This is a much more personal piece for me. Being vulnerable is difficult for so many people. I think vulnerability when you’re a mom is even harder to give in to.
As a mom, you are naturally programmed to be a strong pillar for your kids and family. If something happens, your kids look to you as the calming force surrounding and protecting them. Your children’s needs and wants are placed before your own- always. You may have only nibbled on a cracker the entire day and feel like you could gnaw your arm off in hunger, but, you always make sure your kids are fed. You may have used dry shampoo and perfume a few days too long (guilty!), but, your kids are always clean and bathed, moisturized, and snuggled in their jammies. You may be wearing the same yoga pants from a week ago (including the crusty food, boogers, and whatever else- you don’t wanna know!), but, your kids are always in clean clothes (even if they need 10 outfit changes a day).
As a mother, the things above are no brainers to us. It’s just what we do. I’m not saying we don’t complain about it sometimes. I know I’ve grumbled about how hungry I am and how much I just want to wash my grungy feeling hair. Even with our grumbles, our children’s needs are never sacrificed in place of ours. This is part of what we signed up for right?! We knew there’d be sleepless nights, late and missed meals, no time to shower or brush our teeth, but, that isn’t all that motherhood is! So, why do moms have such a hard time being vulnerable? Why do we battle so hard with asking for help or for a little time to ourselves? I know for myself, I wanted to be able to handle it all myself and I was able to do that (at least pretend! Ha!) for awhile. I hated asking for help with anything. I wanted to be like those moms who appear to “have it together” and can wake up, shower, do their hair, do their makeup, and get dressed in a cute, color coordinated outfit while their sweet baby plays contently the entire time. As the months went on, I was wearing myself down. Cue 10/11 months postpartum- I was seriously struggling with myself and my mindset. I was stressed, tired, frustrated, and sad. I didn’t feel normal.
To be honest, at 14 months postpartum, I STILL don’t feel “normal”. My thyroid is a little off and I have slight late PPD. I take homeopathic sepia to help with my moods and use essential oils that another awesome mama gave me who understood what I was going through (thanks Jennica! :]). I have ‘off’ days where I just can’t handle my emotions and would rather sit in bed and cry than face the day. I’m slowly starting to realize that having time for ME is just as important as making sure my girl is taken care of. I’m getting back into working out and eating better and the grandparents watch our girl while we go work out with some other people from church 3-4x a week. I have a spa day scheduled for next weekend (1.5 hours alllll to myself with no distractions!). I have a supportive husband who snuggles me closer on the days I’m struggling and gives me a little time to myself to recoup. And, even on the days that my girl is driving me up a wall, I am so thankful and blessed for her and her funny personality.
As hard as it is, ask for help, fellow mamas. No one will look at you as less of a mother or a bad mom. It may be hard at first, but, you deserve to feel good and to be happy. If you need an hour or two to yourself so you can take a shower and take a breather, ask someone you trust to help with baby. You can’t give your baby the best if you aren’t at your best. It won’t be better overnight but over time, you’ll get there. You know yourself the best so treat yourself the best.