I wrote a post last week entitled “Truth in Blogging”.
I so appreciate the encouraging comments and great dialogue in response to that. And I got a couple of questions about whether something prompted me to write that post.
There was no particular instance that drove me to write that, but rather some ongoing themes that generally float around in the back of my mind.
For a long time now I’ve had conversations with a few of my closer friends about motherhood. It’s wonderful, yes…more than I could ever have imagined…but it’s hard…harder than I could ever have imagined, too.
I’ve long joked with one of my best friends, “Why didn’t you tell me this was such a hard job?” We laugh, but – at least when the girls were first born – I was really pretty serious in asking it.
Those first couple of months, when the sleep deprivation was nothing short of torturous…when I felt like I didn’t know what I was doing, like surely I was missing some primal skill set…when my emotions were so scattered, I seriously doubted my psychological wellbeing at times…
…I remember thinking, “I didn’t know it would be like this.”
Looking around, judging by Facebook, motherhood is rainbows and butterflies, right?
Everyone else falls in love with their newborn upon first sight. Those infant days are filled with contented snuggles and precious coos. The toddler days are spent watching your baby delight in all things new. And preschool days are spent attending themed play dates and playing nicely at the park.
With my closer friends, I’ve talked about how “nobody” talks about “the hard stuff”. How, when you’re in the middle of “the hard stuff”, it can be easy to feel so alone, so isolated, thinking that “everybody else” has it “right”, that surely you’re the one who missed the memo.
So…if we would loosen up and not be afraid to talk about the nitty-gritty…if we’d be willing to risk the nomination for Mother of the Year and “admit” we sometimes struggle…then we’d all feel better about ourselves, right? More “normal”, right?
But…if I subscribe to that practice in theory, then I’m doing a rotten job of holding up my end of the bargain, at least via Facebook and my blog. Right?
It’s a question that tickles the back of my mind, and I just don’t know what the answer is.
But I guess I’m realizing that many other mamas may fall into a similar camp as me, one of focusing on the joys and the wonderment. It’s not that the challenges don’t exist, but they (usually) pale in comparison. It’s not necessarily a cultural conspiracy.
No, I don’t know what the answer is, but I’ll do my best to support my friends, as they support me. And I am so grateful for that support.
Maybe that’s the learning for me here…just underscoring the importance of a circle of friends where you can laugh about your dirty laundry (and/or poop-stained wall).
I firmly believe it takes a village to raise a child. And that village sure is helpful to a mama, too.