Updated: Jun 20, 2020
This is for you! Yes, you! A mom who does it all, and then some. A mom who never asks for help. A mom who is struggling and suffering mentally and physically. You are not alone!
Are you one to refrain from asking for help? Do you find it bothersome to others if you do speak up and ask? Are you afraid to be rejected? If so, then you and I are very much alike. I, too, hide my struggles. We carry this weight on our shoulders that we are eager to put down, yet society and this "mothering-competition" are pushing us down. I never knew this feeling existed until I became a mother.
I deleted my Instagram and Facebook app on my phone. My mind was going crazy! Most of my time was consumed by scrolling, liking, and occasional comparing. Why make myself feel this way? My mom-guilt overpowered me at points. However, I realized that mom-guilt isn't actually all that bad. We need that guilt to pull us back to our priorities and steer us away from what drives us even more deranged. In this case, social media. It was time for a detox. I will probably be back very soon. Though, if you must know, I currently love the freedom not to be attached to something.
Apart from social media, how have the last three months been for you moms? As for me, COVID-19 may not have affected me physically, but it sure did affect me MENTALLY.
My head was everywhere. COVID-19 took a toll on us all in various ways. Nonetheless, I can't say it was all unpleasant. My husband was home almost every day. We took advantage of the time together and made the most of it. It was the days that consisted of dishes piled high, countertops wiped 100 times, and needy toddlers, that depleted me.
I lost my positive voice in this quarantine. Three months indoors for a mama is not healthy. I suffer from anxiety as it is, and when we were forced to introduce social distancing and quarantine, my life became monotonous. It was like living a daily cycle of wash, dry, fold, and repeat - literally. Two girls under the age of two, are intriguing to watch grow, yet so draining. Who knew two little humans could be so innocent in asking so much of me.
Quarantine helped me realized how beautiful my family is, yet it also made me want to pull my hair out. Often, I tried to hide in the bathroom or take longer showers to find inner peace, and I still felt guilty. It wasn't the girl's fault that they had to be stuck indoors.
I found myself smiling at my girls, kissing, and playing with them; however, my thoughts were elsewhere. The laundry needs to be done. I gotta mop these floors. Gabi don't touch that. Over and over again. Hardly was I in the present. It's like my mind was stuck in a whirlpool, and my body was struggling to swim out.
My peace was lost, and I felt defeated.
Once I felt I was reaching my breaking point, which was about two weeks ago, I stepped out of my comfort zone and asked for help. It was time, and I couldn't do it alone anymore. I hid my struggles too well and for too long.
Don't be scared of mom-guilt. I used to believe mom-guilt was shit, and how pressure is put on us mamas. However, it's perfectly okay to go out and leave your children elsewhere, so that you can escape motherhood for a while. Your children will still love you! Also, know that it is a fact that by putting yourself first, will bring out the best in your for your children. It is NOT a sin.
To be honest, I wrote an entire blog on how I thought I lost myself. It was depressing! Paragraphs and paragraphs of rants and how awful my life felt at the time. I read it aloud to my husband, and he looked at me, concerned, and asked ARE YOU OKAY? After expressing myself to him, I guess I never knew I was secretly screaming for help. I read that blog over and over and asked myself, how does this help you? It didn't, which is why I waited until I was over that feeling to talk to you mamas.
Nonetheless, I remember saying, at the start of being quarantined, THIS TOO SHALL PASS. And you know what? It did! Feeling defeated, left me feeling stronger. I overcame it, and now I can grow older and come back to this time and be proud of myself. I did the best I could do, and that is what matters most.
So, you see, mama, you need help! Whether it be your parents, friends, sitters, neighbors, you have to reach out for it, or you'll be on the floor with no way of getting up.
You are POWERFUL. You are doing the best that you can do. You are ENOUGH. Even the strong need a little help. No one is judging you, WAIT, scratch that, some will judge, it's the ones who love you and know your worth who will never judge and lend a helping hand. Don't be afraid to ask for it. The worst that can happen is a soft no or maybe next time. And when in doubt, invest in your peace and pay for that expensive night out, sitter included.
If there is anyone that understands the struggles you are going through, it's a mama who is also struggling. You are not alone!
To conclude, I found it useful to help me cope with my state of mind by doing the following:
Take a step back and breathe in and out three times. Then ask yourself, is this really worth my anger?
It's okay to disappear for a while, just don't get too lost. Deleting social media could possibly help you realize there is more to life than just a screen.
Talk to someone. Your friend, parents, husband, or even a stranger. Expressing yourself and saying how you feel aloud, will surprisingly help.
Don't be scared of mom-guilt. I used to believe mom-guilt was shit, and how the pressure is put on us mamas. However, it's perfectly okay to leave your children elsewhere, so that you can escape motherhood for a while. Your children will still love you! Also, it is crucial to understand that putting yourself first will bring out the best in you for your children. It is NOT a sin.
Do you what you need to do, to keep sane.
I hope this helps.
Thank you for listening, mamas, and stay vigorous.