When people think you’re a “great” mom – they don’t check on you, you get overwhelmed, keep your feelings to yourself and you try your hardest to be an awesome mama even when you just want a nap. I remember having my first baby (after loss) and everyone checked on me. They almost stalked me to make sure I was ok, baby was ok and kept making sure my life wasn’t falling apart. Fast forward to baby last (baby 3). No one checked on me after the first week. I’m sure they thought – “she’s got it.” I mean – I AM a professional newborn keeper “aliver”…but professional mom of 3 – I was not.
I think people think that the more kids you have the more your mama super powers click in. But let me tell you – the more kids you have, the more help you need. I really could have used someone to hold my baby and occupy my toddlers while I managed a shower, twisted my hair or even grabbed a meal. Do you know how many meals I missed while I was on maternity leave? 80% of them. If someone had just rolled by and thrown a bag of apples on my porch around 9:45 am every morning – I might have been able to count that as breakfast. If someone other than my doctor had asked me if I was feeling overwhelmed or sad I might have felt more important than just a milk maker, clothes washer and meal cooker.
A few weeks before giving birth I was smart enough to order groceries once I couldn’t walk around the store anymore. I’m really glad I kept using it the duration of my maternity leave or I “never would’ve made it.” I don’t know if you’re aware, so let me tell you, the more kids you have… the more help you need. Did I say that already? Sometimes I’m so delirious I don’t know if I’m going or coming… and I repeat myself more and more.
More kids mean less time to sleep, eat, shower, read, love on your partner, get in your feelings, be your own person, etc. I don’t think I even had time for the baby blues or postpartum this time. My maternity leave felt like punishment. If I’m being honest – if my baby weren’t so sweet and cute, I might have opt’d to go back to work sooner than I did. Don’t even get me started on returning back to work. Apparently I’m supposed to work 40+ hours a week on minimal sleep, after being half awake to feed a newborn all night, spend my evenings and weekends occupying two toddlers, be an amazing wife, plan fun educational activities for their little brains and do it over and over for the next 6 years.
I have more fails than wins, drop more balls than I want and get a lot less sleep than I need. I want to work out but I have found zero time. I will say – parenting is NO JOKE and when you survive – you’ve raised some amazing humans… at least that’s what I hope. There are definitely days when I just wanna check into a hotel and take a nap after work. Instead, I keep it moving.. or I just keep moving and do what needs to be done. Every now and then I just say “F” (Forget) it and order a pizza and use disposable diapers because I’m just UNABLE to cook and wash that day. You know what? Everyone lives, the earth keeps spinning and I’m still an ok MAMA. That doesn’t mean that I don’t keep trying to be SuperMama.. it just means that it’s ok if I can’t be at 100% every single day. I keep trying though.