Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Pilot

The other day my sister called from Minnesota and told me I needed to watch Oprah. It was about the difficulties of motherhood she said. I could hear my mom yelling in the background that it would be encouraging, so I tuned in and saw women expressing many of the things I have been feeling but have felt too timid to say.


Being a mom is hard!! No, not just hard, it can be miserable at times.


The guests on the show had interviewed many mothers, and all of the moms said they weren’t sure if they were happy. Also, they all thought they were the only ones who were feeling that way. We don’t share this with one another because being a mom is supposed to be joyful and fulfilling. Not being happy as a mom is something to be ashamed of. If I am not happy as a mom there is something deeply wrong with me.


This is definitely what I have been experiencing for the last four months. And I feel ashamed to admit that. I have felt timid in expressing my experiences and feelings because good Christian moms are never discouraged, never depressed, never angry with their babies or husbands or God. We must always have a smile on our faces, always appear put together with clean, well organized homes and clean, happy babies. To be otherwise is failure.


I am nervous sharing the truth because while I’m sure other women are experiencing the same things, no one talks about these things and what if I am the only one! Oh no! I’m such a bad mom!


In the first two months of Jack’s life I was completely overwhelmed with the responsibility of caring for him. I had wonderful help from my mom and sisters and husband, but when the extended family went back to Minnesota and Tim went back to work I found myself caring for Jack nearly 24/7 and being totally exhausted.


I did not enjoy it.


There, I said it. I was not happy. Jack was fussy. I was feeling depressed from being so tired and alone. Desperate for something to distract me from life, I checked out the first season of Desperate Housewives from the library to watch while I was breastfeeding and I was hooked. One of the housewives, Lynnette, was a particular comfort to me because she admitted she did not like being a stay-at-home mom. She struggled to keep herself together and ended up turning to her sons’ ADD medication in order to have the energy to keep up the fa├žade of perfect wife and mother. There is a scene when she finally loses it, throws her kids at her friend and runs away. Her friends find her and reassure her that they have had the same moments. They too cried during their kids' nap time and were not happy. Lynette said, “Why don’t we tell each other these things?” “Does it help?” “Yeah, it helps!”


Yeah, it helps.


So I’m stepping out. I work through my thoughts and issues through writing. I always have. And I have felt that God has wanted me to share my experiences and my challenges. I am currently working on a more “professional” writing project, but I also need to blog. I need to vent. Not that it will be negative, but it will be honest. Yeah, I’m scared of what people will think. I’m afraid of what my mother-in-law will think. I’m afraid of everyone seeing the true Leah. But I need an outlet and I hope at least a few women may relate.

4 comments:

  1. Leah! I so understand every word that you wrote in this post! Especially the first few months of Caed's life, I was so frustrated and lonely. Every time someone asked me if I loved motherhood, I reluctantly said yes, and then felt like I was lying. Now that Caed is older and a little easier to handle, I am really loving being a mother, but man was it hard in the beginning. Thanks for sharing your feelings! It always helps to know that others feel the same way. -Beth

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  2. You go Leah! I too have felt the frustrations of just life in general-- full time work, keeping up a home, laundry, bills, and being there for my husband, etc. I never knew it would be so hard to be a "grown up". It is exhausting and wearisome! I do get discouraged and angry at God too about life. And I don't even have a child yet! There is the ugliness of sin and then there are also those growing pains of getting older and having more responsibility. My hope and prayer is that God is using it all to mature me to be more like Him. I know He is doing the same for you. Let's press on together!

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  3. Leah!! I'm not a mom, and yet I find I am being inspired by what you write. It's hard to be yourself and to be honest-but in overcoming your doubts about what others may think, you are becoming a forerunner, linking together those who struggle. That's bold. It encourages me when I hear about others who are not merely putting on a happy face and pretending to get by, but are open about their struggles. And when we find out that we are not alone in that place, suddenly it becomes a place of camaraderie, and then hope. I applaud you!
    --Traci

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  4. Thanks Traci. I appreciate the applause. It's great to receive encouragement because sometimes the vulnerability scares me. So, thanks. This helps me keep going!

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