Skip navigation

so i have had a few mates become first time mums lately. the most exciting of times, highest of highs and all that stuff… and i truly, honestly, genuinely coudnt possibly feel any happier for them… and yet despite this, i find the thing i discuss most with mummies, especially during those “graveyard shift” feeds, isn’t just how rosy and wonderful and complete life is now but how to deal with and accept the new reality that is the end of life as you know it. am i a guru in this stuff? am i an expert? hell no. and my advice, like all others, should be taken with a bloody huge grain of salt… motherhood is a solo journey and you can try all the advice in the world, but at the end of the day, each decision is yours alone, to make based on whats best for you and whats best for your baby… 2 individuals to factor in whose needs and beliefs are different from every other 2 individuals in this world..

what i do have, however, is honesty. and sadly, especially when it comes to the enormously scary world of mummyhood   that is something a lot of us seem to forgo…

so do i have kids? yes

do i love my kids? yes. with every breath that i take i love them even more… and just when i think i couldnt possibly fill with any more pride or love or happiness at their simple achievements they smile at me and somehow that love just swells

but did i always feel like this? hell no.

do i have those crashing moments of utter self doubt? hell yes

do i beat myself up inside on a daily basis over every “wrong” decision i make regarding their welfare? of course i do!

some days do i feel like leaving them on the doorstep of the local church… even for a few hours… just so i can sleep.. or because clearly someone else could look after them better than me or because if someone doesnt take this annoying, crying, insolent delinquent away from me i swear to god i may harm them, which f course means i must clearly be an unfit mum. of course some days i feel like that.

and here is the thing.

EVERY MUM FEELS LIKE THAT

maybe not all the time, hell, maybe not even often… but somewhere, at some point of your mummyhood journey, the beautiful poster of the perfect mummy, smiling at her perfect baby in the ethereal moment of happiness is such utter bullshit it is the biggest slap in the face and makes you feel like you need a one way ticket to the mental home. yes there is love. yes there is happiness… yes there are a zillion photos of baby smiling, sleeping, looking cute, doing all those things that make us swell with pride… but in between those public moments there is he truth. the reality… and sadly, the often unspoken.

do i believe i suffered post natal depression? no, i dont. would i be upset if people think that? no, i wont. i have had friends ride that rollercoaster ride and i do honestly believe them to be among  the most amazing, powerful and honest mothers that i have ever known… but no, i dont think my experience was pnd. i think my experience is normal. is reality. but is the unspoken truth. and that by denying its existence we continue to subject new mums to the self defeating cycle of mumma guilt and fear and anguish and loneliness. by covering up the reality that some days suck. that sometimes you dont feel the glow of love that sometimes you are so freaking tired you swear you cant even remember your own name we subject the next batch of mummies into the void of trying to achieve the unacheivable bliss that the posters portray.

so over the next few blogs… i hope to open your eyes to the other side of mummyhood… the side they dont hang up on the waiting room walls… the side that isnt discussed.

i hope that maybe, somewhere out there, some mummy sitting alone in the dark, crying onto her new born baby’s head in desperation and fear and loneliness and guilt and numbness realises that they are not alone. that what they are feeling is not unusual. that the mummy ride has as many crazy lows as it does dizzying highs…

and why do i think so few women are willing to open up about this thing if, as i suspect, we all experience it??

for a number of reasons…

1- who wants to be judged? really?? and lets face it… from the moment you announce you are pregnant you are public property. everyone has advice and observes your every move. you are judged every day. dont eat this, dont do that… blah blah blah… and if you think it is going to stop when bubs finally arrives?? omg no!! and from the minute they are conceived your baby is your report card. are you a good mum?? well lets base it on that baby of yours… ooooh, she crawled a week later than mine.. you mustnt have been giving her enough tummy time, oooooh, she has milk rash, you must be washing him in the cheap shampoo. babies are the ultimate tool by which we are judged… so of course we dont openly reveal our flaws… we already know we are failing enough without advertising it right?!

2- human survival. seriously. humans are amazing at survival. and how do we do it? we erase the bad memories. we lose a loved one… we grieve and in time we learn to move forward… by erasing the pain of grief and hanging on to the memories of happy times. we end a relationship. we know we did the right thing… but inevitably, at some point, the intensity of our hate and loathing and the pain that led us to make that break subsides and we will at some point ask did i make the right choice. hopefully, we still accept that yes, we made the right choice… but usually the loathing or pain that got us there numbs and decreases in intensity to the point we can no longer remember that moment of the break up… Or tht time you did something embarrassing… Like really really embarrassing. Punch to the guts curl up and die embarrassing… Haven’t you ever noticed a few weeks later you can actually laugh at it… And somehow, a few months later when someone asks you what your most embarrassing moment was you actually have to stop and think. I mean really stop and think… Where did that memory go??. It was soooo painful at the time… How come I can’t recall it now??. we give birth and experience a pain beyond any words in the english language..and yet, in time, the explicit memory of that pain subsides enough that we feel strong enough to go through it again. however you look at it. the human survival mechanism is to erase those negative memories and allow us to hold onto the happy ones.

so do i believe it when my own mum and her peers swear there was no such thing as pnd and that they were so happy to be mothers 100% of the time. no i don’t. i believe they think that’s how they felt. as any of the negative stuff, by now has been washed away, allowing them to bask in the radiant memory of happiness…

an i believe that one day i will be there too…

and that, i believe is the prime reason that mums, especially first timers, are thrown into the deep end of trying to achieve an unreachable reality and experience such uneccesary fear, loathing and mumma guilt. if only we could be more honest and more open about the down times…then maybe fewer of us would feel so alone.

so to my pregnant friends, next time someone tells you to enjoy your sleep before bubs comes, i give you permission to poke them in the eye with a blunt pencil, because no, you are not enjoying your sleep. you feel like a bloated whale and it is freaking uncomfortable and you need to pee every three minutes and it sucks and some alien being, whose very existence scares the crap out of you is pressing on your lungs, ribs, bladder, kidneys…

and my new mummy mates…

you are not alone.

to my old mummy mates, congratulations on coming out the other side

and to my non mummy mates, if by choice or life’s adventure i wish you happiness in coming to know yourself in whatever life throws at you…

we have to stick together girls! 🙂

love and hugs to you all..

and further rants too come (sorry folks) 😉

sleeping like a baby...

sleeping like a baby…

Advertisements

4 Comments

  1. Great stuff Laurie. Couldn’t agree more about the conspiracy of silence that often hangs over mothers. I found that the more I shared my stories of “bad” parenting, the more honest other people were. You need to have a laugh later about the awful days that you can sometimes have. I often felt that I had the only child that wouldn’t sleep, wouldn’t eat, wouldn’t listen and wouldn’t sit still. And more people need to admit that it can also become very boring! How many times did I have to push a swing? Watch them on their tricycle? When all I wanted was a bit of time to myself.
    Keep sharing. The good and the bad! (Merise)

    • There are so few of us out there willing to be honest! And it breaks my heart because it puts unreal expectations on everybody! I know it’s a few years later for you, but I love that your kids, like mine, refuse to eat, sleep, listen and generally do all the stuff other people seem to be able to handle! Sigh… Hugs 🙂

    • P.s… Welcome to my blog merise! My lack of proof reading and utter disregard for grammar and spell check will drive you nuts! Enjoy! 🙂

      • Thanks! I note you are following my blog…pity I haven’t posted anything yet! Maybe this will inspire me x


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: