My daughter is the best thing that’s ever happened to me. When she entered the world seven years ago she changed everything. However, the stress of motherhood was more than I could have ever imagined. There was no way I could have known what this felt like beforehand and when my baby was born I was jumping in head first. No turning back. Nothing will ever be the same.
Sometimes it’s a relief to know that I’m not alone – there are other parents around me all the time – but I’ve learned that also means everyone has an opinion. Mommy shaming is real and sometimes I wonder if I’m doing things because I think it’s what’s best for my daughter or because I think people will judge me if I don’t.
Stress seems to come in two forms. First, caring that my daughter does well and wanting what’s best for her comes with this particular stress – like worrying about the future or about situations that might never happen. Sometimes it’s motivation to keep me prepared and organized as a mom.
But then there’s this other stress – feeling a burden by the heavy responsibility of parenting. This is where I focus more on myself and my shortcomings. I assume I won’t measure up or I’ll fail my daughter. It feels deep and dark – like I’ll never be able to handle everything and it’s my fault. While feeling this kind of stress is painful, thankfully it’s short-lived because my husband always comes to my rescue.
The stress is real and it’s relentless. Whether it’s good or bad, it all puts my anxiety through the roof.
But I would never give up my role as a mom. On her last day of school before summer break my daughter won an art award at school. I was so excited for her. Art is an interest my daughter and I share and when I get to paint with her it makes everything worth it. Those are the things that really matter.
I literally can’t even remember what life felt like before becoming a mom. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad, but either way, I would never turn back time and go back.
I would love to hear from other parents/relatives/caregivers. Can you relate to the stress, the judgment, the joy, and the times when all those feelings are mixed up together?