I love looking back at my babies when they were younger. This is one of my favourite pictures (you might have caught it on my Instagram recently):
We seem so happy and we were in a lot of ways, but I was also drowning.
I had two boys under 2 years old, I was never sleeping, I was always in tears or furious, and I felt so alone. ⠀
New motherhood is hard. Even when someone looks happy, it might just be that those smiles are masking their tears and fears. I know that was true for me. I so desperately wanted to have everything as a mom totally together right from the beginning.
I mean, I was “prepared” for motherhood. I’d read the books, I’d had deep conversations with my husband, I’d listened to podcasts and read blogs all about motherhood. I was freaking prepared.
And then I had my first baby.
Frankly, everything I thought I knew went out the freaking window. I became a mess. I had no idea what to do, I oscillated between sobbing and screaming at any given moment, and everything I had planned to do with my baby wasn’t working or was going wrong. It literally felt like I was living in a daily nightmare.
Of course it got better and easier as my first baby grew and developed some semblance of independence. I started to find my footing as a mom and felt happier and more sure of myself…but then I got pregnant again, which brought about its own set of new challenges each and every day. And once I had that second baby, it felt like I was right back in the weeds, silently drowning with a smile plastered on my face lest anyone guess how desperately hard new motherhood was for me and how desperately scared and lonely I was.
I questioned if I was meant to be a parent. I questioned if I could even get through some of those really really really tough nights and days where the crying never stopped and I was too tired to even lift my head.
Sound familiar? It is actually the experience of more moms than you probably realize.
Quite truthfully, the only thing that made me feel a semblance of normality during that time. was reading someone’s blog post that totally got where I was in my motherhood journey and having frank discussions with other moms on Twitter about how ‘in the weeds’ we were as new parents.
But my experiences with loneliness and fear as a new mom are exactly why I’m so passionate about making sure I tell the stories that might seem like an overshare to some.
I want other moms to know that if they feel like they’re drowning or “faking it”, they’re not alone. ⠀
We’re in this together.
Even when we’re in the weeds, exhausted and feeling like we’re failing on all levels.
Even if you feel like you’re silently drowning. We’re in this parenthood thing together.
So don’t assume happy smiling faces are the reality of new moms. Tell the stories that are hard to tell, be a listening ear even if you can’t relate, be honest about what it really feels like for you to be a mom.
Because those are the stories that really resonate and take away at least some of the fear that comes with having a baby. Those stories you tell – online or in person – will matter and make a difference to someone, that I can promise.⠀