The Dark Side of Motherhood
Motherhood comes with many amazing things. It’s a blessing so many long for and once it arrives, becomes all consuming. We quite literally eat, sleep and breathe motherhood. It’s a lifetime commitment with the most amazing payoff. Most of us moms will get to a point in our lives where we will see our grown children and know our life was enough, merely because we raised civilized human beings that contribute to the world. We can be proud when we see beautiful, kind, hardworking and compassionate people. People that turned out that way at the hands of our raising. What’s more amazing, is looking at the moment we’re in, and being able to be proud of ourselves for what we do. That my friends, is the biggest challenge in being a mom.
However, no matter who we are or where we come from, we all experience a dark side to motherhood. Loneliness. Sometimes, it’s completely unrecognizable. A total mystery. Sneaking up on us and throwing us for a loop. We can be surrounded by all of our friends, family and snuggles from our sweet little beings we created, but we still feel…off. It’s like we’re in one of those movies, where someone is standing still and the world is moving around them in slow motion. Our lives move a million miles a hour, but we can find ourselves feeling like we’re in this bubble. A bubble we don’t particularly care to be in. One that despite our greatest efforts, is NOT impenetrable. Not when it comes to loneliness.
Mothers will often still help out at family events, attend a million birthday parties, holiday parties, PTA meetings, sports events, play dates and yet, we still feel alone. Of course, we learn about this and think we are prepared for it. Pre-pregnancy and during we are educated on hormonal changes, sleep deprivation, multitasking and so much more. However, nothing and I mean nothing can prepare you for what it actually FEELS like.
Being surrounded by loved ones once brought you so much joy and now, you just feel a little empty inside. Your smile is a little forced. You may even be lucky enough to escape for a few hours for a girls night but upon arriving home, you feel laughter subside. You crossed back over into the threshold of reality. One you love so much but is still, all consuming. One filled with more responsibilities than one person should have to bare. And yet, we do. We get up everyday. Some of us brush our hair, some of us don’t. This is just the truth. Upon looking in the mirror, we see someone staring back at us the resembles a young (er) girl. A young (er) girl we once knew and at times long for. We long for that feeling of being around people with freedom and a lightness within ourselves we no longer have.
Along with that unexplainable sadness that may have you crying in the bathroom after you put the kids to sleep, comes the guilt. How on earth could we, as moms, be sad with all of these blessings that we have? We wanted all of this and now all we can do is feel…what do we feel? Can we really ever put our finger on it? So, not only do I get to feel lonely and guilty, I get to feel BAD about what kind of mom (person) I am at the end of a long week I put my all into. Super.
I guess that’s what Sunday night is for. I sometimes find myself staring at the bottom of my empty glass of wine hoping that the answers might be down there. They aren’t. So I may indulge in a second glass (party animal!) to see if they decide to show up. Clearly they missed the memo to arrive promptly at my last sip because my brain is fried and I just can’t stand to think about the fact that my two year threw herself face down in the middle of the dirty mall screaming and flailing and I contemplated pretending she wasn’t mine while people STEPPED over her. *insert hand to face emoji* Yes, I know, i could have picked her up and taken her to the bathroom, but that doesn’t work with my kid. I don’t know where she came from. She’s a defiant and stubborn little being who often times gets me stares of judgement. Luckily, I don’t care. (We really shouldn’t care! It’s hard enough!) Hello dear wine glass, when will THAT super fun phase end? Oh, you also failed to let me know why my sweet little ten year old is cocking an attitude with me? He’s TEN! Or why I feel like I neglect him if I’m not staring at him every moment of everyday. And when I don’t stare at him every moment of every day, I cry. Why? Because that was a moment I lost and some day he will be 27 and married with a child on the way and my baby will gone. Yes, I’m also slightly irrational. Aren’t we all though? Seriously, who needs therapy when we have a glass and we have wine?
With that ladies. We have ALL been there. Knowing the answer but just not feeling like it’s enough. Wishing and hoping they would come up wit something to help with this. In reality, we as mothers have so much on our plates. We all know this as well. Sometimes, it’s more than we expected but we quickly adapt to the best of our abilities. No matter how much those abilies vary from person to person, they are utterly exhausting. It’s an exhaustion no one but a mother will ever be able to explain and can leave us feeling like we’re riding through our days alone. We literally, give up our sanity for our littles and while it’s more than worth it, it certainly has it’s difficulties. That’s why we, as moms, need to remember to treat one another with love and respect. Loneliness is a nasty little monster that not even a second glass of wine can make go away. However, knowing we are not alone, sure can make a difference.