The Truth. The Whole Truth and Nothing but the Truth.
Before I get into this, I want to thank my therapist for encouraging me to write this. I won’t go into SO much detail, but as with most of the things on this blog, I feel incredibly vulnerable writing this. Again, I am opening up my world and giving you a glimpse into my life and my mind. It isn’t perfect and I am not doing it to “get followers and get internet famous.” I’m doing it for me and hopefully to help someone else out there who may be going through something similar.
So you’re here because you want the truth, right? The whole truth and nothing but the truth and here it is. The truth is… I am tired. I am so incredibly tired. Not the kind of tiredness that can be fixed with a nap, but perhaps a vacation to Lake Tahoe would be a GREAT start.
I know the first thought that is probably on your mind, “you’re a stay-at-home mom, how are you tired?” To answer your question as best as I possibly can is that I just am. I am a flame that is burning out, slowly but surely. But you’re right, I am a stay-at-home mom and you know what that means, right? It means first and foremost, I am a mom, and being a mom means I can’t stop and I won’t.
If you are new to this blog and all you’ve seen of my life are the good photos, the posed photos, the photos I’ve had to bribe my three-year-old to take for social media and Christmas cards, well then… welcome to the show. The real show. Here is behind the scenes and the look as to what goes on backstage.
Behind every good thing I post or share, you don’t see every setback that broke me a little more at a time. You don’t ride shotgun in my car, counting the miles I drive to every appointment for my son. You don’t hear the arguments I have with insurance companies. You don’t see my sudden panic about scheduling conflicts, or when bad news comes up. You aren’t there at 3am when I am having a panic attack because I feel like I am not doing enough. You aren’t sitting in on my therapy sessions as I cry uncontrollably.
You don’t see the coffee stains on my projects for school. Speaking of school, the 3 classes I am taking are kicking my butt more than I will ever admit on social media. You will never hear about my internal struggle of guilt that stems from me starting school. That sudden shift (addition is a better term) in my focus and realization that Mark needs me less and less is hitting me very hard. But you probably see photos like this or photos that show I am working on projects (and I am) but you don’t see the tears and frustration going into all of it.
My anxiety is at an all-time high and my depression is too (or low, depending on how you look at it). I don’t go out to get manicures and massages. It certainly isn’t luncheons and PTO meetings. My day doesn’t consist of gardening and sipping tea on my porch in the morning.
Instead, it is me waking up every morning feeling “less than” because I contribute very little if anything at all. BUT HEY! I run my Shark Vacuum (Robit- not Robot, his name is Robit) more often and when I am not on zoom meetings for my son’s school or my own. I feel guilty every week when I have to leave Mark to go to school.
There are SO many things I love about motherhood. Honestly, I love everything about it. The baby snugs, big hugs, and lots of love are probably the most genuine form of love I have ever felt. For as wonderful as that feeling is, we fail to admit the dark sides of motherhood. Occasionally, I just can’t help but remember the continued struggle of postpartum depression. It is SO easy to lose yourself in motherhood. I’ve heard that from so many friends of mine (who are parents), but no one ever tells you how incredibly difficult it is to find yourself again.
Being a stay-at-home mom has been an absolute privilege. It is! It really really is. No matter what anyone says, it is an absolute privilege and I wouldn’t change it for the world. But it is time for us to have a really tough conversation about how tough it is to find ourselves once we’ve managed to get lost.
I wish I had a “5 ways to find yourself again” post. I wish there were a magic step-by-step manual to help me with that. The very sad thing is that there isn’t a sure-fire way to find yourself. I also wonder if we are even meant to find our old selves again. I think becoming a mother, or a parent in general is too great of a change, a cacoon if you will. You will come out on the other side a different person with new dreams, ambitions, and even personality traits. It is both refreshing and frightening to catch a glimpse of the woman you were in the mirror. That glimpse brings back memories and sometimes makes you wish you were that same woman as before. I’ve often wondered if I should hold a funeral for the woman I once was. I was more carefree, less anxious, and had some sort of confidence.
I feel immense guilt and shame for contributing very very little if anything at all. It is always something that hangs over me every day and it weighs heavy on my heart, only making my depression worse. It has me questioning my worth often. I knew I wanted to pursue a Master’s degree. I knew I wanted to give back to our community. I knew I wanted to be available to take Mark to all of his appointments (and be able to be home with him when he is sick… which has been every other week since school started). I wanted to better myself which is why I am doing what I am doing.
So you want the truth? The truth is, I have no idea what I am doing. I am trying to pull myself out of this fog. I am trying to be as vulnerable and open as possible. I am trying to be the best mother I can be. I am trying to be a good student. I want to finally achieve my goals of running my own nonprofit and being able to contribute more than enough. I am trying to make it all look easy. But maybe I shouldn’t try to make it look easy. Maybe I should just be honest with you, and myself for that matter.
And honestly? I am tired and that is the truth.