“Motherhood is a choice you make everyday to put someone else’s happiness and well-being ahead of your own. To teach the hard lessons, to do the right thing even when you’re not sure what the right thing is… And to forgive yourself, over and over again for doing everything wrong.” -Donna Ball
It’s been a month since we had Eastyn and our lives completely changed from being a family of 4 to 5. We’re outnumbered now by the kids and I can definitely understand now how much harder the transition is from 2 to 3 kids! When people used to joke about how we’d be outnumbered soon, I just brushed it off like it was nothing. I mean we’ve had two kids before… how hard could it be to have one more?
We did the whole 2 under 2 thing and that wasn’t nearly as bad as people made it out to be. HA! I was in for a rude awakening! 3 under 5 is no picnic at all…and add on the fact that all 3 are still in diapers… Well, Bryan is semi-out of diapers. He knows how to go to the bathroom on his own, we just haven’t mastered staying dry all night.
It’s okay to be tired
“Sleep when the baby sleeps” is no longer an option.
When Eastyn’s sleeping, Bryan and Kennedy are wide awake. When Bryan and Kennedy are fast asleep, Eastyn’s over here thinking it’s time to party (he hasn’t exactly grasped the idea that night time is for sleeping and day time is for playing)!
I feel guilty when I utter the words “I’m tired.” Why? Everyone is allowed to be tired…
Apparently not a mama. We supposedly have super powers and shouldn’t ever be tired… or at least that’s how others have made me feel whenever I even think that I’m tired or show any signs of being tired.
I feel guilty for wanting to take a nap during the day. I feel guilty for even taking a nap.
In this last month, I think the longest I’ve slept through the night was the 2nd day we were home from the hospital- I slept a total of 12 hours that day. OMG! You might be wondering how I got that? Well, I was sick… I was in and out of the bathroom and if I wasn’t throwing up or feeling like I was about to crap my pants, I was in and out of sleep.
Other than that one day of being sick, I have had a total of 5 hours a night and that’s not consecutive hours either. I sleep 3 hours before my husband comes upstairs with Eastyn for the night. Eastyn needs a bottle and then I’m able to get another 2 hours before I have to get up for the day to work.
So it’s definitely okay to be tired, but why do I feel so guilty?
Because society has built it up that mamas have to be up to take care of the baby each time they cry. It’s been built up that if we show any signs of being tired, we’re treated like we’re “bad moms” or that we just don’t care… or at least in my experience.
The human body can only take so much exhaustion before it starts to take a toll on them, physically and mentally. Mamas, we are no exception. It is okay for us to feel tired. It is okay for us to need a nap. It is okay for us to express that we’re exhausted without the guilt that comes along with it either from ourselves or from others.
Say it with me, “I’m tired and I’m still a good mama!”
It’s okay to not be okay
Okay, we all know how much of a toll it takes on us physically, but let’s not forget how much it takes away from us mentally when we become mamas. Not only are we welcoming a new baby into our world, but we’re also changing mentally.
We no longer have the luxury of thinking about just our needs, but now we’re responsible for these tiny humans who rely on us to provide for them, to care for them and to love them unconditionally.
Don’t get me wrong, being a mama has been the most amazing and fulfilling role I have ever had, but man does it play mind games!
If I’m honest, this pregnancy, delivery and recovery was the hardest for me mentally and physically! I was in more pain during the 9 months that I carried Eastyn because I had to keep up with two toddlers. Eastyn’s labor and delivery was my fastest at 2.5 hours, but man it was the hardest! I cried this time because it hurt so much to push him out. I mentally was not prepared for it and felt like I couldn’t do it.
2 weeks before we delivered and a few times after we delivered I have felt like I wasn’t good enough. I felt like I wasn’t doing enough for my family. I felt like I wasn’t what they needed- that they deserved better than anything I could ever give them.
Antepartum and postpartum depression are real and it’s something that needs to be acknowledged and talked about so much more outside of the doctor’s office.
I remember bringing it up with my family after we had Kennedy that I felt like I was going through postpartum depression and I remember being told that it wasn’t possible because no one else in the family ever had it. Postpartum depression isn’t hereditary! Just because no one in the family ever had it before doesn’t mean that it’s not possible to get it.
It’s okay to not be okay. It is, however, not okay to feel like you can’t talk to anyone about it!
Speak up mama and talk to someone if you feel like you’re not good enough…because guess what… you’re exactly what your children need! You’re exactly what your family needs.
YOU ARE ENOUGH!
For help with postpartum depression, talk to your doctor about the resources you have available to you locally. Check out these resources to learn more about it:
Office of Women’s Health: https://www.womenshealth.gov/mental-health/mental-health-conditions/postpartum-depression