A lot of mothers think that if they decided to have a baby and they stay at home with them, they need to handle everything, doesn’t matter what it is. Doesn’t matter that they’re tired, they sometimes have enough, they’d like to eat dinner by themselves once and they can’t – this isn’t important. The most important thing is that they have to sacrifice for their children and whenever they admit that there’s something wrong they hear that they shouldn’t complain because others’ pressure is huge. And complaining is good! If there’s something you don’t like say it out loud because nobody will read your mind.
I love being a mom and I’m very happy that I’m able to stay at home but I sometimes needs some space. I have nobody else to help besides Nathan who works every day and when he gets back home he often has food ready, the house is often clean and there are fresh flowers on the table… if I feel like doing all that. I don’t want to sit on the couch and leave everything for him because he might be tired too. Even though I sometimes really want to do it because there are days when I feel as if all my batteries died. And when I say “all” I mean seriously all of them, together with the ones responsible for my brain. Even though April is a very cheerful and calm child she also has bad days, like all of us. She sometimes doesn’t want to play by herself and she just comes to me and wants to be held. I’m fine with that for a while but I also have some boundaries that she sometimes crosses not being aware of it at all.
Yes, I sometimes have enough. Sometimes I’m so frustrated that I don’t know what to do with myself and I can’t leave April alone. I sometimes really want to sit down and do what I want without being in a hurry but being focused instead. And I can’t because even when April plays by herself I still always hear her, I always take a look sometimes. She will come to me for a moment, she’ll hit herself and will cry, I’ll need to change her diaper and so on. When she sleeps I never know for how long so I don’t want to start anything that will possibly take more time. When she plays with Alicia I often hear “Aga, look!” and I have to stop all the time. I eat with five breaks and read an article with ten breaks and when I’m done reading I have no idea what it was about. I can’t even go to the mail box by myself most of the time because when April sees me going so “far away” she cries and screams…
I know that there are tons of women feeling the same. I just met a girl recently who has a newborn and can’t handle everything when her husband is at work and when he gets back she still can’t because… he’s tired so he wants to rest and taking care of the baby is her job. You know, she doesn’t have enough sleep because her baby wants to be on her for most of the time, she takes a shower here and there and her baby has digestive problems. But she won’t ask for help. She told me looking at my face: “I wanted to have a baby so I have what I asked for!” Man, this doesn’t work this way! Of course, I think that giving a lot of time, love and warmth to your baby is extremely important but sacrificing the whole you is too much. I just read comments from women who didn’t leave their kids from when they were born at all even for a day and some of them were like 2 years old. And then the same women complained that they have no time for anything, they’re tired and can’t do anything by themselves because their kids are always with them. I personally think that this isn’t good. I think that each person in the world needs some time for themselves. The fact that we’re parents doesn’t mean that we need to spend 100% of our time with our babies. It doesn’t mean that we can’t go somewhere for the weekend if we have someone trustworthy to leave our children with. And really nothing will happen if a husband will watch kids for a few hours on Saturday when a wife wants to go shopping, get a haircut, go for a walk or just take a nap. Yes, nobody will clean the kitchen during this time but it doesn’t have to be perfectly clean either. Nothing bad will happen if it’ll be cleaned the next day.
You know what I think? I think that a lot of mothers put more work on them than necessary. When at the beginning right after April was born people told me to sleep when she sleeps I didn’t really do it because I always found something more interesting to do. And I didn’t rest. I cleaned and organized, washed, cooked… But eventually I sat down and thought it didn’t make any sense! I asked myself if I really cared about those books to be perfectly inline or about this shelf not having any dust on it? No. So I started taking naps when April slept (unless I decided to do something different) and you can’t even imagine how cool it was and how good I felt. Fortunately Nate didn’t expect the house to be perfectly clean and to have a dinner on the table every single time and if your husbands expect that then you need to have a serious talk.
There’s nothing wrong with asking for help. You’re not bad mothers because you don’t want to spend time with your kid at the moment. If you can ask someone for help do it. If you’d like to find a babysitter for a few hours a week, which I’m trying to do, do it. Take care of yourself, don’t close yourself at home. The work you put into all of it is priceless and it’s important that you remember about yourself too.
I’m writing this because I felt sorry for this friend I told you about and I realized that a lot of women have the same problem. I do too and I’ve been trying to solve it and I won’t jump of excitement and say that I’m happy if at the moment I just want to drop April off at Nathan’s work and stay in bed. Regardless of this huge love for children you still can feel tired both physically and mentally. And there’s no need to beat yourself up and feel guilty. Mothers are people too!
Talk to you next time,