Man. Maybe it's the two nights of almost no sleep talking here, but I am run down. E has had what I think is the flu, and it has been both extremely sad, and extremely trying. I'm beat. I was beat way before she got sick though, and I suppose that is the problem.
I don't believe in pretending that motherhood (or life in general, really) is this perfect, lovely, hardship-free thing that it seems like all your friends are living. I suppose that's the danger of social media. It's so easy to showcase the moments where your house is clean, your children are smiling and happy, and you've actually showered. You childless people reading this will get the showering bit someday. Just wait. Who the heck ever thought showering daily was a luxury?
Oh yeah. Any mom ever. ;)
Seriously though. I think I unwittingly fall into that trap a lot. Post when things are good. Show how great my life is. (Don't get me wrong, it is great, just not all the time.) But what about those time when things just completely suck, you're overwhelmed, lonely, depressed, and wondering how you can continue juggling five million balls without dropping one or one thousand? Conversely I don't want to post all the time about how hard things are. I don't want to scare anyone into deciding not to have children.
I just think that things are hard for moms these days. The economy is awful, so there is a massive number of moms who have to work to keep the electricity on and food on the table. Lots of us are spread all over the country, far away from aunts, uncles, and grandparents who would otherwise love to help us when we are feeling completely overwhelmed and exhausted. Then there are the silly things like the "mommy wars" where every decision that you decide to make public can be ridiculed at any moment. You breastfeed? Cover those up! You formula feed? How could you do that to your baby?! I mean, really. Motherhood is tough enough without some ignorant acquaintance or perfect stranger telling you how to raise your children, or what they think you are "doing wrong."
I personally am dealing with feeling overwhelmed, run down, and just downright depressed right now. I am being pulled in so many directions that it's rare that I even get an hour out of the house and to myself. And running errands or going to work don't count. I watch my daughter 10-12 hours a day (sometimes more) without any help while my husband is at work or doing something that needs to be done, then I go directly to work several days a week on top of that. The days my husband has her most of the day, I am working an 8 hour shift.
I am tired.
If I'm being completely honest with myself, I have days where I actually hope I will get fired from work so that I can have some kind of a break.
I admire those moms that can work, take care of their kids, and still shower more than 4 times a week and manage to look put together. That, or I completely pity them because they've got to be just as tired as I am. I just haven't figured out how to balance everything, and maybe I never will. But I don't want to pretend that I'm awesome and life is just peachy all the time. It doesn't help anyone, least of all myself. Maybe if I admit that I am just two sleepless nights away from a mini-meltdown you will decide that it's ok to admit that you are too.
Seriously people. Being a mom is crazy hard.
It's crazy amazing too, but it is undoubtedly crazy hard.
I don't know where I would be without my amazing community of friends, lots of whom are in the same phase of life as me. We really try to help encourage each other, and it is so needed. I think I'd lose my darn mind if it wasn't for that group of girls! Even still- it's so easy to feel alone and overwhelmed. I mean, taking care of everyone's needs over your own is exhausting, and it is very easy to feel a little bitter and think "who the heck is taking care of my needs?"
Ok, now to be fair, when I think "who the heck is taking care of my needs?" it is an easy question to answer. Firstly and most obviously- God is. All the time. He has provided for us every time we've needed it. He just did it again yesterday. Secondly, my incredibly hard working husband who does whatever he can to help us get ahead and get into a position to keep me home.
But I think what I really mean when I gripe about my needs being met is that I feel isolated, lonely, and suddenly in the last year my human interactions (ok- adult interactions) have decreased dramatically. There's an emotional need for connection that is hard to meet when you're at home alone with babies who need from you all the time.
Anywho, my point is this- social media is not always a good thing. #1- it clearly takes time away from my child. #2- it can make me feel like crap when I see friends who "have it all together" and get their kids out of the house dressed and happy to do fun stuff every day. Or so it seems. I don't see their messy moments, hear them complain about how tired they are, and how their husbands didn't change any diapers that day so why are they complaining about changing one, etc etc. It's like airbrushing in photos. Sure, you're still writing and posting about your life. You're just cleaning it up a little bit for the public.
I propose that we #1. Stop cleaning it up too much for the public. Let's make it easier on each other and be real. The amazing thing about that is when you let people know you're having a hard time, they can encourage you. If they don't know... well you're on your own. #2. Stop jumping down each others' throats about every little parenting decision someone makes that you don't agree with. You know what I'm talking about. "The Mommy Wars." Let's grow up, stop attacking each other, and start supporting each other. We get so up in arms about bullies when it comes to our children, so why are we teaching them how to be bullies by judging other moms and vocalizing it?
Seriously. Being a mom is hard. It's wonderful, and rewarding, and completely worth it, but it's hard. I'm just admitting it. Sometimes I need some "me time" or an ear to sound off on. Sometimes I feel completely at the point of melt down and I need someone to tell me that it's going to be ok. I also need someone to tell me that they go through exactly the same thing.
That little statement can go a long way.