One of the biggest things that has helped me in being a new mom is the fellowship with other moms, which ultimately leads to one conclusion: we’re not alone.
Motherhood, no matter how much “practice” one has with babysitting or siblings, is a whole new life that is not as romantic as everyone likes to act like it is. Some moms, and those who aren’t even moms, like to act as if everything is perfect; their kids are perfect, their husbands are perfect, and their whole home is perfect. Many times, though, you can break through these facades by admitting a fault, for example: “My kid is driving me up the walls, every day!” (There are still those type of people out there who will put up their nose and still say they’re perfect, but I’m not addressing them today.)
Living with postpartum depression in the beginning of new motherhood was lonely and harsh. What I didn’t understand, though, until many months later, was that every single mom felt the same way I did, even if they didn’t have the depression. Every single mom felt tired. They felt stretched beyond belief. They felt like they were going to go insane. They felt like a failure. They felt angry. They felt sad.
Every mom feels like motherhood is the end. We feel like we’re going to die from changing poopy diapers, or from the constant crying and screaming our kid starts when they don’t get their way. We all wonder if this is all that life has to offer.
Hearing moms speak real, right from their exhausted hearts, was a turning point for my definition of myself, specifically as a depressed mom (which leads to feeling like a failure). I discovered that my depression is separate from my ability and my love as a mom. It (the depression) does not define me as a mom, nor as a wife. It is simply one of those struggles that some people go through. It’s my own special trial, and if I treat it right, it won’t define me.
Now, not every mom has only negative things to say about motherhood. In the same breath I hear about how proud they were of their kids in school, or how much they love the little quirky personalities of the wee ones. It’s always a good reminder to be real, but to be constantly in love with your kids. You may not like them every day, but you love them. Every mom has their good and their bad days, and it’s up to each of them to determine how they’re going to let those days define who they are as a mom.
I chose to let this day not bother me. Letting Daddy dig into the Nutella and smear it on Michael’s face didn’t make me a bad mom (one for letting him get all messy, two for letting Nutella, which has the first ingredient sugar, into my house), it made me an awesome mom.