The phrase “having it all” did not necessarily begin as being strictly implied for the professional mother but somehow, over the years, we have found our way here. Career driven women who inevitably question the balance of life with work and motherhood. Making choices as though it’s a necessity to choose. Or attempting to balance the load of success in every aspect of our lives because we are the great acrobats of modern society. Because being successful is how we are supposed to measure these things, right?
We question those choices. And argue about why we can’t have it all. We debate the very idea of what it means and why we want it, searching under rocks and digging on every X. Feeling the pressure of guilt, self-doubt and judgement on every scale as it balances out of our favour. We battle an ever, omnipresent idea of being bigger, better and more than we are. As though striving to reach goals, break through glass ceilings and chase our dreams becomes a questionable commodity as motherhood calls. Almost as though we search in vain.
It’s been hanging around a few weeks lately which is why, a few days ago, I wrote the post Anxiety: The Flamingo Does Not Define Me. I’ve been trying to climb out of a rut that has seen me stuck for three weeks or so. I have to be honest, because that’s who I am and what I do. I consider myself a self care idiot. I should know better by now. I should know how to look after my physical needs and the needs of my ever spinning mind. I really should but I’m feeling the pinch of being overwhelmed lately and it has swallowed up any opportunity I’ve had to care for myself. Overhelmed with balancing working from home and being the Momma Bear I want to be, but feeling as though I’m failing in the process because I want to hide in the kitchen. Overwhelmed with my relationships with friends, family and Papa Bear. Even overwhelmed with how the furniture is positioned and how Un-Marie Kondo’d the house is.
Sleep. Oh sleep, you wickedly wonderful, but often never had, state of being. I need my sleep. I needed sleep before kids. I need my sleep after kids. We all know how that story goes. Sleep becomes a distant memory and we challenge ourselves to find new ways to keep going until bedtime. Anything to make it to the finishing line and lay horizontal for a few minutes. Theres a trick to getting good sleep as a parent. Get help! With Little Beans sleeping pattern going from bad to worse I needed help!
I’d absolutely love it if this was some inspirational post about being the sickest and coolest and most epic Momma Bear – which I realise makes me sound so incredibly uncool – but it’s all about when Momma Bear is sick and boy do I know what that’s like.
It’s January. We’re all a little fed up. But we’re also jumping pretty damn hard and fast on the rejuvenating band wagon. One thing I’ve learned over this winter, is how self-care is vital for Momma and Papa Bear. Over January I plan on posting a few blogs about putting yourself first. We all know, if Momma Bear is weary, the house gets weary.
In light of the recent articles and discussions I’ve been having about motherhood, I worry that the point has been missed. There can be a lot of negativity floating through the parenting atmosphere and I most certainly don’t want to come across as a ranting, begrudging, regretful mother because that could not be further from the truth.
For those who don’t follow me on Social Media, you may have missed the weird yet wonderful last seven days I’ve had. It started off last Tuesday by being on 96fm’s Opinion Line talking about the mental hardship of parenting after suffering postnatal anxiety and ended up with little old me on Virgin Media’s Ireland: Am, discussing the challenges of motherhood. It’s made me fully understand and appreciate one very important thing. We have to own our Motherhood.
I obviously quit my job in January, after months of wondering and hoping, while on maternity leave, that working from home would be a viable option. And it has been. Financially we are better off than if we were forking out for childcare. I’ve worked every hour that I’ve been afforded and raised my profile as a writer, social media manager, content creator and more. I wear many hats! So many hat’s that I need to buy a hat rack. As the summer ended and we wrapped up our holidays in Wexford, I thought more and more about my quality of life and how working from home was pulling me down in ways I wasn’t expecting.
When I became Momma Bear I swore I would never let my baby cry it out. It’s cruel and unkind. Babies are not mature enough to understand how to manipulate us. They simply want us. And Little Bean wants Momma. All the time. To the detriment of her sleep… and mine. But then I realised two things, I’m exhausted but more importantly…