Thursday, March 31, 2011


Today things are really hard. You know what I'm finding awfully difficult at the moment? A lack of.... validation. I feel like so much of what I do is so- nothing.

I always thought that being a Mother was such an important job, and I still do think that. But it's amazing how much better the simple fact that I was being paid made me feel. It validated me. It's funny, because I always used to say that working in childcare wasn't about the money (because we were paid peanuts). And I honestly didn't think it was. But there's still something about going to work every day, talking to people about what you are doing, having people tell you what a good job you are doing, and seeing what a good job you are doing. Now, I just feel so insignificant and ineffectual. One more grain of sand on an endless beach.

Also, I was good at working in Childcare. I was good at dealing with sixteen children a day, and I really enjoyed it. I knew exactly what to do, we had a solid routine, I was in control, in charge, I took great care of those children, I could deal with problems and- I was really good at what I did. Now, I feel like I'm just doing the best I can, surviving. I just want to be good at something.

I knew, going into Motherhood, that this was not going to be easy. I thought I'd be okay because I knew better than most how hard it was going to be. It wasn't like I was unprepared. I had a sister who had 4 children, I had worked with babies, toddlers, preschoolers. I knew about kids. I knew about the sleepless nights, I knew about the difficulty of washing and cleaning and cooking. I knew that being a Mummy is a difficult, thankless task. But I didn't really know until I did it, you know?

I guess I thought I'd have more answers. Maybe I thought there was something magic about motherhood, as you gave birth all this wisdom would just magically appear... and suddenly I would be one of those hallowed fountains of knowledge 'A Mummy'. And I'd know about sick children and eating and breastfeeding and how warm should a baby be in bed..... but I didn't. In fact the further I go along in this the less I think I know.

I hate that I feel like I'm just stumbling my way along in this. I try to act like I know what I'm doing so no-one will see the cracks. But I just keep falling apart. Little, stupid things, make me feel so overwhelmed. I'm just so tired of everything and I long for a change. I'm really tired, but I can't sleep at night. It's stupid, I'll be exhausted all day, and then as night comes, I seem to get more and more alert. And so by 9pm, I'm buzzing. I generally can't sleep until at least 11pm. And I have a baby who sleeps. She sleeps really well by most standards. She's asleep right now- and I should be too. But I can't. I have to let my mind get this out.

I really don't want to admit it, but I've got this horrible fear in the back of my mind that I'm dealing with Post-Natal-Depression. And I'm just so scared of that. I don't want to go to a Doctor and be medicated.  I was so sure that I'd be okay. And I don't want to depressed. And sometimes I don't think I am. I'm not sad all the time, sometimes I can still be happy and be fine. I don't want to hurt Georgie... or myself. I love her too much to do that to her, but I just feel like crap that I'm not a better Mum to her.

I've got all these great people around me that I know I could turn to- and I do... to some degree. Shane is doing the absolute best he can, and I know that. He is doing really well as a husband and a Father. But he's not the problem. I am. And I don't want people to fix this for me, or take this burden away. I want to be able to be okay with this.... But mostly I just want to sleep. Or run away. I feel like I've lost me.

It just never, ever, stops, you know? I miss having set hours, having routine, being able to stop because I've done enough. Lately I just feel like it's never enough. I'm never enough. I know I need things to get better. I want to be happier. I want to be more disciplined and more on track and in control. But the mountain just feels too big to climb at the moment. So someone, please, just tell me that things will get better. Could you please tell me that this too shall pass? Show me the light at the end of the tunnel.


  1. It will get better. It will get better. It will get better.

    And you're completely right .. you HAVE lost you. You have. And that's ok - the first step is admitting, heh.

    Steal a teeny cup of tea just for yourself. Write yourself a poem. Do something good for you - and for someone else. You will find yourself again, slowly slowly. But man those babes take a lot out of ourselves.


    OH - why hello, awesome Marcelene Cox quote that I just spied in your sidebar. WOW

  2. Thank you Eden. It helps. And yes, I do love that quote, it's so very true.

  3. I could have written this when Lacey was the same age. It's really hard to come from childcare - where you have distance between you and the kids (even though you love them).

    Even now that Lacey is nearly 3, I feel I was a much better Nanny than I was as a mum and it kills me. Like really eats away at me.

    I hope you can find some peace soon. I don't know how or what to say to help, but I hope that just know you're not alone does make you feel a little comfort. x

  4. Motherhood is so difficult. I lusted after the need for validation so much that I went back to work part-time and I'm also doing uni, so that I get those 'Wow, you are so great' comments from someone who knows I can do more than remove poo stains from cream pants.

