The support fellow mamas show each other on social media is incredible. I know there are some nasty pasties out there that think they are above everyone else and feel the need to be judgemental and mean but for the most part I see so much encouragement and love from mother to mother, support, well wishes, advise sharing, story sharing, laughing at and with one another and backing each other up when those keyboard warriors strike against the motherhood. The resounding ‘You got this mama!’ is like a warrior call to the fellow mother that they are doing amazing and to keep strong. But what about when you just don’t ‘got it’?
I think anyone that has read my blogs knows I haven’t taken to motherhood like a fish to water. I’m not going to claim to have had it harder than anyone else, I hear enough from my family that what Chloe does is normal, she’s a baby and that’s what babies do. There are babies out there with illnesses and disabilities that make things 1000% harder than my experience and I feel guilty when I complain about how tough things can get. But I haven’t coped well, I’ve cried a lot and I’ve doubted myself daily. I share a lot of how I’m feeling on my blog but I always try and put some sugar on it, I don’t share how dark things get in fear of judgement. But things have been pretty dark lately.
Yesterday I found myself curled up on my wardrobe floor in the dark bawling my eyes out. I had got Chloe out of bed from her afternoon nap and as I sat on the couch with her she lost her shit and would not stop crying. She cried for 15 minutes and I tried walking around with her and cuddling her but she just kept pushing away from me. I tried putting her on the play mat with her water and she started crying harder. I snapped. I turned around, walk to my bedroom, closed (i.e. slammed) the door and collapsed in the wardrobe and cried with my face in a pile of clothes untill I started gagging as I couldn’t take in air quickly enough. I felt like I was drowning. I couldn’t hear Chloe crying over my own wailing and I physically couldn’t move, it was like a heaviness was keeping me from moving.
This isn’t the first time I have done this and I know it won’t be the last. But this was different. I could feel myself loosing control and for the first time I was scared, scared to get up and keep pushing on through all these emotions and feelings I didn’t know how to control and rise above. When I heard Chloe’s cry coming towards me I stopped and it was like the logical part of my brain poked me and said “You done?!? Now get your shit together and go be a mother”. So that’s what I did, what else could I do? I let myself feel like I had lost all control then I wiped away the tears, picked my grown ass up off the floor and got back to life. I frequently push my feelings down with the thought that it doesn’t matter and there’s nothing I can do about it. I realise that this is dangerous and those feelings (like they did yesterday) can build up too far and explode but I’m yet to figure out how to let myself feel the frustrations of being a mother without having a complete breakdown and feeling completely helpless and hopeless.
It took me a while to accept that I had developed Post Natal Depression when Chloe was 3 months old. I had been prescribed an anti depressant but was reluctant to take them with my husband working away. I thought my feelings of angst and being overwhelmed were due to Chloe having silent reflux and I figured they would dissipate once the reflux stopped. I thought that being a sobbing mess at times and not being able to eat or sleep was a normal part of parenting but when I tried to think of the last day I hadn’t cried uncontrollably and not woken up several times in the night worrying about everything under the sun I knew it was more than the baby blues. I started taking the pills and after a few weeks I started feeling a little more in control of my emotions but I still haven’t got a full grip on them.
The same traumatic emotional outburst has happened again twice today (although not as intense) and I’m feeling it’s a mix of Chloe having been sick for a week, only getting a few hours of adult time this week before picking sick Chloe up from daycare and now me being sick with a cold myself and praying I don’t pass it back to Chloe. On top of this doing it all alone as yes, husband is still on his last swing of FIFO work. I don’t have a lot of mummy friends close by that are regularly available for catch ups, a lot of them work and the rest live a fair distance from me and let’s be honest, I can hardly have Chloe skip a nap or she’ll be even more of an unstable emotional troll and unfortunately she won’t sleep in the car (rolling eyes emoji).
I know it’s important to have a support network but to be honest I just don’t want to bother people with my complaining about my struggles. Well apart from feeling like I’m overreacting and that Chloe will turn on the sweet girl act as soon as someone else walks through the door making me out to be a total diva, I’ve just never been one to ask for someone else to take on my responsibilities. I wanted this, I waiting nearly 2 years to become a mother and now I can’t handle it. I feel some days that I don’t deserve to be a mother, there are women out there that would give anything to be a mum and I’m here taking it for granted. I know most of my dearest friends would be here if I truly needed them but as I’m nearing a year of being a mother I just feel I should have a better handle on this motherhood business.
I’m sure my emotional instability is more that likely to blame for Chloe not always being a happy sweet giggling baby, I know when you’re around other adults that are always on an emotional pogo stick you tend to feed off of them so I suspect it’s the same for babies. I do try each day to be as happy and cheery as I can when I’m in Chloe’s presence and she does bring me so much happiness but I still have a lot of work to do on myself and controlling and accepting my emotions. I need to accept that there are going to be challenges each and every day in my parenting journey and some times I won’t be able to figure it out, some days Chloe will cry for absolutely no reason (or everyday as it would seem) and if I turn to a ball of emotions she is only going to think that isn’t normal to cave when you are challenged. And the hardest of all, I have to accept that I am worthy.