As I’m sitting and writing this right now, I’m at the very end of my day, and I just had a good ten-minute meditation to continue to keep myself together. If not for the delicious dinner I’m so grateful for, and having diffused my favourite essential oils, I would probably find myself in the bathroom crying right now. Taking care of a baby is truly a full-time job and I cannot express how incredibly demanding it can be.
The challenges that come with being a mom to a little baby are endless. And it is exhausting to have to keep up appearances for the endless number of guests that keep coming by for the baby, especially when you’re already feeling depleted from a full day of just being a mom.
The sad part of it all is that not many can see through your physical and emotional vulnerability. Sometimes, not even your husband can understand and that makes motherhood a rather lonely transition.
Stress, sleep deprivation, social isolation, depression, anxiety, and mood swings - I mean, these are undoubtedly a cause for much concern. But when these are a result of entering motherhood, somehow it is seen as a ’normal’ thing for new moms to be experiencing, and that those new moms will just “get used to it”. Let me tell you guys something, it’s not normal. It’s straight-up unhealthy.
The reality is, for many new moms who are taking care of a newborn (like myself) we often end up struggling and feeling isolated because of lack of support. Matrescence needs to be seen in a more serious light, and new moms should be acknowledged and cared for just as much as her new baby.
As I was looking online for helpful articles the other day, I came across a comment from a fellow mom saying how she was feeling ”demanding, stressed, moody, and aggressive" in her early days as a new mother. To my surprise, countless other moms seconded what she said. It made me realise that so many moms are afraid of being judged, and looking like a failure that they try to look or act like they are coping - just like everyone else on the internet.
It's refreshing to learn that many moms are feeling the same way behind cameras - we are all learning, trying to find answers on the internet, we get a little stressed, and we feel a little (or a lot) isolated from the rest of the world.
There have been a few times where I would find myself incredibly stressed out because I was too exhausted. It led to me feel complete sadness that I am not getting enough support from the people around me. There were so many times where I would wonder if there is another soul out there going through what I'm going, or if it was just me. I would fantasize about being at work so I could socialise with other adults and have lunch where I can slowly chew my food without gulping them down.
I understand that it is hard to relate to new moms if you aren't a mom or aren't a woman to begin with. But with a little bit of empathy and support toward new moms, the vicious cycle of sleep deprivation and depression, for example, can be broken.
If you think about it, there's a reason sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture in Guantanamo Bay! Torture. So, maybe, I am feeling a little tortured. But here’s the thing about being a mom that a mom can’t help but do - even when our body aches, we are mentally tired, or we feel like we’re going down with a fever, we just have to keep going and do what needs to be done because we’re needed.
The truth is, there is a lack of knowledge about the challenges that new moms face. We can help each other by being more honest about our motherhood journey and the experiences that we go through. From my own experience, I find it so important that we model truths and transparency for future generations of moms so they know that are seen, they are understood, and most importantly, not alone.