I recently had a bit chat (the modern version – online of course) with a beautiful friend who is questioning herself a lot. Her fears/worries/thoughts so strongly echo my own that after I’d given her this advice, I thought I probably should take it myself. After all, if its solid advice then it should apply to me too right?
Anyway, so here it is, a bit edited to make it able to apply to me – so Sharna, next time you’re beating yourself up (again), please read over this letter from me, to me, with love x
Its so very important to not feel guilt that you want space and time. Its normal – and for those women who you know that ‘manage’ it all, without complaining, keep in mind that you have no idea what goes on in their head and there could be a million reasons why they seem to have it together. They may even think YOU are the one with it all together. Perception is a funny thing and there are always 3 sides to a story – your truth, their truth and the actual truth.
Make sure you get out and about with the kidlets – even just down to the park or something, take a book and a coffee and a blanket and plop them down to enjoy fresh air. The house is claustrophobic and the outdoors can amuse them so much, even just for 30 mins, so you can have a bit of ‘you’ time even if they are with you, technically.
And just remember. You ARE grateful, you’re grateful for them, and for their health, and for all you have. Its not natural, however, to be grateful for things that hurt or upset you, like the feelings of isolation and boredom and frustration. Those feelings are what you are not grateful for. You don’t have to feel grateful for that type of shit, in fact it would be weird if you did!! So don’t confuse what it is that you feel resentment against – not them personally, but the feelings that you are experiencing (which are no-one’s fault, they just are) and don’t feel guilty.
As for resilience … you don’t give yourself enough credit, you’re still going aren’t you? And keep in mind we are all of us good and bad at things. I am good at organising and spreadsheets and helping people. I am not good at monotony, and I am not great in the areas of mental reality and stability. I have anxiety and I tend to catastrophise everything and I’ve learned (thank you to my great psychologist) that these are just parts of me that I need to learn to manage, rather than constantly try to fix. Like someone who has a limp – sure, its not ideal, but its not game ending either, its just a small fault in them that they acknowledge and work with and get on with life. I’ve stopped asking myself ‘what’s wrong with me? why can’t I just be normal?’ and I now accept that this is my normal. My husband has shitty eyesight and I think no less of him. I have anxiety and he thinks no less of me. He wears glasses and I see a pysch.
We all have our faults, and we all have areas we excel in too. Just because motherhood doesn’t make you fart glitter, doesn’t mean you are any less of a great mother. In fact – it means you are an AMAZING mother because every day you fight against reluctance to give your little humans a wonderful life and bucketloads of love. So start appreciating you.