I created this blog for multiple reasons. One, I didn’t want to post every “new mom/baby problem” I was experiencing on Facebook, mostly because I felt like people would get annoyed with me. I wanted some other outlet. Two, to get advice from other moms. Three, to help new moms (now or in the future) who may be going through similar things. Four, it’s therapeutic for me.
I bring this up because I’ve received some negative feedback from people thinking I’m ungrateful or complaining just to complain about being a mom. I hope I don’t come across as a complainer. My intention is simply to tell my story.
I LOVE being a mom. I’m just like every other mom who loves their child unconditionally and wants what is best for them.
Reason number five that I created this blog, I want this to be real. I mean, raw, real. I feel like so many moms try to hide the fact that being a mom is difficult. For some reason they want to shadow the unpleasant, the hard, and pretend like everything is beautiful. Maybe they’re afraid of any backlash they may receive. Maybe they don’t want others to know that they’re struggling as they try to find their way around their new title. Maybe they feel too alone. Maybe they don’t know how to express what they’re going through. There could be a plethora of reasons.
I had lunch with a dear friend earlier this week and we were both discussing the fact that no one seems to want to be honest about parenthood, or share many of their struggles. It’s like there’s some sort of secret society that says “let’s not tell the non-parents or parents-to-be about our issues, just so they don’t change their mind.” Those of us who want to truly be parents aren’t going to change our minds. We just want to know what we’re getting into.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Every child is different. There is no one size fits all. I know that. I read several books during pregnancy and did lots of research online. I realize that nothing truly prepares you.
I guess here’s what I’m saying: When someone asks you how you’re doing with your family (whether it’s a new family with little ones or older ones), be honest. Likewise, if you’re the person asking this question then don’t be shocked or judgmental when a person admits how things REALLY are going, rather than sugarcoating, just because that seems to be what society wants. They want to hear that you’re getting your full 8 hours of sleep, and that your little one just smiles, plays, and quietly cooperates all day. Everyone wants you to say you have the perfect baby, because that’s the way society has told us we should answer.
People should recognize the difference between someone being an honest, overwhelmed, tired, or frustrated, mom to someone who likes to complain for the sake of hearing themselves talk. (Come on, I know we all know someone like that!)
When people ask me the question “How is it being a new mom?”, I tell them the truth. I‘m tired. I’m not sure what to do about my baby who cries for hours on end. You know why I tell them? I tell them because I find people who have gone through the same thing, and that’s where I get advice. I tell them because it’s nice to have someone to talk to who can say “yeah, I’ve been there.” I tell them because I don’t feel so alone.
It doesn’t mean that I love my child ANY less. In fact, I think my honesty just signifies my love for him even more, because each time I talk to someone they usually have a suggestion for me and I ALWAYS try what is suggested. What do I have to lose? If it doesn’t work, then I can scratch it off and move to the next thing. As the saying goes: “Don’t try to reinvent the wheel.” Take the advice and suggestions you can get from others.
…But you’re only going to get that advice if you’re open about what you’re experiencing.