life · Motherhood · Parenthood · wellbeing

Coming clean.

I read a post this morning which inspired me to write this. Beth’s honest post on why it’s okay if you don’t enjoy every minute of being a parent mainly focuses on the newborn phase, but I think it’s still relevant in this toddler phase. Every stage of being a parent has it’s challenges, at that moment that I opened the link, it just made me feel like I was not alone.

IMG_3920

Mostly on this blog, I write about, and photograph the snippets of life that bring me joy. I sometimes write about parenthood and occasionally about Mum. Lately I’ve mainly being writing up my Happy Things lists and my instagram account reflects the same ethos. Why? Partially because we no longer have nap times and I’m too knackered in the evening to even think about anything else. But also, because I have to. I need to remind myself of those things because right now, I’m depressed. There. I said it*

mama

Looking back on that first year of motherhood I can’t help experience a pang of regret. About all the ways I believe I failed my daughter, all the things I did wrong, the expectations I’d set for myself that were not achieved, the tears, the endless days at home alone, depressed, but unable to put it into words. I feel guilty about not enjoying it more (you *should* enjoy it, right?) I feel guilty about not being able to see the positives so clearly, because when I scan the photo library for evidence, there were some really fun times (albeit with unkempt hair and unwashed clothes). I began writing this blog (and simultaneously wearing red lipstick) as a catharsis, as a way to motivate myself to have things to write about (i.e. get out of the house), and as a way to have something positive to look back on. I wish I had started it much sooner, because, those early posts offer me some concrete evidence that it wasn’t all bad. Indeed, things got much better.

IMG_3958

When I’m feeling low, I find it extremely difficult to write about anything apart from how rubbish I feel. So I blanket censor all of that stuff, because I worry about how family or friends might feel. I worry about the girl-child reading it one day and feeling upset or to blame. Frequently (daily), I wonder who my own mother really was – did she have these experiences? Is that why I get like this? Am I going to pass this on to my daughter? When I was about 8 years old, I saw my Mum through a crack in a door, crying. My Grandma was sat beside her, comforting her. I’d never seen my Mum cry before. To my knowledge she was the life and soul of the party, always encouraging me to get involved and make the most of life. As an adult, I miss her in every possible way. I miss her stories and I crave to know more about her. One of the reasons I began to write was to cope with losing my Mum in those early months. One of the reasons I kept writing was in case I died young and left any future children clueless as to what their mother thought, felt and experienced in life. So, I am going to try harder to write more honestly. I think it’s important for myself, my daughter, and for any struggling parent who (like I once did) stumbles across a blog post looking for some hope, some solidarity.

We are not alone.

*It’s like Voldemort. He whose name shall not be mentioned. Only the more I say it, the better I feel. Duh. Obvs, innit.

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “Coming clean.

  1. I just read your blog. Then I re-read your blog out loud. Then I cried. The I asked Doug what catharsis means.
    I’m sure many of my friends with babes feel like this. You are not alone.
    Phone me and moan. I would love to be there for you when you need a friend. More than that, I’d love to hug you right now. Stick mini D-fer Daisy in the car and bring her down to Devon. She can ride saddle back on the giant puppy. You and I can suck strawberries under the magnolia tree. D X

    1. Thanks for your comment. I don’t know why I didn’t write this post ages ago – I feel better for sharing and it’s reassuring to know us Mums have the same concerns. Thanks for reading!

  2. “I can’t help experience a pang of regret. About all the ways I believe I failed my daughter, all the things I did wrong, the expectations I’d set for myself that were not achieved …”

    I think that says it all, really. You felt as if you’d “failed” based on largely unrealistic expectations you had set yourself, rather than evaluating your “performance” on all the amazing things you were actually doing (you know, like, getting through the day!). The main reason I felt such misery in the early days was because I had such an unflinching view of the kind of mum I should be, and obviously I was nothing like that mum. I therefore ruined the entire experience (you might get something out of reading this – http://bettyandthebumps.com/2015/03/29/a-letter-to-me-twoish-years-ago/ – too if you are still on an honesty trip!!). I was genuinely wondering what the point of blogging was until you linked up to my post last week; it’s given me a bit of a spring in my step.

    Thank you.

    x

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s