Mama, it’s okay to struggle

It’s okay if all you did today was tend to your child and manage to run to the toilet once while your child was screaming. It doesn’t matter if you didn’t get the laundry done, clean the bathroom or prep for dinner. It doesn’t matter because you are laying down a foundation for a functional, well-put-together adult. You are superhuman and you don’t even know it. 

Even those who have it ‘together’ don’t actually have it together. I promise.

Before I became a Mum I thought I knew what I was in for. I thought that I would blitz through, escaping the meltdowns and the desire to run away at times. Even after reading all of the articles stating people have no clue until they do it themselves, I thought I would be fine and I wouldn’t bust under pressure. I was wrong and that is totally okay. Being a Mum is the toughest gig that I’ve ever had – ever. It is the most rewarding but my god, it is tough. 

I have been blessed with what is referred to as a ‘good baby’ – even though I don’t think the term should exist.

Frankie doesn’t cry all that much, she only wakes once or twice a night and hasn’t had any real issues.  Overall, she is a happy little girl and I couldn’t ask for anything more wonderful in life. I still find myself exhausted at the end of the day though, especially if I’ve not been able to sleep well the previous night. 

So, why am I so exhausted and still struggling, even with a good little babe? 

I didn’t sleep so well before falling pregnant, then add in pregnancy insomnia and well now, having a kiddo. For 18 weeks I’ve been periodically waking through the night to either feed or make sure Frankie is okay. It’s natural that we wake through the night to check on our kiddo, regardless as to whether they are sleeping soundly or not. Ask any Mama and they will tell you they panicked the first night they got a longer than normal sleep, rushing to their babe to make sure they were still breathing. 

Check. They are. All is good. Okay, back to sleep. 

Being constantly ‘on’, even on your bad days, is tiring. Add a baby into the mix and you can times that by 50. They don’t really like being away from you, they definitely don’t understand or appreciate the ‘personal space’ rule we all grew up with and having to smile through all of it can, sometimes, be too much.

But it is okay to struggle, Mama.

Accepting support has never been something that has come easily to me, but rather I am the person who offers support to everyone - even when I don’t have parts of me to give or lend out. Becoming a Mama has challenged that aspect of who I am and I’ve had to relearn how to reach out for help, for support and to create a network of beautiful people around me. It is so important to accept help and to build a network where you can. Other Mum’s just get it, without you having to go into detail. They will finish your sentence before you start feeling like you’re babbling and becoming annoying because they too feel and experience what you are. We have all struggled on this wonderful journey of Motherhood.

All of the struggles I’ve encountered no longer matter when I look at my beautiful babe and she smiles up at me or babbles about something incoherently.

I smile back, respond to her conversation and take a deep breath. This is Motherhood and it is marvelous. I am so, so lucky. Nothing else in the world matters in those moments. I could never describe how proud you feel watching your child grow into their own person, having their personality form right in front of your eyes. The way your face feels warm when they accomplish something you’ve been teaching them – a roll, crawling, grabbing at something. A word. Their first word. That’s all you, Mama. 

Let me tell you something – I am superhuman, but I am still human. And so are you. 

Pat yourself on the back, take a deep breath and continue.

You’ve got this, Mama.

Gorgeous words from mama @kaelamara