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What if it isn’t always fabulous?

So, you’ve fallen pregnant and maybe it wasn’t as easy as you thought it would be.   You’ve navigated the rocky waters of pregnancy and given birth.   You’ve survived the first few weeks of hormonal madness and total sleep deprivation and have settled in to being a family.   You are managing your partner and the house and your in-laws and your family and what if it isn’t always what you imagined it would be?   What if it isn’t always fabulous?

I was part of a discussion last night about motherhood which made me think it was worth writing about those bad days we all experience.   In the group of mothers who were bearing their souls, there was a good cross section of those who fell pregnant at the drop of a hat, those who battled with miscarriages, those who relied on IVF or IUI and those who adopted.   We were variously mothers of singletons and up to a mother of four, generally straight talking articulate and opinionated women (with a few bottles of wine in us – I have to admit, it was “book club” after all).   We all admitted that at various stages of our lives as mothers we had had very dark moments when we felt we weren’t as happy as we had hoped we would be.

Most of us had found sympathetic other mothers to speak to in those dark hours (and generally it is a   fleeting feeling of “Oh my God, What have I done!” rather than anything resembling full blown post-natal depression) but what stood out to me was that those of us who had really struggled to fall pregnant and ultimately to have a baby (and had had assisted conceptions using IVF or IUI or even adopting) felt less able to voice their negative feelings.   Some admitted to actively hiding these negative moments from those around them fearing they were “not allowed” to be questioning their decision to become a   mother because it had been so much harder (and in some cases, more expensive)   for them.   “I felt I didn’t have the right to complain,” said one, a mother of an adopted daughter “and worse, I had the social worker constantly breathing down my neck asking if I was coping.   I couldn’t say I was ever having a bad day.”

I know some mothers whose husbands snap at them “This is what you wanted!” or “You chose this!” when they ask for some sympathy.   That would quickly teach you not to voice your concerns again to that particular audience.   So what do you do?   I think my best advice has to be to find some like minded and non-competitive mothers with whom to speak.   Some kind ladies who will admit their feelings.   I also think it is vital that you know, as a mother, that you aren’t going to love every day and you wouldn’t be human if you didn’t occasionally wonder what your life would be like if you hadn’t had a child.   That doesn't mean you don't love your children.   These dark days are fortunately few and far between for most of us, but it is absolutely vital that mothers feel they are allowed to have them.   Please be generous with each other and be honest about your real experience of motherhood. Being faced with someone who smugly tells you that their baby sleeps through the night, their husband never needs to have sex with them and that they would much rather scrub the kitchen floor than go to bed early is too depressing for words, but also not really true in my experience.   I am always wary if someone is coping TOO well.   Especially if they have twins, or an IVF baby or an adopted child.   Much wanted children can also be a burden some days.   By and large motherhood is a wonderful experience, but as in everything you have to experience the dark to appreciate the light.


Posted on Friday, October 17, 2008 at 08:52AM by Registered CommenterLucy Symons | CommentsPost a Comment | References1 Reference

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    Lucy Symons - Journal - What if it isn’t always fabulous?

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