You know what?? I’m just gonna come out and say it.
Motherhood is fucking hard sometimes.
Let me explain.
I became a mother for the first time (farrrrrrrrk) 3 and a bit years ago. What a magical time it was. What an exhausting time it was. What a (sometimes) boring as batshit time it was.
Once the little man babe learnt how to speak English…THEN it kinda got fun.
Oh, but then it got exhausting again. #BabiesKeepYouGuessingLikeThat.
However, the love and the sweet smiles he gave us, made up for all the accompanying bags under my eyes.
Now not to sound corny, but my little man not only taught me how to be a mother, but he also taught me how to be an all round good human. He showed me the kind of person that I wanted to, and should be. He showed me that so much love and joy could be found in the simple things in life.
The joy he brought into our lives was a playful kind of joy. One that we all knew when we are young, but forgot as we got older and started being consumed by all of life’s grown up demands on us.
He was an easy baby. He was happy, giggly, content, ate as much as he was supposed to, and slept when he was supposed to. #YesImAmAnAsshole. Because of that, I found my groove pretty quickly, fell into my own happy routine and felt that I honestly was doing a great bloody job in life.
I felt like I could run the world. And I tried to.
I went back to work, and for some reason I started taking on more and more of the household duties, as well. I am not sure if it just was a coincidence that my husband started doing less around the house to help out, or if it was solely me taking over, just to prove that I could do it all.
But I did. I did it all. Work, life, house, family. I took care of it all, like a BOSS.
And then Baby # 2 came along, late last year. Read about it here. *cue applause*
I again have been blessed with another easy baby, but let me tell you, life is so much busier this time around. In fact, it has gotten so busy that sometimes I have to stand there amidst all of the chaos and shut my eyes just to prioritize what actually needs doing, and what can wait. For a few years.
Because there no longer seems to be any time. No time to do anything.
Because one of them always wants their mumma. It’s a constant pull between one’s demands, and the other one’s needs.
And don’t even get me STARTED on when the dog needs me too. Farrrrrrrrk. Get outside and be a real dog, dog.
But I have a secret. It’s actually not even the “being a mother” part of motherhood that is the exhausting bit.
Nope it’s not.
It’s the endless mental load that gets you. The absolute relentlessness of being the Gatekeeper of ALL, all the go’damn time.
With one kid, one “easy” baby, I still had time to get around and do shit. I remember buffing the floor of our old (much smaller) house on my hands and knees to make our kitchen floor shine, like a crazy person. There is no way I could do that now, because whatever spare time I used to have, has been taken up by the second human in my household and what they need from me.
And that’s fine. I became a mother for the pure joy (and demands) of having children, right?
But I never expected that there would also be so many shitty endless tasks that come with the job.
There is so much that needs to be done ALL THE TIME, and that mental to-do list in my head sometimes feels like the heaviest of burdens.
The physical tasks are relentless. The chores around the home that we all need to do. The vacuuming, the mopping, the cleaning of toilets, etc. I can no longer seem to find the time to do them. And yet I still know they have to be done. I can’t un-know it.
The knowledge of having to do something doesn’t go away just because I don’t have the time to do it. Instead it becomes a heavy burden as more things that I need to do pile up on top of it.
That mental load isn’t just made up of physical household tasks. No Siree.
I am also constantly thinking about the most MUNDANE of things that we need to do to keep our lives running smoothly. Obligations, Appointments, Celebrations. Prioritising them, and trying desperately not to forget them.
Like, has the boy had enough water to drink today? When did he last wee? Is there washing in the machine that I need to hang out? Actually, is it going to rain today?
Is there food for the little lady in the fridge or do I need to steam some pears? Shit, do we even have enough pears left? Do we have enough milk? Oh my god how much bread have we got left? What have I got in the freezer that I can use for dinner that wont taste like bum? Actually, do I have time to meal plan the whole week now because when I ask my husband what he wants for dinner he always says “whatever you like” so he will be no help, might as well get it done now… The boy hates carrots now (farrrrrrk), what will he eat instead?
And also while I’m thinking stuff, when is our next MCHN appointment? When is the little ladies vaccinations due? Crap, can I fit in a dentist appointment next week? What is this lump on the dogs back? Shit, we have friends coming over…Have I picked up all the dog poo in the backyard? Are we going to have enough time to get a birthday present for this weekends party? What am I even going to get the wee man? What are his parents names again? Right, its 4:30pm and I need to get cooking if its going to be ready by 5:30pm, and…
All of these thoughts, this load, this NOISE, has taken over my brain, and there is so much running through my mind at any given time, that I find myself unable to remember the simplest of things. Unimportant things. Because I just don’t have the room in there any more. Nope.
I am too busy “mumming” and “life-ing” to brain like I used to.
I find myself stuffing so much up. Forgetting things. Referring to my son by my dog’s name. Hesitating over saying your child’s name for a second even though I know and love them because for that second I can’t even remember who I am, let alone who you are. Answering someones question that I think I heard when they actually asked something completely different leaving me looking like an idiot.
I hate that. I used to be so clever. And now I feel like I am instead the “forgetful” one. The one who growls a lot.
But that’s not who I am. I HATE that version of me!
So, I have come to the realisation that I need my husband to help me more. I love him dearly, and it’s not actually his fault, but I have taken so much on, to prove that I can be everything that I need to be in life, and he has started to take it for granted. It just doesn’t work the same with two kids, the way it did with one. I just don’t have enough in me to give anymore.
And so I spoke to him about it.
And since I have asked him for help, and told him just how badly I needed it, he surprised me.
He stepped up and not only took half of the weight off my shoulders, but he made sure that he filled that additional “space” with love and comfort. He didn’t realise that I was struggling so badly, because I didn’t show it. I didn’t ask for help.
Putting aside my pride and asking for, no, admitting I needed help from him has actually given us both more than I could possibly have hoped for. It made him feel truly involved in our family life and partnership again, whilst making me feel more like myself again. Albeit, the forgetful version of myself again, but myself all the same.
And I am grateful.
Because I cannot do it alone. And I never should have tried to…
So, if you need help with your mental (or physical) load, then please speak up. There is ALWAYS help around the corner in some form, you just have to ask for it, like I did xxx
What would you like help with in your life? Please leave a comment below and let me know xxx