Lately, I’ve been going through a very rough period, where I dealt with my baby’s tantrums, her developmental milestones, brain changes, new skills acquirements, new discoveries and new desires. All this time I held myself composed, calm, smiling and encouraging. I tried so hard not to give in to the negative build-up in my heart, but being a breastfeeding mom and very hormonal – it just didn’t work out fine for me all the time. Some days I felt exhilarated and in my highest spirits. Some days I felt like killing anybody coming my way or interrupting me from walks with my baby. Some days I felt like I can do it all and I did a huge load of household chores (which I’m damn proud of, ‘cause I killed it 😉 ). Some days I felt like crawling up and crying all day long, no food required, I just needed my time alone and a little peace. Going out into the public was a nightmare for me. I forced myself every single day to get out of the house, to talk to people on the street or in the park, and taking care of my baby, the house and cooking dinner was almost impossible for me. Yet, I kept going and kept praying for more strength, more positive thinking, more easy days (which never came, by the way), and I discovered that it is so damn hard to stay positive and lie to yourself that all’s good in the hood when so many things go wrong in your life right now. Yet, at the end of the day, when I could barely catch my breath from intense days, I still felt that hope that, one day, things will start to get easier and that I’ll be able to do some things more quickly or better. I knew in my heart that it was all temporary.
You know, when you’re having your first baby, your husband is working and you have absolutely nobody else to help you around, you are going through a HUGE PHASE OF ADJUSTMENT. It might take a couple of moths, but it is very likely to take a year or more, until you learn about your baby, but so much more – learn about yourself. You see, being a parent is something you do for the first time. Yes, your brothers or sisters can have babies and you spend time with them, but you never know what it means and what it takes to be a parent until you do it all yourself. All the sleepless nights (so cliché for when someone starts talking about their babies 😀 ), all the dirty diapers, long feedings, sore breasts, long days of figuring out what to do and when to do, routine building, constant caring, long walks (because you don’t want to wake up your baby in the middle of her sleep in her stroller), psychological and physical changes, and just so many more – this all takes a toll on you and your partner, but it’s up to you to figure out how to act and what to do next. A baby is wonderful, but it’s also very challenging. Even the happiest of the couples get rocky weeks and lose themselves to parenting. Yet, with lots of communication and negotiation, you end up discovering a new side to your relationship. Babies are little creatures, but they take a heck of a time to be taken care of! As a mom, you don’t mind this time, because you love your baby endlessly (and let’s be honest – even the love towards your baby is something you learn to do, despite the hormonal impulse of joy you feel when you hold your baby for the first time in the delivery room!), but you also want that little spare time for yourself, to recharge yourself, to take a step back and think about your next steps, to be a wife and a friend, and mostly – to be a woman!
Yes, I did have times when I wouldn’t brush my teeth or hair many months in a row, when I would wear the same clothes for weeks without washing them, where I’d eat sandwiches for lunch and dinner, where I’d cry days and days, where I hated everyone around me, where I couldn’t even hold my baby out of pure despair, but time passed and I’ve learned so many things about my life as a parent, that I discovered that this is something I can do, because I’m a mom. All the things I’ve been through are so natural and so common, yet I hear no mother talking about them loudly (are they ashamed of what they go through? Do they think people will respect them less if they find out the truth about their postpartum depression, or simply about their hardships? I have no idea, but I still feel for every one of you moms out there!). All this emotional roller coaster, hormonal shit, physical changes and all are extremely hard, and, forgive me all the “happy mommies” out there who post cute pics of their little lads and write captions like “3 months of happiness”, or “I love him so much”, or “Ooohh, how cute, we woke up at 3:00 am”, etc. etc., all this bullshit, but I don’t believe it’s all roses and candies behind it all. I know that most of you are struggling, I know that it’s hard and it feels like crying a waterfall some days, I know you don’t like absolutely everything related to taking care of your baby, and because of all this – I understand you and I support you!
All these 13 months with my girl taught me to be true to myself and my family in the first place. I had my doubts, but I also had my blissful moments, which were far more than the bulls*** in my life right now. I believe that being myself, striving to be a better mom and helping my child grow into the kind of person she wants to be, being the wife I can be, will benefit us all. These last 2 months suck! But I accept them! I know this is all temporary, I know that I can cry the problems out on my husband’s shoulder, I know that my baby deserves an emotionally balanced mother, so I will keep on trying to be the best version of myself, because I won’t stop learning, and I’m a mom, no comments needed (again). It’s normal to have good days, but it’s also very normal to have bad days, something that I wish all of us would acknowledge.
You can disagree with all that I have said, I would even let you judge me, if you’d like (although, first make sure you’re perfect), but I wish I’d known more about the challenges of being a mom, I wish moms would talk more about what they really feel and talk about a day in the life of a caregiver, but all I’ve found online were pretty much lines and posts on how wonderful and rewarding motherhood is. And it is, but just not right from the start. Be real, mothers, reach out to each other, form your own trust circle of other moms who feel the same way as you do, talk to a specialist, but, please, just don’t go on saying that everything is great and bliss, you’re living in a fairy tale and you’re a unicorn (although I might agree on the unicorn thing!). You are human beings with feelings and huge burden to carry every single day, and you are beautiful in every single way!
So, with these things said, I can tell that my life didn’t get easier, but it certainly feels good to share my experience, because maybe you, my beautiful reader, are going through a hard time right now and you need a little cheering, no matter if you’re a parent or not. Just knowing that we’re all human beings and we all struggle with something makes us feel better (be it our villain trait of character, or desire to be able to relate to somebody). So tonight, just go on, do some thinking, and be true to yourself, even if you don’t want to hear the hardest part of the truth. I’m not perfect, but I love it and I embrace it, with shits and all.