Two kids. This is no joke my fellow mamas. If I ever made it seem like I had anything but utmost respect for mama's with more than 1 baby, please accept my sincerest apologies now.
Since having Ash my world has been far from the same. Are things familiar? Yes. Are they easy? Nope. Not one little bit.
In honor of #letstalk day, I thought I’d chime in with my own experiences.
Like most people, I too have been affected by mental health. Family members, friends and myself.
When the dark days come, there’s usually no stopping them and what’s more, when you’re a mom, you don’t really get to take a sick day.
As I mentioned in some of my pregnancy blogs and even in our delivery story with Ash, I had high ups and low downs this past year. That pregnancy in particular felt like a major shift within myself and I struggled. Some days my feelings and thoughts just took me down. My ego can be relentless, which I’m sure anyone reading this can relate to.
That whole, when it rains it pours, is so me. I tend to wallow in all the wrongs when I’m spiraling down, and in the moment really can’t see that I’m doing it.
I don’t have any tips or tricks for how to raise your kids on the bad days, all I can say is that my lifelines are my own personal saviour allowing me to never be alone and to never give up.
On the bad days I try to warn my family members before the sass makes it clear, “mommy isn’t having a very great day, but I’m going to try my best ok?” To which Zinnia usually responds, “ok mama, we’ll be fine and listen to music, that’ll make us happy, right?”
Heart melts, guilt fills my head, what could I have to be so down about? Bless her soul.
Insert the piles of unknowns that lead to moody mama.
Luckily over the years I have transitioned from someone who used to numb the pain away (back in my wreckless and single, woe is me days) into a woman who knows the motions I need to make, and uses her healthy lifelines, even when it’s hard to do so.
I must say first, before sharing my go-to pick-me-uppers, that mental health is a spectrum of feelings and symptoms and that for some, even mothers, there are days you just can’t get out of bed. Please don’t misunderstand my experiences as a lack of compassion for that. Know that from my heart to yours, I love and never judge.
So what’s in my arsenal for the bad days?
Always leaning on those I trust and hold close.
First and foremost my husband. My biggest supporter, my best listener and the one who absolutely adores me for the rawest and truest me there is. I’m able to open up to him about the bad days, even when I think I can’t or shouldn’t. He compensates for my shortcomings when they’re present and without him, I’m not sure how I’d ever get through the bad days.
My best friends. The head & heart strong women I surround myself with. Who’s words, practices and faces make me literally feel wrapped up in a warm hug. Who’s lives and morals align with mine and can provide me with the balance I need when I myself am off balance.
You all know who you are and are my strongest warriors. These women show me grace when I can’t seem to muster it up for myself and those of them that are mamas can really understand the power of mom guilt when the going gets tough.
Feeling understood, woman to woman, mama to mama, is a powerful feeling and when nothing quite fixes the mood, that will always provide a little more comfort.
Writing. This is my saviour.
Writing has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I always wrote about my heartaches, hardships and hassles. I always found a deep solace in releasing it all on a page and taking it from my mind to the paper. In poems, songs, stories or now blogs. Writing has always been a way for me to observe my thoughts and feelings in a way that is clear and in front of me. It provides me with powerful reflection and a way to observe my own personal growth and journey.
Since having two babies my writing has taken a hit. I have about 8 unfinished blogs sitting and waiting to be loved and finished and the time just isn’t there. I think about it, I worry about it and I stress about it.
Four nights ago my husband and I went out for dinner and a movie and had some much needed alone time. We sat across from each other, uninterrupted, and talked. I talked about missing my writing, I talked about missing our alone time at night and I talked about the days him and I would go out dancing all night long.
With utmost sincerity and of course understanding (as we share this part of or lives together) he reminded me of my favourite mantra, that I’ve always leaned on to guide me through the fog, this too shall pass.
It feels like forever ago that Zinnia was Ash’s age, and needed all of our love and attention. And before we know it, Ash will be a preschooler too, needing a lot less help.
My yoga, mediation and writing practices may have taken a hit since our lives got so busy, but they’re not going anywhere. In the snipets of free time I do have, I make a choice to write, stretch, breathe or connect to those I love, and for now that’s all I can do.
I have surrendered to the fast and sometimes chaotic life of now. It is what it is and as my husband reminded me, this too shall pass. If given a second of my attention, paired with a few deep breaths, that mantra saves me.
I’ll do my best on the bad days, use my lifelines, and work on forgiving myself a little quicker.
I’ve vowed to stop comparing my bad days with a mama’s good day. We all have highs and lows, days when we’re mom of the year and days where we wonder if we should be a mom at all. It might sound silly, but I’m guessing most of you reading this get it.
What a perfect day to finally get a blog out.
Let’s keep talking mamas! Let’s keep supporting each other through the tough, congratulating each other on our wins and raise these babies village style!