Anger: A few months later, when your life has been completely taken over by
Bargaining: Anger got you nowhere, so in desperation you start to cut deals, both with the baby and with a higher power. You may find yourself uttering pleas to the sky such as “Please, please, please just let her/him stay asleep long enough for me to finish my dinner, just this once, and I promise I will be more patient when she wakes up every ten minutes tonight needing her damn paci put back in her mouth so she can go back to sleep. Just let me EAT. OKAY?”
Depression: The bargaining didn’t work, so now you know you’re supposed to accept that this is life now, but you can’t. You love your baby (who by now is actually smiling at you and maybe even sleeping several hours in a row at night), but you and your life are unrecognizable. You spend most days in your pajamas and rarely brush your hair. You can’t imagine life without your little angel, and this is wonderful but scary too, because you don’t really know who you are anymore or how to figure that out (or even if you want to).
Acceptance: You only get here by opening up and talking to fellow mothers, and reading their stories in books and magazines and blogs. It is through honesty with each other that we find our way to acceptance of our new lives and new selves and learn how to find the parts of our former lives and selves that we can recover out of the ruins and incorporate into mama life. But you’re not through with these stages. I have yet to spend more than a few months in this last stage before starting them all over again when the next
I did a quick search before posting to see if anyone else had done versions of this list, and found a great cartoon version from last year over at The Mom Bomb.