I need to put a little trigger warning here – if you are struggling with infertility or have lost a child, this blog probably isn’t for you xx
Yesterday, I was Mum shamed. I was presenting an evening workshop for my “day job” and made a comment that I love work trips because it means I get a couple of nights off of the dinner, bath and bed fight, sorry routine. A woman who would have been in her mid-sixties aggressively spat at me “I hate women who talk like you” and finished it off with “you sound so fucking ungrateful”. Now, I was on the clock and thanks to my parents I know the difference between good and bad manners so I smiled and responded with nothing but professionalism however the more I have thought about it, the angrier I have become. This woman did concede that she doesn’t have children before she abused me and admittedly I don’t know her story but at the same time, it still is no excuse for her behaviour.
It is people like this individual who are the reason we have so many Mum’s struggling with the reality of motherhood and feel like there is something wrong with them because we are too bloody scared to talk about it. We are plagued with images and marketing campaigns about how wonderful motherhood is; then when we are faced with the actual reality of motherhood which isn’t all rainbows and unicorns, we feel like something is wrong with us. I call bullshit.
No darling, I do not want to watch you perform your special trick for the 12746493 time.
No, I do not feel like pushing you on the swing.
No, I do not want to cook another dinner that you won’t eat, listen to you cry as I wash your hair and then deal with your 2347587 requests for water, food and monster checks under your bed after I have said good night.
This woman’s comments will not affect me in terms of the way I perceive myself as a Mum. I know I am a good Mum, I love my girls. God I love them, I breathe for them but there are times when I just don’t like them. But if I was a Mum who was already struggling and feeling like a downright failure, these comments could have really done some damage and that is why I feel compelled to put my metaphorical pen to paper. We need to be able to safely talk about the fact that this motherhood gig is tough and not be called “fucking ungrateful” when we do.
So to the Mum who is coming out of her newborn bubble, feeling like your nipples have been replaced with razor blades, thinking that you will never sleep again and wondering what the hell you have done? I see you.
To the Mum with the toddler who is dealing with your tiny human’s 10th tantrum for the day because they want the sky to be pink, I see you.
To the Mum who has a child with additional needs and every now and then you wish he/she was “normal” because it would be so much easier, I see you.
To the Mum who has been told by their pre-teen that you are ruining his/her life, I see you.
To the Mum who is lying under the covers and the thought of getting out of bed to face the day is too much I see you.
I do not have the answer on how we overcome this but I know talking about it is the first step. If this post reaches one person who needs to hear that it is ok to not love every second of being a Mum, then that is enough.
Love Hayley xx
Please remember, if you are struggling, help is out there. If you need to talk to someone call Lifeline on 13 11 14