I read somewhere recently that about 90% of all mothers, lie about motherhood. There is this stigma among mothers that taking care of your child can’t – by any means – be tough, difficult or frustrating. You chose this life, is what we are told when we pour out our hearts. On some level I can even understand that. Especially in our situation. It took us more than two years and a lot of tears to get pregnant. And now we’re blessed with a beautiful daughter. Complaining seems like an unthankful thing to do. And yet, today I feel like I want to be really honest with you.
It’s tough being a mum sometimes! Our daughter was born a dysmature (which means she wasn’t born prematurely, but still had a very low birth weight) and for the first few weeks of her life she pretty much slept between bottles, just because she needed all her strength to grow and develop. When she started to be awake more, she turned out to be a real handful and cried around 10 to 15 hours a day. There were days that she was crying for 3 hours non stop and all I could do was cry with her. Her cries always ended in a full blown panic attack, which made her so tired that she finally fell asleep. After a couple of horror months I discovered a big bump on a place on her body that made me realize that she had a inguinal hernia. I immediatly called the doctor and although they didn’t want to operate her until she would be a year old, I insisted and a few weeks later we had a happy child and it made all the difference. Ofcourse there are loads more other stories of parents who have a hard time, but this is mine. I still have moments that I just can’t take it anymore.
As a mother your life can be really isolated. Especially those first weeks. If you’re a stay-at-home mom, like me, a lot of the care is up to you and you are kinda housebound. I feel so blessed to have a husband who can’t wait to take care of our daughter when he comes home after work and in the weekends. Having the chance to reload myself really helps. But I’m sure a lot of mums don’t have this luxury. And when you’re in that position of being a mum fulltime, sometimes it may feel like there is just no end. And there is one thing I discovered. If you do talk about it, more people open up about it. It’s like everyone is eager to tell someone, but no one dares to do it!
I think it’s time for us mums to be a bit more open. I don’t know about you, but most of the time I only hear mums talk about how wonderful and amazing everything is. Call me a pessimist, but that just can’t be true. To hear no one complain, even if it’s just a little bit, can make you really insecure. You start to think ‘am I doing this wrong then, am I a bad mum?’ and ‘I better not tell anyone about last night when I cried my eyes out, because I just couldn’t handle it anymore’. And next thing you know, you’re cooperating in maintaining the image of the perfect mum. Wouldn’t it be great if we could all just be honest? Because, dear friends, it’s OH-KAY. It is tough and it is difficult. You are not alone in this and things do get better. You just gave birth, even if it’s months ago, you JUST. GAVE. BIRTH. Give yourself some time to adjust and cry when you need to. We all do it. And how about we stop criticizing other mums for being honest. No more ‘stop complaining, you made the choice of having a child’ and no more treating motherhood as a competition.
I am going to be honest about motherhood, from now on. Will you too?