Motherhood has certainly become one of my greatest achievements so far yet it has been one of the biggest challenges. Being a mother is rewarding in so many ways but I must say there are days when I question if I’m the right person for the job. You know how some women always wanted to be a mother and always knew they wanted children? Well, I’m not one of those women and being a mom has definitely not come easy for me.
I got the “I want a baby” bug when I hit my early 30′s and it was weird how badly I wanted one! When we finally started trying, we went through some speed bumps which you can read about here and here. My miscarriages were trying times but we got through them and got pregnant when I was 36. With the birth of our first daughter, we decided that I was going to stay home and raise her since we only wanted the best for her. The first eight months were good because we had an easy going baby and although I was sleep deprived at times, I didn’t feel too exhausted. So since we wanted two kids, we started trying right away thinking it would take a few months but I got pregnant right away! We were so excited but also a little nervous. Having two kids 17 months apart will be hard for the first year, I thought, but it’s going to be great for them to be so close in age. I just didn’t realize how hard it would actually be.
For 7 months, I was taking care of two girls under two and I was going crazy! With sleep deprivation kicking in deep and both needing me so much, I felt like I was walking on very thin ice. Every night, I had no energy for anyone or anything else. I was supposed to sleep when the babies slept but they didn’t sleep at the same time!! At times when they were both crying for me, I didn’t know what to do and I would just scream with them. The days were long and constantly filled with feedings, diapering, washing, cleaning spit-ups, and more washing and cleaning. Dinner time was nuts around here! I usually had to cook and watch the babies by myself before my husband got home from work. Never mind the fact that I also had to take out the dog and feed him too.
What did I get myself into? Is this what motherhood is all about? I was TIRED. I was EXHAUSTED. I was DONE. When was there time for me? When did I have time to do anything that I wanted? Where did I go? A lot of times I felt like I was not made to be a mom because I was drowning and spiraling into a black hole. I sometimes wondered if I had some sort of postpartum depression because I felt so down, so alone, and ashamed of these feelings I was having. On top of all these feelings, I also felt useless and incapable financially. I’ve always been career minded and ambitious, and for the first time in my life, not making any money felt horrible. Apart of me, still seems to be missing.
Now that my youngest baby is 11 months, I can finally see SOME light at the end of the tunnel. Things are definitely getting easier. Both kids nap in the afternoon at the same time so I actually have 2 hours to myself and they also sleep through the night. My two girls are able to play with each other so it makes things a little easier when I’m cooking or doing chores. After the kids are put to sleep, I get to enjoy my evenings and even go out more with my friends. I can see that “me” is coming back, slowing but surely.
One advice that I can offer to new mothers is: make time for yourself. It is too important not to give yourself the time and space to regroup, relax, and unwind. Whether you read a book, take a hot bath, or go have a drink with a friend, a mom needs to have a break from the daily grind or you’ll start to lose yourself. I know I should have done more for myself.
I knew that having 2 babies 17 months apart was going to be hard, but never in my dreams did I think it would be this hard. My youngest is almost one and I’m so happy that I made it through her first year somewhat intact. At the same time, I’m sad that they are growing into toddlers so fast before my eyes. Never think for a second that I loved my babies any less during the toughest days because the memorable moments outweigh the bad ones by miles. Motherhood is tough, but I think the greatest achievements are the toughest to obtain.
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