    It's okay to struggle, it's okay to have flat days, it's okay to feel like a failure. You are not alone in this.

  5. I felt exactly the same with a new baby. After a full working life of 16 years it was a shock to be handed a little dependent bundle that didn’t let you know if you were doing well or not, didn’t have instructions and you weren’t reviewed on your success every 12 months. But when she wouldn’t EVER sleep I just kept chanting to myself “this too shall pass”. And it did, I got better and felt a little satisfaction each time I could get her to sleep without rocking for an hour and when she finally took to the bottle when my milk ran out. And everytime someone looked at her and said how beautiful she was I couldn’t help feeling a little proud. Yes, being a mum is hard but if it wasn’t then everyone would do it!!!
    When the kids grow up and you see them with their own life, friends and interests you'll look back and wish you were there again when they were little munchkins clinging on to you for dear life. My 12 yr old daughter now sees me as part of the background of home life (when I'm not at work!) and not much more (maybe taxi driver!). But thats ok cause we all went through that and I know when she's older we will cling on to each other again. Her Dad and I often long for those days when she was just a little happy singing elf-like creature holding on to our legs in case we disappeared for a second. I remember thinking that I couldn't wait for her to have a little independence but I shouldn't have been in such a hurry and if I knew better I would have cherished every grip of her tiny hands. Oh well, there will always be grandchildren (hopefully!) one day. So what's my advice? Know that you're doing a great job just being there for her, the validation will come when she grows up and knows that you will always be there for her. Good luck.

  6. Thanks Chantelle and Amy. Chantelle- glad to know someone who's worked with kids gets it. Being a mum and working with kids are two very different things. Amy- I am half considering just putting myself on the 'people to call when someone's sick' roster at work- but I'd like to wait until Georgie's weaned, and I'm still not sure if I can do it.... we'll see how things go. Thanks for the love though.

  7. Thanks Beci- it's funny, I know this... I know that she's going to grow so much faster than I think.... but I think it's just hard when you're in the middle of it. Thanks for caring though- it means so much.

  8. Robyn since you've read/reading my blog you know Im struggling with the same issues too. I miss talking to people about ME not about how the baby is sleeping/feeding/pooing. I miss being important in a role outside of 'Mum'.

    I thought I would LOVE being a SAHM but the truth is I don't. I think for me going back to work 3 days a fortnight will hopefully help.

    I went to my GP and he didn't want to medicate. Just wanted me to have some bloods taken (to make sure it's not a vitamin/thyroid problem) and to see a psych if I want.

    Best of luck. My email address is on my blogpage if you ever want to chat. Sarah

  9. Sarah, Thank you. It's nice to know that you're not alone. I'm sure things will get better for us- first babies are just very hard I think!

  10. I could have written this. I know you said you didn't want to go to the Dr but if you really DO think you might have PND please, please go. I put it off for a long time and I really regret that now.

    And I feel the same way having come from a child care background. It seems so stupid that we can work with other people's children, deal with all the problems without any issues and then when it comes to having your own it seems so HARD.

    I go over this in my mind so often. I have ALL the answers yet here I am so lost and confused.

    Thank you for stepping out of your comfort zone to share this with us. My email is available on my blog if you want to talk.

  11. I could have written this post..nearly word for word. I'm sorry you are feeling this way..but its brilliant that you are being honest with how you feel.
    Read any post of mine..abd u quickly realise i have never gelled 100% with being a sahm. Who i different. Having a child changes a lot.
    I'm here if u ever need a vent x Loz

  12. Thanks Becky and Loz. It's funny how many people seem to feel like this... guess it's just normal huh? Becky- I will go to the Dr if I really think I need to. But I don't think things are at dire straights yet. I can still get picked up out of this depression. I'm not sad all of the time yet. But gosh, this mothering thing is so so so hard! Loz- for what it's worth you seem to be doing a fantastic job with your darling! I think we women are just so good at being hard on ourselves!

  13. Amen - the wonderfulness of mothering sure can get you down. Babies can be like a beautiful little tap that you love, dripping gorgeously onto your forehead... constantly...

    And the seeming non-validity of Staying At Home, Mothering, is something that strikes most women. Isn't it hard to deal with!

    Just imagine how many women have been through this since the dawn of time! And most of them never had blogs to help out...

  14. Crazy sister- that is the best description of mummyhood ever! I'll remember that- a beautiful constantly dripping tap!


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