I recently imported all my blog posts (October 2008 – January 2011) from Parent24 so I could have all my words in one place. I haven’t had a chance to read through them all as I need to do a major clean-up, but many of the posts that have caught my eye strike me as very unhappy and some were downright mean.
I started blogging when the girls were about 7 or 8 months old and it was a very hard time for me emotionally. Not necessarily because I had just had twins, but because it was really hard to re-establish my place in the Working World as a Mom. Plenty of long-standing friendships with single friends were compromised as drinks on a Friday were just no longer an option. I couldn’t wait to hit the tar on a Friday afternoon.
I didn’t feel it so much after Daniel as I had started in a new position after maternity leave and I was only in that job for about 6 months when I was going through IVF and then pregnant again, which meant that I was focused on a pregnancy and a relatively new job.
It really hit me when I came back from maternity leave after the girls. Suddenly many of my old work relationships weren’t the same anymore, I was extremely sleep-deprived and I was just not functioning very well.
I was a mess. I hated the way my body had changed because of 2 pregnancies (although I would probably rather have died than to admit it), I felt marginalized at work and as a result my self-esteem was at an all-time low, Etienne and I weren’t in our comfortable communication and affection groove and, as much as I love my children, I just felt like I was not a Good Enough Mother. I felt unattractive and horrible to be around, which rapidly snowballed into becoming my reality.
It has literally taken me 4 years to get my groove back (mostly). I’m not the same person I was pre-kids and I never will be. I still haven’t lost the baby weight. I ended up on AD’s and in therapy. My hair is still a mess and I still don’t like people staying too late when they visit because I really need my sleep
Why am I telling you this?
I see lots of Moms around me and online just coping with first babies/toddlers and/or not so well after second (and third and fourth) babies and I want to reach through my computer and hug them HARD. I want to tell them it’s going to be OK. I want them to know I know what they are going through. The sleep deprivation, the lack of money, the having to put on your game face and going to work when you would rather sit crying in your car all day long just because it’s quiet there.
Feeling like no-one truly understands what you are going through, that, no matter WHAT you do, you will never be that awesome Career Girl AND the Perfect Mother with the Perfectly Clean House and the Perfect Marriage. Hey, any combination of just 2 of the above is almost impossible.
To you I want to say: It’s OK to feel like this, those are very valid feelings.
Then I want to invite you over, feed you and water you, stuff your freezer full of meals, hold that baby whilst you have a special minute with your toddler or your husband, whack that same husband on the head if he’s being a douche, whack you on the head for being so bloody hard on yourself and then, when you leave, give you a big squishy hug and a bag with 8 hours sleep.
And then, when some time has gone by and things are going better for you, I hope that you would do the same for another Mom.
Us Moms need to take care of each other and we cannot afford to get stuck in UnHappyland. We owe it to ourselves, our children, our husbands, the people we work with and the people we interact with on the interwebs.
If you are battling, this is your virtual HUG.
Chin up and hang in there!