With Mother’s Day just around the corner, I felt it was a good time to take a minute to acknowledge all the mamas out there who are struggling. While it used to be something I was ashamed to admit, I feel no shame today in saying I am one of those mamas who is struggling. Some days are easier than others, but there are hard days. Really, really hard days where I am too strict on my children, yell at them too much, and feel completely defeated, overwhelmed, and exhausted.
After my third child was born, I became even more hard on myself. I was exhausted from nursing through the night, waking up several times a night for all three children, and never being able to catch up on sleep. I struggled with Postpartum Depression and often felt like the worst mom in the world. I had a hard time connecting with anyone other than my newborn daughter and constantly thought something was wrong with me.
Can you relate to this?
Listen, I know being a mom is hard. I know that they are called the terrible twos for a reason and that my four year old will be as awful to me as I was to my own mother. I know that when they have tantrums it is because they are overwhelmed by their feelings; that their little bodies cannot process their frustrations. I know that they will scream at the top of their lungs because they can’t process that it is not the way to get what they want. I know all of this. But it doesn’t make it any easier to handle. I try really hard to be the calm, respectful, patient, kind, gentle, nurturing, perfect mother that I dream of being. I try to be an example for my children, but sometimes I fail. And that is okay.
So to all the moms out there who are struggling: you are not alone. And while I know the phrase “you are not alone” doesn’t make you feel any better of a mom on those bad days, at least you know it’s normal. When you feel absolutely awful for yelling at your 4 year old after she tantrums for 2 hours at bedtime, claiming to all of a sudden be afraid of the dark (even though the light is on), you are not a terrible mom. When you feel like a jerk for putting your 2 year old in timeout for hitting his baby sister with a soccer ball (when he was just trying to play catch), you are not a terrible mom. When you refuse to let your kids leave the dinner table before they eat their chicken and rice, and they say you hurt their feelings and made them sad, you are not a terrible mom. We all struggle. Just know that tomorrow is a new day. You can start fresh and work towards being the mother you dream of being.
May is Maternal Mental Health Month. To help us end the stigma attached with maternal mental health complications, all month we will be featuring stories pertaining to MMH. If you or someone you know is in need of additional support, see our resources page If you have a story you would like to share, please contact us at [email protected]