- Have you ever, or do you still, sometimes, feel stigmatized by other people?
- Have you ever been asked by someone you know “So what is it that you do all day long when you’re at home with your little baby?”, or “So what’s up with you? What’s new?”?
And it was then that you felt a little astounded, kind of inert and a little inferior.
These questions never bring any positive emotions, I dare say. You feel that people start putting themselves a little higher than you and acting a little more important than you. It makes you think that they got it all having their perfect jobs, perfect relationships, perfect social lives and perfect Facebook and Insta-feeds. It also makes you feel like you are missing out on something very important out there and that your baby-brain gets you all outdated, obsolete and even stupid. You go to parties when possible, to some family/friends gatherings, and people there have lots of topics to discuss, lots of new things to share and recommend, new gigs discovered, and you try to chip in with your own knowledge of this and that, but in the back of your head you know you’re just not there anymore. You don’t know as many things as the others. You don’t always follow the news or any other stuff you were into before having a baby, because you don`t have time for that. You don’t go out as much as you did before and you kind of feel too tired to do it anymore. Because honestly – who has an active social life with a newborn? Unless you have an army behind you to take care of your baby for you, you won’t be having the same lifestyle as you had before becoming a parent. Statt.
To put it in a straight and simple way – sometimes you feel like a BIG LOSER! You merely have an interesting topic to entertain people with, so you just sit there quietly, listening to other people talk and just keep smiling (because you’re still a fun person to be around and because you’re the good girl everyone knows to be friendly and accepting). In your heart, you have moments when you know that you don’t fit in, or you just find yourself thinking about your baby’s little issues, you’re tiresome nights and all-day cryings you often think will never go away, or you just zone out from the party and become the least active person. At some point, you may see people drifting away from you, because they don’t have much to discuss with you anymore (and I, personally, can say that these are the people you didn’t get along with in the first place, or you never were able to get that special connection with when you first met), and you may start thinking that maybe something is wrong with you.
Let me tell you, during these 9 months of motherhood, involving lots of adjustment to my new role and life, lots of days when there were only me and my little girl, I had plenty of occasions to feel an outcast when meeting with other people. I’ve seen weird looks on me, I’ve felt misunderstood, I didn’t have much to tell about my days, and it felt terrible. (N.B. My hottest topics were “baby development”, “is this normal or not”, “I’m tired as hell, can you relate to what I tell you?”, “lactation and how to score a sleeping-through-the-night baby”, “boob problems”, “postpartum drill”, “recommend me something”, etc. etc. etc.). I mean, come on, do you really think people were even interested in me telling about my baby all day long, poop-wise and sanity-wise? But this was my reality!
24/7 I was a mom and only a mom!!!! Out of a sudden, my life just didn’t belong to me anymore and this little baby depended on me 1000%, no less, I swear! But people felt that it was a boring and non-relevant topic. I felt ashamed and silenced for the fact that I could not socialize with non-mom people. It lasted for a while. But then, when things started to get a little easier with my girl, I had a little time to think about what was eating me from inside and I understood one thing:
– All I am going through is normal! Why am I even so ashamed and awkward of the most natural and the most wonderful thing in the world, which is motherhood? Just WHY?
I gave up my own lifestyle, I made compromises, I haven’t slept for 2.5 months straight (thank you, insomnia, but I never want to see you again in my life, at least not now, please! I’ll chat with you later), I had rough days and even rougher weeks, I had the strength to take care of my baby and my husband, I tried not to ignore anyone in my family (sister, parents, in-laws, grans, cousins), I met with friends and was active as much as possible, I cared for everything in my life and, most and foremost – I am raising a happy, healthy, silly, funny, beautiful little girl – and this is the ULTIMATE thing I ever did and keep doing in my life! This is not a small thing, believe me! This is bigger than the Universe! This is a badass and cooler-than-Michael-Jackson thing a woman can do in her life (moms will understand)! If this is not HUGE than I don’t know what is!
So, to top it off and wrap it up, I don’t feel inferior to others anymore, I don’t feel like I’m missing out on the coolest things in the world and the best parties/meetings to go to right now, I don’t feel ashamed for not being able to respond to one thing or another, and I don’t think I’m less of a person if I’m a stay-at-home mom at this moment. I know I will be stigmatized further on, but I just don’t care, for real! I won’t let people get to me and shame me for who I am, what I do and what I say. And you know what else – I forgot when was the last time I felt this much liberated in my life!!! Aaaahhhhh… (this is the exhaling sound a human being does after the peace overflows her body).
So, dear mommies, love yourselves fully for what you are, for what you do, for where you stand and what you think. Nobody is worthy enough to control your life and nobody can take YOU from yourself! Always do whatever is right for you and your family and be proud of yourself every single day, because you are so much more important and amazing than you even think!
Oh, yeah, and one more thing – watch out for me coming when my girl gets a little older 😉