Becoming a Mother is a life changing event in the life of a woman…but are we ready for it when it happens? It’s not unusual to feel overwhelmed, frustrated, bored, resentful and even a little bit lost but we don’t tend to talk about those kinds of feelings, do we?
I was in the city last weekend. As I was walking down Swanston Street with Leo in the pram (trying to get him to have a sleep and give the others a reprieve from his wayward behaviour) I over heard (okay, was eavesdropping) on a conversation going on behind me. A lovely young mum and her partner were walking along in the sunshine with a beautiful little baby sleeping in the pram. Their conversation went like this….
Mum…”You just don’t understand…I never get out of the house, even to run errands. I just wanted to do something nice today, to have a nice time. I’m chained to the house! You just don’t understand…”
Partner…silent…looking around for escape exit…obviously would rather be anywhere else.
Mum…”You just don’t understand”.
I think all Mothers understand. We’ve been there, are there…continue to visit on a regular basis.
It is challenging becoming a mum for the first time (and each and every time after that!) and we don’t always get the support and understanding we need to help us get through it. I immediately related to what this woman was saying. She was craving a small slice of her old life…some fun, some relaxation…but by the sounds of things, her partner didn’t get it. He probably didn’t want to pay for a nice lunch or was in a rush to get home and watch the football (Okay, I totally assumed that, but, you know…).
I can remember being furious with my husband who would wake up on a Saturday morning and declare he was off to mow the lawn. Because he could! He could just get up and do whatever he liked…and I was left with the children, again. Sometimes he would just pop down to the shed for 20 minutes to work out and I would want to divorce him! Why couldn’t I just pop down to the shed for 20 minutes…not to work out, obviously, but just to sit there in the quiet! I’m not saying men don’t have to make changes when they become Fathers and I’m not discounting the obvious pressure that is often placed on them financially but lets face it…mums bare the brunt of the lifestyle change…until they find their voice.
It took me a while to find my voice, but I did find it. I also found some independence…which wasn’t hard since my partner is away half of the year. I learned to speak up. To delegate, to share responsibility. Men, God love em’, don’t understand…but they’re not mind readers either.
And so what I wanted to turn around and tell this woman was that it would get better, it would get easier. The time does fly. They will go to school one day…and you will feel sad (I know, I didn’t believe it at the time either). I wanted to tell her she is only chained to the house by her own expectations…it’s okay to take your baby out while your partner is at work. Leave the housework…go to the park, the shops or have a coffee in the sun. Treat yourself to something nice, you are allowed to. In fact, it is essential!
Do you remember being frustrated and housebound when you first became a mum? What advice would you give other women as they begin on this life long journey?
Love and light,