This is me with my daughter, when she was about two months old. I love this picture. My mom took it when she came to visit us in Antwerp. It is completely uncensored, we are both wearing our pyama’s, I haven’t taken a shower, my hair is a mess.
For me, this is a true depiction of motherhood. I had wanted a baby for such a long time, and I couldn’t believe how fortunate I was when I heard I was expecting a baby girl!
But the reality is that motherhood is hard. It is exhausting to not get enough sleep for months on end, to hush your baby ten times a day, to not get enough time to yourself.
But the most exhausting thing about motherhood, and parenting in general, is the social pressure and the outside judgement that is connected to a baby being born.
By this I mean that everyone has an opinion on how you should handle your baby. I used to be the same: I was the best parent until I actually had a kid. It feels like I have to explain to everyone why I choose to cope with my baby’s crying in a certain way, or why I do this instead of doing that. And it is because I know her: I have been with her since she was born. I made her with my body and then, as we say in Dutch: “I put her on the world”.
I can differentiate a hunger-cry from a tired-cry from a I’m-bored-cry. I can even differentiate it from the “I’m-fake-crying-because-I-want-your-hugs-cry” 😏
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I did not expect that I would be so crushed by feelings of guilt all the time. Guilt of not being good enough, not doing enough, not being able to raise a baby and have an impeccable household at the same time. Guilt for staying at home one day a week. Guilt for not always enjoying that day off. Guilt towards my partner who does not get to stay at home one day a week. And the list goes on!
I read a beautiful blog post about motherhood, written by one of my favorite bloggers, Mrs. Frugalwoods. She is currently juggling between being a fulltime mom to a toddler and a baby, being a writer and running a homestead. Here’s the link.
I will, from now on, try to be more kind to myself, and more kind to other parents. No judgement! It’s not easy being a parent (not just a mom, it also applies to the daddies out there).
Hugs for everyone!