These past couple of weeks have been SO CRAZY that I have not been able to do what I need to efficiently. I never thought how hard it would be to stay home with my kids and still have side jobs that need to get done. Like when is there time?! Between a two year old having constant meltdowns these past few days and the baby being well, a baby its been A LOT. I am no expert, but I swear something is going on with the moon. And apparently mercury is in retrograde so there is that. So much fun! With the struggles of motherhood that I have been facing lately, I am constantly reminding myself that no matter what, they still bring me great joy. I am so grateful for them, BUT it is not easy work.
Okay, rant over. Lets jump into the 3 struggles that I have faced over these past two years. I am sure some of you can relate.
1. Accepting my new normal
When I first had malakai I honestly didnt know how my life was going to change. What I did know was that I was about to be a mommy for the first time and that was super exciting. What I didnt expect was my life to change completely and to be needed all the time. That may sound like common sense, but at the time I didnt think about it. I couldnt go out to the with my friends as much, watch certain things on TV because I didnt want my child watching crap TV so young and so many more things that will be discussed later.
When we found out I was pregnant it was a lot to take in, but the end result was full of happiness and excitement. Not once did I think about how much of my new life would be a struggle. I am not afraid to admit that this thing called motherhood is HARD WORK because it is.
While pregnant I knew I wanted to breastfeed to not only feed my baby what I believe is the best, but because it was free and not many of my family members did so. What I didn’t expect from it was having to nurse every two to three hours in the beginning. Anyone who has or has had a newborn probably feels my pain when it comes to getting up at all hours of the night. Pure torture! I need sleep lol. It seems like every good thing always comes with a fault, but I guess that’s life.
What did I do to deal with my new normal?
I just got used to the fact that life would never be what it was, I have a new body, and I have a little human calling me mommy. Instead of becoming overwhelmed by this new role, I still made sure I took time for myself when at all possible.
I would and still do sneak away for showers whether they be quick or long. Showers may not seem like a big deal to some, but when you’re consumed with babies all day a shower is the last thing on your mind and you go days without a shower. I’m just being honest.
Another big thing I did and still do is getting out into nature. That is probably the best thing I can do for myself. Being out in nature and taking it all in is like the best thing to getting back to normal.
2. Sleep Deprivation
I don’t even know where to begin with this one. My first couple weeks I became a zombie. Adjusting to new life outside the womb you don’t really think about how much they will be awake. In the beginning, babies don’t know the difference between night and day so when you are ready for bed, they are ready for play. Lets just say we were not as prepared as we thought.
I knew having a baby yould make you tired, but the newborn stage couldnt be that bad right?!
I was totally wrong hahaha. You will be tired with a newborn. If you think you wont be you are in for a rude awakening. All I could think about with the sleep deprivation was ” I am so tired.” It was so bad, but then I got used to not having sleep that it became the norm.
There were times when I didnt even know what day it was because of lack of sleep. I would get so much unsolicited advice about sleeping when the baby slept. Yeah that is not a real thing. How do I have time to do that when so much more has to get done? How do I have time to do that when its hard to go back to sleep once they have woken up. I honestly remember only napping once over the past two years when the baby was sleeping. Yeah you read that right, ONCE.
I remember thinking to myself that if anyone thought they were tired, they couldn’t be as tired as I was; there was just NO WAY!
So how did I make it through?
When Allen went back to work and my family returned home I just knew I needed help. This girl I worked with at the time was a nanny for some local grad students, so I called her up! She was so nice enough to come over and watch Malakai for a few hours while I got some much needed SLEEP. It was the best thing ever and I was so grateful.
I also had a dear friend encourage side sleeping while nursing. THE BEST ADVICE EVER!
Those first couple months are hard, but in the end it just takes TIME. Time that sometimes seems like forever, but eventually they get on a schedule and have a normal wake time.
When Roman was born, I was still tired, but the situation was managed differently. I thank my friend for that side lying tip for sure. Ultimately I was not as tired, but still tired for having a newborn and toddler.
3. Struggles of motherhood with lack of a village
It is true that many people including myself have a village, but lack the support that a village should provide. This particular struggle of motherhood looks different to many people. I have many supportive people in my village. I will always thank them for that, but sometimes its hard getting the support when needed.
Everyone has their own life and own schedules which makes it hard sometimes to get the help you need. All my mom friends who have kids around the same age are in the same boat I am in and going through these struggles of motherhood just like me which doesn’t make me feel like I am alone in this. BUT, with us all struggling how can we give our all to help out our friends?
So how do you get through the lack of a village?
I would love to hear your thoughts about this because I have yet to figure it out completely. What has worked for me is leaning on those closest to me. I have found a group of mom friends that I talk to all the time because lets face it, with tiny children you cant always get together for play dates.
I had a friend ask to barter baby sitting time so that Allen and I could have time to focus on ourselves without distraction. That bartering time could also be spent just sleeping because parenting is hard and sometimes you just need a few hours of silence. It hasnt been easy thats for sure, but you make due with what you have. And for those who dont have family close by lean on friends if you have to. If someone is offering support, TAKE IT, you wont regret it. The worst anyone can say is no and you wont know until you ask.
The struggles of motherhood are HARD.
Nothing ever comes easy, but while some things seem like you wont make it through, other things become easier. Its okay to reach out for help if you need it; even if its just someone to talk to. So if you see a fellow mom grabbing her kid off the ground from having a tantrum or know a mom just going through it, reassure her that she is strong and she is doing a great job. She may not think she is, but she will appreciate the reassurance.
No matter how hard your struggles of motherhood may seem, just remind yourself that these precious children are so worth it.
Would love to know what you struggled with as a new mom. Drop a comment below!