To say the season of motherhood is tough would be the understatement of the century.
I’ve heard it discussed lately that women today have unreasonable expectations about what motherhood is supposed to be like and that’s why we all feel like we are constantly grumpy, drowning and miserable. But I think the bigger issue is that we are trying to doing something in a culture that doesn’t support our vocation – living a phase of life on our own that traditionally throughout the world has not been done without community support. We’re trying to do too much, go too fast and live up to the unreasonable expectations and pressures we feel our culture is putting on us.
Entertain guests within hours of giving birth – Get your own groceries within days – Continue to manage your household, clean the dishes, cook the meals and care for all your older children while still sore and exhausted from birth – Figure out breastfeeding on your own – Get back to your pre-baby body within months… the list goes on and on.
How can we be expected to nourish the mind, body and soul of our children when we aren’t even given the time, space and help to do so for ourselves after the monumental life shift that is bringing a child into the world?
And it continues. Maintain a spotless home, cook well-rounded whole food meals all day long, run all the errands, pay all the bills, be the perfect spouse and mother, attend play dates, make sure your kids get lots of outdoor time and free play time and structured play time and no TV time.
This pattern of a complete lack of a support system for women and mothers continues. The pressure mounts. Our sanity crumbles.
Dear Overwhelmed Mama, you are not alone.
Whether you are struggling through a tough first pregnancy, learning to juggle 2 under 2, trying to find the time to take your older children everywhere while also caring for a newborn, or navigating the tricky waters of parenting adolescent children, we are all in this together.
We, your fellow moms, see you.
We see you try to calm your screaming toddler in the grocery store, weighing the pros and cons of abandoning your cart to leave even though you really need groceries. We see you trying not to look self-conscious as you sit down to nurse your baby in public. We see you look longingly at the newly engaged couple madly in love, or the family with the magically well-behaved children, or the mother of the newborn who already fits in her skinny jeans and has a full face of makeup on. We see you as you pull out your phone to calculate the groceries in the cart, weighing if you can afford to buy both grapes and wipes this week. We see you hoping no one can see your massive postpartum pad as you make your first post-birth appearance (hint: no one can).