Motherhood is so rewarding, it’s beautiful to be the person that gets the smiles in the middle of the night even when you’ve spent the best part of 5 months awake. Motherhood is also fucking brutal, like I said you have probably spent the best part of 5 months awake at, for some of you it’s even longer, and then there is the sleep fear. I am currently dealing with the sleep fear, I’m scared to drift off incase he suddenly requires boob, a cuddle, or even just someone to smile at. When I do sleep I have dreams of being woken, I wake up to phantom sounds and every morning I awake a little more tired than the day before.
My body. Well it carried my beautiful children, and I am forever grateful that it did but it is one hell of a mess now. In the grand scheme of things it’s not a mess but when you no longer recognise it and it feels alien to you it makes it hard. My body no longer feels like it belongs to me, with the breastfeeding and the multiple demands that are placed upon it by everyone that requires my care it feels frail. I used to enjoy getting myself dressed, everyday brought with it a new freedom of style and expression now I dread it. The fear I have about getting dressed is probably one of the things I struggle with most, I’m uncomfortable in the clothes I wear, so whilst fighting with my naked self I also fight with my dressed self. This makes the cycle of self loathing an ongoing battle.
With the conflict I’m having within my own clothes and skin the battle inevitably extends to sex. We have a lot of sex, good sex, but not as much of it and I have to contend with my partners comments about him having to adjust. It’s painful, it hurt that whilst I am going through the many changes that are so personal to a women with little to no emotional support (let’s face men don’t get it) I have to worry about the repercussions of my feelings that I cannot control on my partner.
Responsibilities are hard and draining, I am the eyes of this house, I am required to know and see everything. Where the hat is. Where is the baby sock? Are my jeans clean? The list goes on. Then there is the constant stream of washing. Cooking I enjoy because everyone loves eating so much that they leave me to it, it’s my alone time. I shower around the timetable of others, often interrupted.
I know that this is a complaint about life, but juggling living on not enough sleep, with a constant dull headache and heavy eyes, a body I no longer like, a body I no longer understand with the hormones raging and a partner mostly unchanged it’s hard. I see families and I notice that the men look smart, tidy, refreshed whilst there counterpart looks uncomfortable, tired and sometimes unhappy. This isn’t everyone all the time but it reminds me that it’s not just me. I do not take comfort in the similarities of the struggle between mothers, it breaks us and then we have to rebuild knowing that it’s going to happen again and I feel for every single one of us. It just might comfort you all to know that you are not alone, we stand united with a bond of motherhood. We are all part of the no-sleep gang.