mom. (Insert here the part where you all say, “Hi Clarissa,” to reassure me I’m in the right place.)

I, like so many women before me, am at the point in life where I am trying to balance all of me with The Mom in Me. The human, the woman, the student, the Christian, the entrepreneur, the partner, the wife, and the mom. When I show up to be present for the many experiences life affords me, I want all of me to be breathing. How do all of the pieces fit together? And most importantly, how do I stay available and present for the one person my life impacts the most?

I’m excited to share my journey with your journey and together let’s make Sunday’s a place of rest and truth for moms on MommyNoire. It’s time to discover who the mom in all of us really is. She must be a pretty-bad chick for God to bless her with such a responsibility. I’m just saying.

Clarissa Joan is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of the inspirational website, The Clarissa Joan Experience, where she shares her personal truths to promote a culture of peace, passion, and purpose throughout humanity. She is also the Digital Media and Market Research Associate at Impact America Fund, a venture capital firm focused on the transformation of underserved communities in America. When she is not inspiring the world, herself included, she finds peace at home in Philadelphia with her husband and baby girl, Genesis.

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