I was recently inspired by someone to revisit a blog post I wrote when Max was born. This person told me she found and read it after her own baby was born and it helped her get through some things. Wow! So I went back and re-read it myself. It’s been two years since I wrote this very personal blog about a not so bright place I found myself in, days after my second son Max was born.
I talked about how everything was quite different the second time around and how I wasn't prepared for how shattered I would feel despite having a beautiful, healthy baby. I was physically broken. I birthed an almost 10 pound baby. Looking back I now realize I didn't get the support I truly needed at the hospital to ready me for what it was going to be like taking care of myself when I left and went home after two days. I was also emotionally crumbled. When I got home my older son suddenly looked huge, as if he literally grew up overnight. The world dramatically shifted in a few short days. I thought I was prepared because it was my second baby. I was wrong. Very wrong.
And now, two years later this is all behind me. I wish I could say that the memories have all faded and I’ve forgotten about the small details, but I haven’t. I suppose this proves that it wasn’t all in my head and this was a challenging time for me. This alone would never deter me from having another child, but I’d be lying if I said I’ve completly forgotten the physical and emotional things I went through. For the record, my body is still a work in progress. I still have some ab separation that I should spend more time working on. Despite a regular Pilates practice, my pelvic floor isn’t as strong as I’d like it to be. But I also know it takes time. For some people, like me, years.
I share this because I think it’s important to be open about what we go through. It’s not always pretty. It’s not always pleasant. Maybe some things feels like TMI. But I feel like you shouldn’t have to google these things at midnight and find yourself in a chatroom thread of random strangers talking about intimate topics. I wish more people would share their resources, help make connections and warmly invite their friends and neighbors to coffee or for a walk. If I have these feelings, other people must as well. (I hope?) And it’s important to always remember that things WILL get better. Even though it may feel like it, you are never alone.
I also share because you can still feel all the big things, at ALL stages of life. With the passing of one phase, comes a new one. Sometimes for the better. Sometimes for the tougher. Usually a blend of both, filling and testing the nooks of your mama flesh.
Which leads me to today. I forgot how hard it is to have a two year old. A strong-willed -rule-breaking - I'm never going to listen to you - very picky eater- train track throwing- big, gorgeous brown eyed - two year old. And it's okay to say it's hard. Because every single day I have to take ten million deep breathes and I still lose my temper. And despite giving up a good deal of my teaching schedule I'm still 100% utterly drained by 7pm. And sometimes I feel lonely, frustrated and sad. I love my son with all my being, but oh he challenges me. And I worry. Is this normal? And then I remember… he is two years old.
I do appreciate these days. I know that some people dream of the things I take for granted. But I also think it's not right to paint a rainbow filled canvas for others when someone (ahem, my toddler) is scribbling all over it with black marker (and then moves to the table, floor and walls). There is a difference between complaining and sharing.
When we talk about these things, we normalize them. We send the message to other Moms that no one has it all together and no one is perfect. You don’t have to sweep it under the rug. Let it sit out and be seen. (This is so hard for me.) It doesn’t matter if this is your first, second or third child. Every stage, every experience, every kid is different and that is maybe what makes it so tough to swallow. Just when you think you have it figured out, you blink and then realize you don’t. And it’s okay. Right around the corner is another mama who gets it and I find that just knowing that, feels so reassuring.
If you have a favorite blogger, share them. If you have a book that worked for you, pass it along. If you have a hunch that someone in your life needs a chat, call them. They say it takes a village, because it does. But we can’t sit and wait for “someone else” to reach out their hand first. No one wants to feel alone in their home. Ring the bell, open the windows and let the light of your story heal another by the simple act of sharing.