Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Pardon me, you have some heart on your sleeve

Yesterday, I posted a very raw, emotional post about my, then, very real feelings on being a mom. I was literally sitting in my office, a stone's throw away from Little G's nursery after having exhausted every possible thing I could do to comfort and/or soothe him and he was just screaming and crying and throwing a fit which he had been doing for over two and a half hours.

I had fed him, rocked him, carried him in the wrap, rubbed his back, given him his pacifier (he had weaned off of it last week and hadn't used it since), changed his diaper, walked around the house with him, bounced with him, gave him a bottle...twice...laid him gently in his crib. I did all of those things. All of them over and over again. And nothing helped.

I tried to lay him down and have him cry it out, but that added 30 minutes of crying to the mix. Finally, on my umpteenth attempt to soothe him I couldn't take it any more and I put him in his crib and left him there and wrote out exactly what was coursing through my head at that moment.

And in a few minutes, his cries got a little more spaced out and eventually he fell asleep mid wail.
Of course, as soon as he finally was able to go to sleep, the feelings of guilt and inadequacy slipped in, so I wrote about that too.

So, why am I rehashing it now? Because, I used to blog very anonymously and privately and I treated it like a diary of sorts, where I would only have to revisit what I wrote if I felt like it. But, this blog hasn't felt like such a safe haven. Which isn't to say that I don't trust the people who read my blog, but rather, I don't trust my writing to completely convey exactly how I am feeling in a way as to not cause alarm and thus concern my readers to the point that they decide they need to make an intervention or send help.

The thing is, I have always worn my heart on my sleeve. I would go so far as to say that I have it on display, in a box, with clear windows, and lights flashing with arrows pointing it out. From what I hear, not everyone is so open with their emotions and feelings and sometimes it intimidates people or scares them of flat-out turns them off to come across someone who is being so forthcoming.

I guess I wanted to remind my readers that I am human, and that while I do try to keep this space from being my personal dumping ground, I also think it is important to be real and open and honest about how motherhood isn't all roses and rainbows and happiness. Because only sharing the good and leaving out the bad (and, let's face it, the down-right nasty) bits of motherhood leads to the inevitable blindsiding that new mother's experience when they find out it isn't all it was cracked up to be.

So, thank you to everyone who offered up their support. My apologies if I scared anyone. I promise I will be back to my regularly scheduled rainbows and puppy dogs sometime in about 20 years from now.


  1. Hi--I became a reader a couple months ago after becoming pregnant (and being tipped by a weddingbee blogger who said you were pretty amazing). I just wanted to say thank you for yesterday's post. It's so important to be honest about what we go through, and I appreciated the point that it's not all cute pink or blue roses 24/7. It's not cutesy all the time. It's not easy.

    It seems like most of the literature out there and most of the blogs on parenthood that I read are lying to me, and I felt you were not. I'm not expecting life to be horrible once my little one arrives, please don't get me wrong, but I think it's human to expect good and bad, frustrations and sweet moments. Thanks for confirming that.

    Also, I always find that when I put raw emotions up, they're misinterpreted, or diagnosed, or raise alarms I never meant to raise.

    Anyway... thanks.

  2. I read your blog kind of religiously. It is part of my routine when I get to work...LOL. I have a 3 month old and lately I have gone home from work to a hysterically crying baby. I feel the same way you felt. I had to send the link to my coworker so that she could understand what I had been feeling the day before. It is great to see a bit of the "real" side of being a mom. It is not always pretty birds and rainbows. Thank you so much for sharing.

  3. (lurker, following from Weddingbee)

    What is it with mommy bloggers being expected to fart glitter lately? You poor things seem to be getting jumped on for keeping it real. Are people forgetting that this is the hardest job in the world? You're human, and my heart went out to you at that last post. I hope the days get better.

  4. You all are too kind...and funny...'Fart Glitter'...I died laughing!

    Thank you for your lovely comments and support. I feel obligated to point out that as far as I know, the people who read my blog are all very appreciative of 'keeping it real' and sharing the raw. I am very sensitive to what non blog followers think about what I have to say since after the whole getting-fired-for-blogging thing I was approached by a few people and it was suggested that I should be careful, for my family's sake, of what I share on the internets.

    It is a fine line that can be blurred and is difficult to determine when it is safe to cross it and when it isn't. Thankfully, as in life, the majority of people, including you all and those of you who commented on the post I wrote yesterday, who listen to what I have to say are supportive.

    It is very appreciated.

  5. Sounds like a girl's night is in order! Yes, sometimes we as moms want to bang our heads on brick walls. It happens (well, not the actual banging, hopefully). Keep splashing that heart on your sleeve.

    And remember, you are not alone. On days when you can't take it any more, call someone and drop him off somewhere!! There are plenty of us who have been there and done that and would love to be that helping hand you need.

  6. I think we all get scared when we "lay everything out". you never know if someone is going to judge you inaccurately when you are feeling most vulnerable. The funny thing is, often that's when people say things like "That's exactly how I feel sometimes - thank you!" Humans in general have so much in common when it comes to our emotions - and often it looks different from the perfect facade that sometimes we fall into. Don't feel weird one bit, lady!!!!

  7. I think it's perfectly acceptable to have doubts about being a good mother, or even question why you decided to become a mom in the first place. I personally LIKE the "keeping it real" posts and prefer them to the happy-go-lucky ones. You're doing a great job with G, so always remember that we're all proud of you and rooting for you!

  8. This is your blog & you can do whatever the hell you want on it! :) I love that you wear your heart on your sleeve!

  9. I'm so glad you keep it real. I'm also glad you're OK.

    As someone who's actively mulling the whole procreation angle, I'd like to ask: If you could rewind two years, knowing what you know now, would you do this again?

    Because "It sucks and you hate it and you can't go back" is what I'm hearing from a few new moms I know right now, not just you. And it's making me wonder if I'd ever really want to have a child.

    Because some days it really feels like the moms saying "OMG it's SO WORTH IT" are, indeed, farting glitter. Looks great, smells not-so-fresh.

  10. I really, really appreciate your honesty. I hope you don't feel vulnerable, and think you're doing the best you can...which is pretty darn great.

  11. I just wanted to say that I shared your blog with a few friends of mine who also have children and I know for a fact have had those moments. The one response was, "If I wrote a blog it would never be that eloquent and CPS would be at my door immediately". You are far from the only person out there my dear. I may not be a Mom but I am an Aunt to many.

  12. Hey Schmei - I plan on addressing your question in an upcoming post...didn't want you to think I was ignoring you.

  13. No problem! I realize it's a bit of a loaded question. :-)