I am feeling quite invigorated at the moment – I feel like my mind has had a little shift. I apologise upfront that this post is going to sound a bit manic, however I really feel like a light has gone on in my head and I have all sorts of endorphins surging through me today!
We are part of a culture that discourages mothers from discussing their doubts, insecurities, fears, and failures as mothers. It’s like a dirty little secret. If you show that you are really not coping and maybe not loving it every moment, then there is a real fear that you will be shown to love your kids less – you will be outed for the bad mother you already think you are.
We want motherhood to seem ordinary, not extraordinary. We go through pregnancy and birth < no matter how that baby comes out of you it is birth > it is traumatic on our bodies and take a real toll on your mind and how you interact with the world.
Because it occurs every day to so many women, it is trivialized and we need to act as if it is all so pedestrian. You are thrown – literally – into this sea of confusion and expected to just bob to the top and start swimming like a pro. Any non-compliance or thinking outside what main stream society tells you is unacceptable.
You must just love being a mom all day every day.
The more women I am interacting with through this blog and other forums, the more I am realising that it is not just me. There are so many women who really struggle and almost drown each day. But somehow they wipe their tears, put on some mascara and lipstick and smile sweetly at the world. (Usually they have not had a chance to brush their teeth or are suffering from violent constipation because they have not had a chance to go the bathroom, but we can cover that in a separate post.)
Not one person has ever spoken to me while I was pregnant and up until this day and said “You know I really don’t like being a mommy all the time!” Not one person – however I am getting so many responses from people that tell me clearly this feeling exists out there. I know lots of women who have had kids so they would know this stuff, but not one person has stepped forward and honestly told the truth about their lot and what awaited me.
People sort of indicate that it might be hard or smile knowingly and nod when you mention that you are crying uncontrollably.
But why do moms not take you into their confidence and tell you how it really is? Why must you find it out for yourself?
I know you will go through it – but when you start experiencing it without any kind of forewarning, you start feeling that you are somehow getting it all wrong, because other moms seem to be coping.
Other moms surely are not crying in the bathroom at 2am because surely they would have said something. Other moms are not hiding from their children, just so they get a moment to themselves, because someone would have said something. Other moms are not taking anti-depressant and trying to drink their problems away, because surely someone would have said s o m e t h i n g !
No, for some reason no one says anything. You are left to find this stuff out for yourself. Doubt yourself, hate yourself and wonder if you are even worthy of being a mom. How did this happen – why is there a conspiracy of silence?
For me I really felt isolated, confused, and afraid. I was convinced for the most part that I was a terrible, evil, awful mother who just did not know who to raise a child, let alone children.
What I have slowly begun to realize in the last few months is that what I have experienced is normal. I am not sure whether to be frightened that there are more people like me or comforted that I am not alone.
We need to start exploding the myth that it is easy and ordinary to be a mother. We need to acknowledge the dark elements that are part of the whole experience of motherhood.
The more we are able to recognize that motherhood is not soft lighting and photo-shopping the sooner we can counteract what we see in mainstream magazines and what is being pushed down our throats every day.
Next time you sit down with other moms wouldn’t it be great to have a real conversation about what you actually feel and how much you really struggle? Instead of the inane conversation about the colour of Johnny’s poop or how thrilled you are because Jane got her first tooth.
Start a revolution in thinking at your next mommy and baby group!