Why can’t mothers admit they are tired?
Whenever you look around, you see images of women who seem to be doing it all and without breaking a sweat. You see mothers who handle successful careers, having functional relationships, parenting the perfect kids and still manage to smile almost round the clock and going on and on how motherhood is the most beautiful and glorious thing that ever happened to them. Superhero is the term most people use to describe mothers, our vision of them is that they can handle anything thrown at them with ease and grace. What happens then when you are the mother and you don’t feel so much like a superhero most days?
As stated in an earlier post, I am not a supermom. I shall never aspire to be one. I do the best I can for my child though. For the most part, I do alright. In the past few days though, I have been going through what seems to be a case of burnout. I don’t have the strength and energy to juggle all the dynamics of my life, clearly, nothing about me speaks of a superhero. Everything was simply so strenuous that I just stopped for a while to rejuvenate. To reenergize, restrategize and reassess my priorities in general because if I am not OK I can’t function well and it starts affecting those around me especially my child. Accepting that it is OK, to not be Ok and I wasn’t failing anyone by admitting that I was drained, was hard for me.
I made a whole entire week about me. I slept in, how I took sleeping in for granted before motherhood. I read books as they nourish my mental health (I am actually thinking of adding a book review category to the blog). I went to the movies #WakandaForever and caught up on the series that I had a backlog on. I even managed to sneak in a salon day, looking like trash may have contributed to feeling like trash. Of course, I played with the child too, his joy and milestones make everything OK.
I also spent some time talking to fellow moms, trying to figure out how they manage everything. I was surprised to find out that most of my fellow moms have more low points than they normally care to admit. A lot of my fellow moms have the same fears and insecurities. Burning out seems every now and then is a norm that most don’t own up to or simply brush it off as part of life because you know, life has to go on. Mothers have been preconditioned to not talk about the low points. Talking about them somehow makes us seem ungrateful for the life we have been blessed with. Asking for help sometimes, sometimes gets you branded as lazy or a not-good mother.
This makes no sense to me! A listening non-judgemental ear will help lighten our heart and mind and maybe even get you the support we need from time to time. To function optimally in anything, good mental health and adequate rest are essential. I really wish that my fellow mothers would be more open to each other and especially the new mothers about both the highlights and lowlights of parenting. Anyone coming into this should know they are not walking into an expectation of perfection and that sometimes you can get overwhelmed and that’s OK. Let us please also ask for and get help whenever we can. It will help us do better. Anyone who judges us for any of this isn’t worthy of our time anyway.