I was walking behind a mum one day with 3 of her kids, baby in her arms, toddler running ahead and early schooler telling her all about her day. Mum was smiling and taking it all in and I told her made it all look easy. She turned to me, smile still in place and said “Inside my head I’m screaming!”
Chilling isn’t it? I’ve been there. I was there this week when my 3 children were fighting.
But why don’t we talk about it more openly?
Why carry on the façade that mothering is easy?
Because it’s bloody not. Yes there are moments of pure joy but it’s also a massive, draining slog.
And I remember, on quite a few times walking out of various supermarkets with a screaming toddler wriggling under each arm and older women saying to me as I fled past in tears “before you know it, they’ll be all grown up and gone” as if that somehow should make me appreciate the current situation.
To older women who say such patronising nonsense to younger mothers, please stop. We are not wishing our children’s youth away we’re just fed up, exhausted and longing to get the hell away from tantrums, snot and nappies – just for a while.
So why am I talking about this?
Because this is what I hear in the office.
“Everyone else can manage it, what’s wrong with me?”
“My sister has 4 kids, she’s never stressed. I’ve only 1 and I’m a mess”.
“I feel so bad when I shout at my kids”
“I don’t like bothering anyone for help”.
“I shouldn’t need help. Nobody else does.”
“I’m a crap mother. I’m not cut out for this”
“They’re past the newborn stage, why isn’t it getting easier?”
“Why am I the only one who can’t cope?”
And 90% of the women I treat are mothers, they’re exhausted and sleep deprived. They’re in serious Adrenal Fatigue and their Thyroid is heading south too.
They’ve got anxiety but they don’t realise it. They just think they’re constantly in a hurry and their head is in a spin.
Does this sound familiar?
But we’re not talking about it enough.
We’re not acknowledging that some women are surviving on max 3 hours broken sleep per night. They’re getting up and reaching for the coffee, going to work or staying home (an even bigger torture) and they’re living half lives.
We don’t have to do it all. We are allowed to cry and say “fuck this”!
So what can we do?
Well we can stop the Competitive Parenting for a start. Let’s drop the nonsense.
“My baby sleeps all night through”
“None of my children slept in the bed with me”
“We have a good routine going”
“I love breastfeeding”
“He eats anything I put in front of him”
“We don’t let them watch TV”
Then we can ask for help.
We can’t expect others to know we’re struggling when we’ve been covering it up.
When we keep up the pretence because of our own insecurities we’re closing the pathway of communication with other mums.
So next time someone asks how you are…tell them the truth.
If you’re tired, say it!.
If you’ve had enough, let them know and if you’re screaming inside your head while keeping a smile plastered across your face, let it out!
And for goodness sake if they offer to help, accept it and get the hell out of there before they change their mind.
Adrenal fatigue is not to be dismissed. It can lead to Thyroid dysfunction, Chronic Fatigue and a whole host of serious ailments.
I can help with all of that.
We’re not SuperWomen. We cannot do it all.
And if you’re still not sure you can ask for help, then look at your daughters…Do you want them repeating this hellish pattern?
If we want the best for our girls, we have to lead by example and show them a woman who knows her own worth AND her own limits.
Sending you best wishes and big love as you read this and you look at your own limits.
And if I can help with anything mentioned above, you know I will.