“Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn’t know you had, and dealing with fears you didn’t know existed.”
— Linda Woote
Hello and welcome to my blog!
How are you? How’s life treating you?
I’m doing pretty good. I had a rough couple of weeks this month were the only response to the question “How does it feel to be a mum” was “sh*t”. Motherhood felt really sh*t if I’m being honest. I use the past tense because right now, it feels amazing but there are a lot moments where the weight and responsibility of motherhood just becomes too much for me. It didn’t help that I also caught the flu AND I managed to pass it on to my teething 7 month old. Lovely times!
So since motherhood, hormones and the flu were kicking my ass I decided to take an unintentional but much needed break from blogging, social media and pretty much the rest of the world. And between you, me and the internet I started to wish I could take a break from being a mum too. Unfortunately I can’t exactly detach my boobs and hand them over to someone else to take over so instead I cried, prayed and told myself that this was all part of the process and boy is it a difficult one. Being a mother is bloody hard work and to be honest, a lot of days I really don’t like it.
Did i just say that out loud!
Well technically I wrote it but it’s true, I don’t like being a mum! At least not right now. My dislike in being a mother is more to do with the expectation and responsibility of raising another human rather than the actual human I’m raising or the fact that I’m doing it alone. My son and my singleness are actually the best part about the process. It’s all the other bits that come with a baby that suck and I’m not sure why no one ever told me it could be like this.
Now I feel like I have to say this for those who are getting ready to report me to social services or a mental ward; I love my son. I look at him everyday and I’m so grateful I made him and I get to watch him learn things and develop into a very interesting human. However, that doesn’t take away from the utter sh*t of an experience being a mum can be sometimes.
The crying, the screaming, the interrupted showers, the cold food and lukewarm tea, the waking up every hour to feed, the kicking whilst changing a poo-filled diaper, the 30 minute cat naps that leave you no time to do anything, the back breaking carrying, the never ending soothing, the unpredictable routine, the lopsided boobs and breastmilk stained bedsheets. Ahhhhh! And to make things extra fun, you’re suppose to deal with all of this (and more) on 3 hours (or less) of sleep, raging hormones and no coffee (or alcohol). Just faith, patience, mothers instinct and utter joy. Oh please! I think I’ve got just about enough of those to not lose my mind but not enough to take away the negative experience that this baby period can have on a mother.
I’m honestly convinced all the mothers around me have gotten amnesia or something and forgotten what it’s like to look after a baby because apparently I should be having the time of my life. “Before you know it they’re all grown up saying mum 24/7 and no to everything” they say. Well, with teething, growth spurts, weaning and constipation, I’m already experiencing that (and more) so what else you got for me?
Right now, being a mum feels like a glorified care worker except you work 24/7 with no breaks, holidays, sick leave or any form of payment. Oh no wait a minute I forgot you do get paid, in kisses and hugs and all those wonderful things people tells you that are so rewarding for mothers. Can any of those get me a full nights sleep without leaking boobs? I don’t think so Judy! It’s been 7 months and so far I’ve gotten a slap on the head, poked and scratched in the face and my nipples bitten. No kisses or hugs yet sir…
Right now, being a mother to me is draining, overwhelming, exhausting, frustrating, tiring, confusing, unpleasant, difficult and a whole host of other emotions I’m yet to identify so please excuse me for not feeling like the luckiest women in the world.
Oh but we mustn’t say such things, must we. Us mothers aren’t allowed to have negative feelings about motherhood are we? Oh no, no, no, no, no, no, no.
But I do, because well in case people have forgotten, I didn’t all of a sudden stop being a human once I popped another human out of me. News flash, mothers are humans too you know. We feel good things and bad things about many things, even babies. The idea that being a mother should be the most ah-mazing experience in the world to me is peoples passive aggressive way of guilt tripping you into feeling like a bad mother if you don’t think otherwise. I’m not here for that.
Other people aren’t going through what you’re going through so why do they get a say in how you should be feeling about something so unique and personal? Why is it taboo to share this side of motherhood where everything feels like sh*t and you feel like sh*t for feeling like the experience is sh*t? I’ve said sh*t a lot so you can guess what I was cleaning before I wrote this post.
“Oh but it’s all worth it in the end, right?” Is it Susan, is it really? How do you measure worth when it comes to raising another human being? Who decided what is deemed as “worth it”? Is having your hair fall out in chunks worth it? Is having the simple task of getting milk from the shops turn into a military operation worth it? Is the sleep deprivation worth it? Is the pain in every part of your body worth it? Is the isolation from the rest of the world worth it? Is the isolation from the rest of yourself worth it? Is the fact that they will never remember all that you did during this stage of their lives worth it? And what is this end you speak of because according to my calculations I’m a mother for the rest of my life and I don’t plan on changing that so…
Have I said too much? Have I overstepped this invisible line that was carved around my emotions the moment I became a mother? Because let a woman show any emotion other than happiness she’s deemed crazy or unstable, but I can assure you I’m neither. I’m simply a first-time mum getting to grips with the fact that being a mother isn’t for the faint hearted or those who love their sleep. Being a mother is late nights, early mornings, ripped and usually stretched out clothes, missed meals, cuts, bruises, aches and pains and an enormous pressure to be perfectly happy about it. It’s fear, worry, isolation and concern about every single thing you do. As much as it’s all those things (and so much more) it’s also a unique, selfless and character building experience that you will never experience unless you are a mother.
It takes a lot of strength being a mother and even more to admit that often times it doesn’t feel like the best job or most rewarding job in the world but you’re glad you have the opportunity to do it and are constantly learning from it. Experience is the best teacher and boy am I learning a lot and so is Matthew.
No one should dictate to you how you should feel about the process because it’s yours to experience, not theirs. I know my experience isn’t everyone’s but I believe people need to be realistic when sharing their stories about their pregnancies and birth as well as the bit that comes after all that. The good, the bad and the complete sh*t of an experience being a mother can be sometimes. Speaking of sh*t, I think he’s just done one on a freshly changed diaper…guess that’s my queue!
I sometimes wonder if Matthew is just as frustrated with this whole experience as I am. Probably.
How did you think being a mother would be like before you become one? Was it what you expected? How do you define “worth it” when it comes to motherhood?
Let me know in the comments below or on my social @lydiaonlife.
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I try (emphasis on the try) to post once a week so stay tuned!
Till next time!