Ready for Reassurance
I love my husband and my children and I think I did love myself at one point, but like a frog that is slowly on the boil, I think by the time I realised, I didn’t, I was already in the pit of who am I, and why do I feel so inadequate.
I felt alone and ashamed for a while, perhaps, I was the only woman who felt this way. None of my other mummy friends at the time had said anything to back up how I was feeling. Therefore, surely, I must be alone.
I spoke to my husband about it, but sadly, as much as he is a wonderful friend and partner in crime, he just didn’t get it. He didn’t get how I was feeling. I don’t think I even knew how I was feeling. I just didn’t feel, well… like me and the romantic ideal family environment I dreamt of seemed a hundred miles from where I felt I actually was.
Did all mums feel this way? Was this normal? I am still unsure of the answer to be honest. I just knew I wasn’t happy or content.
I am grateful for equality. I am grateful for the vote and I am grateful that we as women are encouraged to dream big and have a go get attitude to life. However, I feel that this all comes at a price if you are woman with a family.
Many of us have experienced a well-resourced education, thank you. Many of us have worked extremely hard to get that first career break, that first step on the ladder to bigger brighter things. And then….. The F word.
A career woman with a family? Easy right? However the lack of butler, chamber maid and house keeper…..the list is endless. So how does this work for you? I don’t think it does…. Or at least, I don’t think it can without something or more importantly someone changing. And that I can safely say was me. I did change.
I became a slave to my family. Trapped. I guess that’s not completely fair, I mean some days were great. But most days were hard. The constant thinking ahead, the need for organisation. The rotation of clothes on a Sunday night to ensure that they would all be aired for the week ahead. The announcement that you were off to bed, only to be found by a confused husband 30 minutes later as you are folding and packing and sorting lunches, or clothes, or both and god forbit you get distracted with one more task as socks go into lunch boxes and sandwiched get laid out to be worn… Help!!!!!!
I don’t think I had enough help. Was that partly my fault? I liked the clothes to be hung in a certain way. This made it easier for the folding task afterwards… I organised clothes into relevant piles for sorting… this made it easier to put into drawers. If someone else did the task it almost slowed me down. Made me angry that it hasn’t been done to my standards… and then you wished you just hadn’t asked, so you stop asking. And you just get on with it. Frustration. Tiredness and tears.
Solace came in when my best buddies had children. The non-judgemental friends who I can be truthful and honest with about how I am feeling, How we were all feeling. This made me realise that we really weren’t alone. Perhaps if we three felt this way then more women did too.
This made motherhood a bit better, bearable? knowing that they were there to air my frustrations, and of course me listening to theirs. Cathartic more than anything, And so our group was formed. Every time we met us, just us girls we are able to give each other little bit of therapy. We still meet and I hope we will never stop. They are my rocks.
Looking back, reassurance was what made it all better. I think we did do this but perhaps we didn’t use the R word. What I do know was that these two lovely ladies didn’t judge me, and their support was greatly appreciated. I am lucky to have them in my life. I am not sure of all women have this support.
As women I do not think we give each other enough reassurance. Maybe because we are so deep in our own journeys there just isn’t time, it’s hard to breathe and take a moment out. Treading water, heads just above the water.
Whatever you are feeling today, whatever (endless) list you have that needs doing, I just want to congratulate you on getting this far. Making it. You are doing a great job, you are giving it your best. Maybe Exhausted and lacking in sleep, you soldier on regardless.
Big hugs to you,