I feel like I’m in a strange point in my life. I’m trying to transition to a career that is completely new. I’m trying to figure out how to be a Mama to two children. Trying to be a good spouse is thrown in there. I’m also trying to find some inspiration to get back into art.
Before the babies, I would pour myself into books and finish through them quickly. I would be able to draw or paint when I felt like it. Going out for a quick bite to eat was not a process that consisted of wrangling children to get dressed and my hair half done. Food was enjoyed and not quickly inhaled to ensure a toddler wasn’t wandering around a restaurant or grabbing everything breakable. Sleep? Well there was definitely much more of that.
I feel that I have done my best to take on new roles in mamahood, as a wife, and as a working mama. I have been doing my best to intertwine all three but forgot about doing things for myself. Don’t get me wrong, I love my role as a mama and as a wife.
Despite what I’m going through, I love being a Mama. My husband and I have our ups and downs but we’ve tackled so much so far in marriage. It’s definitely been a journey but there have been a lot of moments of happiness and laughter.
The working mama, well I’m still adjusting to that. I’m in that group of mamas that really want it all career wise but in the comfort of her home to be with her babies. Right now I’m doing my best to just enjoy my leave from work.
I think it’s wrong to consider mamahood as just revolving around kids. I’m beginning to see that it encompasses so much more. As mothers we of course put our family first and ourselves last. I always thought that being a Mama meant just that – family first. Being able to allow myself, yes allow myself, to have time for myself is something I’m struggling with.
I believe I’m slowly moving towards the woman I want to become. I know that woman that is strong and beautiful in her own way is in there, I see glimpses of it from time to time. A woman who is a mother that not only loves her children fiercely but encourages them to grow. A wife that continues to communicate, have fun with, and grow with her husband. A woman that learns to balance time for herself because she deserves it too. A woman that is successful and loves what she does, whether working for a company or building her own business.
So I will continue to squeeze in time for painting or drawing. I will give my boys as many kisses as I can and hug them if I can wrangle them in. I will keep scribbling down ideas to become my own boss. I’ll try to remember to not get too frazzled with everything going on but I won’t make any promises. Most importantly I will continue to keep moving forward to that woman I keep catching glimpses of and learn from this whole process.
My journey with postpartum depression (PPD) has been a very tiring one. I’m learning that it’s okay to have bad days just as it is okay to have the good days. Although I’m having my good days, it does not necessarily mean i’m not having an internal struggle with myself. I’m often reminding myself to be present, smile often, laugh often, and that I’m doing pretty good at this motherhood thing. It may be filled with a lot of yawns due to a sleepless night. It may also be where I push myself a little harder to get myself and the boys out of the house. It could also be that I simply was able to get the laundry from the washer into the dryer.
The bad days are still there. Definitely not as much as before but there. I am awake, I am functioning, I can get things done. Often I feel like I’m walking in my own cloud space. I’m still reminding myself to be present, smile often, laugh often, and look at how happy my babies are. I get so sucked into the fog of my thoughts that I stare off into space. Am I doing a good job? Am I doing this motherhood thing right? Why can’t I be happy? Why do I feel so down? “Why?” complies on top of more “Why?”
Late nights and early mornings are much harder for me during this time. I wake up on my own. There is no crying baby that needs to be consoled or fed. There is no crying toddler that had a nightmare. I wake up and I’m wide awake. I put on a book on Audible and try to fall back asleep. Often, I get up and do schoolwork. Sometimes there is crying. There is guilt for feeling the way that I do. There is definitely anger within myself for feeling this way. There is helplessness due to feeling this way. By the time I am ready to go back to sleep it usually is an hour or so before the babies wake. I don’t let myself sleep in. I get up and I take care of them. I take care of things around the house. We go run errands. We go on a walk. All of this is going on and I am encouraging myself to keep pushing forward. Encouraging myself that this is just a bad day and I can get through it. I’m encouraging myself with my boys smiles and their laughs. I’m willing the cloud above me to just go away.
I don’t know how much of a good job I’m doing with masking this from my family and close friends. It is tiring and I wish that it was something as simple as willing it to go away instantly. I know that this is a process. I know that it won’t be easy. I know that there are good days and there are bad days. Some people say it’s hormones and some people say it isn’t a real thing. It is a real thing. I not only feel it with every part of my mind and body but I am living it. I am trying to not only live through it but find a way to live without it. It’s hard not to feel like people will judge, especially those that you are close with. Will they think differently of me? Will they even want to be around me while I’m going through this?
For now I am taking it one step at a time. One doctor’s appointment at a time. I’m reminding myself to be present and be mindful. That I am doing a pretty okay job with my babies. They are happy, they are healthy, they are hitting milestones, and seem to love me even on my bad days.
What I do know, that even though I feel the way that I do, I am so SO very happy that I have my babies. They have shown me such a love that makes my chest hurt from happiness. My babies make it worth every step I’m taking to overcome PPD.
It must be hard to be a little brother. Especially since you’re not quite mobile. You can’t figure out why your legs can’t move as fast as your older brother. You may not even realize you have legs yet. You try your best to follow his movements but often get dizzy just watching him run around. Older brother gets to play with Daddy. They wrestle, chase after each other, and Daddy throws him in the air and you hear the delight in his voice. All you can do is jump excitedly in your jumper as you watch but it doesn’t seem to have the same effect.
Your naps get cut short by your older brother’s tantrums and all you can do is stare wide-eyed. You may finally be drifting back to sleep when you hear him playing pirates and yelling “ARRRRGH!” You usually get your best naps while in a carrier or wrap strapped onto Mama like a little koala. Except even then you’re not safe. Older brother often tries to climb on Mama and ends up elbowing you in the head during the process.
Most of your clothes and toys are hand-me-downs too. Your older brother received so many clothes that you didn’t really get too many new things. From pajamas right down to the socks, you’re sporting pre-loved older brother wear. You do get some new toys, but he usually gets to them first. Even his old toys, he often has a hard time letting them go. You usually stare confused as to how the toy that was just in your tiny grasp has suddenly disappeared. When you look up, you see your older brother giggling with the toy in his hands.
Being the little brother can’t be easy, I know. It can’t be all that bad right? You not only have a Mama and a Daddy to love you but an older brother too. An older brother that does his best to figure out why you’re crying. He often starts crying himself because he can’t figure out why you’re unhappy. Big brother probably won’t admit this but you’re the first person he looks for when he wakes in the morning and from his naps. You have an older brother who loves to give you good-night kisses before he goes to bed. Being the younger brother and the newest member of the family means you get most of the visitors. The grandparents hold you a little longer while your older brother stands by semi-confused as to why he isn’t the center of attention anymore. Mama spends more time with you because she knows you still need help with many more things than older brother.
Being the little brother can’t be easy, I know. Being the older brother isn’t too. Just remember that Mama and Daddy love you so. Big brother? Well, he may not admit it, even more so when you guys are older, but he’s glad you’re part of our family. Big brother loves you so.