“I used to look at other women around me and be envious of what they had, how they lived or the way they appeared to effortlessly breeze through life. I didn’t feel like them, like I had it all together and I still don’t. I would look at other women who were married with children as better than me. They were loved, they had it all, they had succeeded… they had what I wanted. I don’t know where this thought originated, obviously some deep seated insecurities or attachment issues that I have picked up somewhere along the way (Freud would probably suggest that I was not breastfed for long enough).
I had always known that I wanted to be a wife and a mum, I knew that I wanted kids, not that I wanted them young just knew that that was the path that I wanted to create for myself. If I am totally honest I guess I wanted that cliched white picket fence, a husband that adored me, a house that just miraculously smells of cookies when you walk in and two to three perfect smiling kids to fill the house with laughter. Yep that was the dream.
So the truth of the story is, I am that girl that got everything she wished for….. yep I am lucky!! I had my daughter at 28, got married to my loving husband at 29, then had my son at 30. We own our own home in the suburbs, its fence is green not white, and yep the house smells like cookies but only when I bake (which is very rare these days). So why do I still feel so much less of a success now? Hadn’t I just made all my dreams come true. What happens when your dreams are far from what you expected?
I have tried to pinpoint where these expectation of motherhood have come from but these days its everywhere we look, magazines, social media, television, mothers groups, the mum next door. We constantly compare ourselves to those that we see around us. We see what a good mother should be, how she should act, she should have everything under control, a tidy house, polite kids and to top it off look amazing.
I recently saw a post on social media that read ‘Yes, I gave you life… but really you gave me mine’ with a picture of a mother and child. Instead of the typical awwwww…. I actually got angry. I obviously wasn’t in the mood for seeing it at that point in time as it really struck a cord and led to this blog, it was not MY truth. Do mums REALLY believe this???
Am I crazy for not feeling this way?
At this stage I feel as though they are robbing my life, I have lost myself and I miss the person I was. I had a life before my kids, a life that I liked. Don’t get me wrong I think the fact that we create these amazing little human beings is insane and watching them grow is remarkable. I wake up looking forward to seeing my children whilst also knowing that the arguments and battles are going to start over anything from what they want for breakfast to which pair of shoes they want to wear. Some days as soon as they wake in the morning I look forward to their nap time and as soon as nap time is over countdown is on until bed time, just getting through the day.
In these trying moments I sometimes get anxious about being a mum. I feel panic coming on, panic that this is going to be my existence forever, panic that I don’t want to do this anymore, panic that I cannot handle the pressure…. pure panic in the pit of my stomach. Every so often I have to step away, take that breath, create some space for me to just exist without feeling “needed”. This is not all the time, it comes and goes but boy it feel like I am drowning in all that I expected motherhood to be (what it would be like, how it would make me feel, how it would complete me). I get so bewildered by the reality of motherhood, of raising individuals who are not going to listen, who have their opinions, who a totally dependent on you and that are incapable of reasoning with.
What I have discovered and am now not afraid to say is that, I love my children, what I don’t love is the job of being a mum. I am not sure why I though that it would be easier, I guess I really thought that it would come more naturally. I am not ungrateful for what I have and I know how lucky I am to be a mother to two unique, beautiful, healthy children. I am also sure that I cannot be alone in the way that I feel.
So here it is, my kids are not my everything (although I would give my life for them and do on a daily basis), I don’t find that it comes naturally, I refuse to let motherhood totally define who I am (only part of who I am) and I will not let myself get lost in the day to day without taking a moment for me. To set goals for myself, to be part of a community to utilize the skills that I work so hard to gain and to follow my passion, because I am worth it and because the best thing that I can give my kids is a mother that is happy and whos whole life does not rely solely on them.
As mums we will continue through the frustration, the panic, the breakdowns and the guilt, we continue to love, nurture, teach, mend, entertain, cuddle, clean, cook, referee, nurse just to name a few because although motherhood is the toughest job in the world we are needed. so this is my truth, I find it fkn hard… and that is okay.”
Emily is part of the Mummy Mind Detox team (she runs one of our MELBOURNE COURSES) PLUS she also has a blog of her own. To check out more of her amazing stories CLICK HERE. You can also get in touch with Emily by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org