Mommy is a Person

Be brave enough to start a conversation that mattersI saw this amazing post, and I had to add my take on it.  Social media like Facebook can cause you to compare yourself to the mama who seems to have it all together.  I would see these blog posts and adorable pictures, and I would berate myself.  Why didn’t I have it together? Why couldn’t I reach out to friends and schedule play dates with my friends who were SAHMs? I suffered in silence, and I withdrew from my friends and family.  I felt so much self-loathing and hatred towards myself.  I felt like I did not deserve my beautiful family.  I hated the person I had become.  I treated the loves of my lives with rage, irritability and frustration.  If I treated the people I loved that way, how could I fake it for anyone else?  I could not keep up that facade.  The depression and the anxiety threatened to consume me.  My loved ones knew that I was struggling, but they felt powerless to help me.  No one knew exactly what to say.

Janelle so eloquently tells us in her post to just ask the mom how she is really doing.  Look her in the eyes.  If you hear a little catch in her voice on the phone, go see her in person.  Postpartum mood and anxiety disorders make women isolate themselves at a time when we need the support and love of our community.  Connection and community are what that struggling new mom needs.  That is what I needed.  It does not take much to make a struggling mom feel heard and validated.  Sometimes words aren’t even necessary; just a simple hug can make a world of difference.

Motherhood should not equal martyrdom, but that is how I approached those early years.  I felt like I had to sacrifice everything for my daughters.  I worked full-time, and I spent quite a bit of time nursing and pumping.  I felt like I could not take any time away from my darling girls since I spent so much time away from them.  I started to resent them for taking everything from me.  What I failed to realize was that I forgot to  fill up my cup.  I felt so guilty about taking any time away from my children for self-care.  I felt like I was deserting them.  I had forgotten that I was a person with needs.  How could I take care of others if I did not take care of myself?  My girls understand the value of self-care now at ages four and seven.  They understand that Mommy and Daddy have outside interests and hobbies.  When they protested this weekend that I was going for a run, I reminded them that I had been especially cranky this past week due to a lack of intense exercise.  After  a few minutes of debate, they acquiesced.  Nearly an hour later,  I returned from a five-mile run refreshed and recharged.  I found this podcast a while ago, and it really resonated with me.  https://powerofmoms.com/radio-episode-10/ This podcast title inspired me so much that I made it the title of this post.

Self-Care Is NOT Selfish

 

About tranquilamama

Juggling parenthood, housework and working outside the home in the corporate world with my wonderful husband. Mom to 2 beautiful girls. PPD and PPA survivor. The title of my blog is after a phrase that was repeated to me in Spain during my semester abroad in college. It roughly translates to relax and calm down. Trying to tame my inner perfectionist and just be a good enough mom.
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8 Responses to Mommy is a Person

  1. Ruth says:

    I think you already knew that I would love this post! Such a great reminder to do what is best, which is sometimes taking care of myself. Hugs and high fives to you, friend!

  2. dyane says:

    Amen to all that you wrote, my dear!

  3. Laura says:

    That post was beautiful, as is yours. Lately I’ve been feeling this little voice inside me telling me to share more about my experience. I mean, I have… to a certain extent. But more. I feel like I need to share more. Maybe because this baby is going to be here before I know it and I’m not confident I will be able to keep the perspective I have now while in the thick of it. Like I need to document it now so I can remind myself when I forget. So thank you for this post and the link to the other one because it’s inspiring me to share.

  4. Tara says:

    I think self-care will be a huge key to my own recovery from PPD. I’m awful at it. I’ve been thinking that, before we become parents, “self-care” isn’t really a thing. When I was single and childless, I never had to carefully plan out how I was going to take care of myself. Long, hot showers, hiking in the woods, spending an afternoon with girlfriends…that wasn’t “self-care”, it was just life. Now, I have to schedule these things, okay them with someone else so the kids will be taken care of. Sometimes I feel resentful of the fact that just taking a shower has become “me-time”. It’s a neccessity!

    Thanks for your post, and for sharing Janelle’s post. I love her blog, and really appreciate all the bloggers telling it like it is!

    • Tara, I just had a huge light bulb moment. We do not need to carve out that time before we are parents. We have time in abundance. Of course you feel resentful. A shower is not “me-time”. It is your right as a mom to get in a daily shower. Thank you for commenting. Self-care continues to be key for me as my girls get older and more involved in activities. If I do not fill my own cup, then I cannot help fill theirs. I need to replenish my soul and my energy so that I am not depleting myself.

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