The other day my sister called from Minnesota and told me I needed to watch Oprah. It was about the difficulties of motherhood she said. I could hear my mom yelling in the background that it would be encouraging, so I tuned in and saw women expressing many of the things I have been feeling but have felt too timid to say.
Being a mom is hard!! No, not just hard, it can be miserable at times.
The guests on the show had interviewed many mothers, and all of the moms said they weren’t sure if they were happy. Also, they all thought they were the only ones who were feeling that way. We don’t share this with one another because being a mom is supposed to be joyful and fulfilling. Not being happy as a mom is something to be ashamed of. If I am not happy as a mom there is something deeply wrong with me.
This is definitely what I have been experiencing for the last four months. And I feel ashamed to admit that. I have felt timid in expressing my experiences and feelings because good Christian moms are never discouraged, never depressed, never angry with their babies or husbands or God. We must always have a smile on our faces, always appear put together with clean, well organized homes and clean, happy babies. To be otherwise is failure.
I am nervous sharing the truth because while I’m sure other women are experiencing the same things, no one talks about these things and what if I am the only one! Oh no! I’m such a bad mom!
In the first two months of Jack’s life I was completely overwhelmed with the responsibility of caring for him. I had wonderful help from my mom and sisters and husband, but when the extended family went back to Minnesota and Tim went back to work I found myself caring for Jack nearly 24/7 and being totally exhausted.
I did not enjoy it.
There, I said it. I was not happy. Jack was fussy. I was feeling depressed from being so tired and alone. Desperate for something to distract me from life, I checked out the first season of Desperate Housewives from the library to watch while I was breastfeeding and I was hooked. One of the housewives, Lynnette, was a particular comfort to me because she admitted she did not like being a stay-at-home mom. She struggled to keep herself together and ended up turning to her sons’ ADD medication in order to have the energy to keep up the façade of perfect wife and mother. There is a scene when she finally loses it, throws her kids at her friend and runs away. Her friends find her and reassure her that they have had the same moments. They too cried during their kids’ nap time and were not happy. Lynette said, “Why don’t we tell each other these things?” “Does it help?” “Yeah, it helps!”
Yeah, it helps.
So I’m stepping out. I work through my thoughts and issues through writing. I always have. And I have felt that God has wanted me to share my experiences and my challenges. I am currently working on a more “professional” writing project, but I also need to blog. I need to vent. Not that it will be negative, but it will be honest. Yeah, I’m scared of what people will think. I’m afraid of what my mother-in-law will think. I’m afraid of everyone seeing the true Leah. But I need an outlet and I hope at least a few women may relate.