Mothers: You are Fabulous!
Updated: Oct 3, 2019
Hello all you mothers out there. How are you all doing today? I am a proud mother of two teenage boys. I have been through the newborn stage, the terrible twos, the primary school stage and now I'm going through the dreaded teenage years!
How are you dealing with the challenge of being a mother? I, like most of the mothers out there that I know, have my ups and downs. Yesterday, was a downer but today is better. Let's help each other along!
I read an article today in the national newspaper about a celebrity mother who admitted to finding motherhood difficult. I felt for that young mother. I hear you girl!
It was twelve years ago that I had my last child, almost thirteen years ago now. His name is Mark and he is gorgeous. He's taller than me at just twelve years of age! But, I still remember the difficult times when I had two little boys under the age of two. There are 15 months between my boys. It was memorable time, but also a challenging time.
I remember one particular morning a couple of weeks after I had MarK, I was sitting at the breakfast table holding my little fella, while his older brother ran around the place getting into (literally) everything, cupboards, bags, boxes, CD stands - everything. Fabio was getting ready to go off to work and I was facing a day with my boys alone. I was bone tired and in pain from my caesarean section a few weeks before. I was down in the dumps and I didn't even have the energy to fight my sadness. I just let the feelings come. It was my second time around the block and I felt reasonably secure in the knowledge that my feelings would pass. Everything in this life passes eventually. The tears came and they wouldn't stop coming. I casually wiped them away and got on with feeding my newborn. I kept wiping them away.
My husband noticed that I was crying and stood frozen for a minute. He was clearly unsure of what to do or say, lest it disintegrate into another fight. We had been having many recently. I looked at him and said "It's ok, it will pass". He replied "You sure?" I could see the relief on his face. I wasn't in the fighting mood, which was good.
I was submissive in my melancholy. I had been down this road before and I knew it was a process that us mothers go through. So, I replied "Yeh, it's ok, go to work" and he was out of the apartment within minutes, almost running out the gate, under the guise of being late. Happy to be free of the place for 8 hours and I fully understood. He even forgot to give me a kiss. He was probably as tired as I was.
That was a bad day. To counter that, however, I've had many wonderful moments, days and years with my boys since.
In those early years, people say to you "Enjoy it while it lasts!" but it is hard to enjoy it when you are feeling overwhelmed and so so tired. It is hard enough to get through the day not to mention enjoy it! So, I feel for every mother out there, whatever the stage you are going through because every stage, and I mean every stage, has its challenges. So instead of judging and feeling superior, let's all just admit it that it's hard and get to the business of supporting each other. We are all doing our best, Ladies!
What is essential to remember, when you're going through a tough time, are the good times, None of us must forget those good times, especially when life feels like a struggle. Keep reminding yourself of the good times passed and the ones to come too! Remember those good times when your chest is about to explode with pride. When your little one has achieved something he/she has worked hard for. Or those times when you look at them and feel nothing but a powerful maternal love that could almost consume you. Those times keep us going. So, remember them often.
Here comes the Advice bit...
Here is a little bit of advice for the younger mothers out there, who are feeling overwhelmed.
Create a network of caring! What do I mean by this? I mean create a network of caring, supportive people (probably the majority being mothers or fathers but not necessarily), who are going through the same thing or similar things. I'm not talking about creating an international network, full of supportive people across the globe. I'm talking just a few people/mothers who understand your situation and who are willing to hear you when you need them to hear you. In turn, you do it for them. This gets a LOAD off when you just can't take it anymore.
These people in your caring network, however, need to be tried and tested, Oh yes sir! Don't open up to just anyone. When you meet someone you like, chat for a bit and test the waters. Usually, soon enough you can get an idea of what type of person you are talking to. Invite them over for coffee and a chat. Slowly grow your caring network. I've been burned a few times where I've 'over shared' to my own detriment. When your emotions are so close to the surface, there is a temptation to try to rush things. It doesn't work like that. These things take time.
Building up a relationship with a few select people/mothers is ESSENTIAL to your well being during those early years and beyond! These people will become the foundation to your caring network as your children grow. Of course, the people in your network will dip in and out, but your network will remain. Your caring network is your safety network, if you will. Work on it and it will be worth it in the end.
I am not sure about mothers who have the help of family members. I was completely on my own in Dublin, in terms of family support. If you have your mother and maybe a few sisters and brothers around you, happy days! The caring network will be an added bonus! My older sister, Noelle, lives down the country but she was always at the end of the phone for me during those early years. In fact, we became and remain very close as a result of those years. Everyone has a different experience. Like everything in this Blog, I speak from my own personal perspective. My caring network helped me to cope, become strong and enjoy motherhood (most of the time!).
What about you? Do you have any suggestions for young, overwhelmed mothers? Let's share in this post below.
Namaste people xx
P.S You can read more about my idea of a caring network here!