How many of you, after losing your child, felt angry when you heard other women complain about their children, or (healthy) pregnancy woes?
Come on, it’s okay to admit it. No judgments here.
If you are anything like me, then reading statuses like:
“up all night with a screaming baby—again!”
made you roll your eyes and curse the universe for making things so easy for those who took motherhood for granted, and just so darn hard for you. After all, given the chance, you would have appreciated every single second in that mother’s shoes. Right?
Okay, so now let’s flash forward a bit through my own story, shall we? Let’s flash forward two rounds of IVF, and seven months of bed rest later, to when my twins were born and I came home from the hospital incredibly anemic and responsible for two babies who needed me to have a level of energy that I just couldn’t muster. Let’s flash forward to a few weeks after their birth, when I stood in the shower crying, (no, really–crying!) because I hadn’t showered in days and my bladder was in a constant state of near explosion, and cluster-breastfeeding took at times twelve hours in a row to finish before needing to start feeding again. Let’s flash forward to the shame, the utter shame I felt in myself for being that mom—the one who would dare complain about such things as lack of sleep and cracked nipples and colic when against all odds we were blessed with not one, but two beautiful, healthy, babies.
For the most part, I have grown comfortable in my role of stay-at-home-momma-of-twins even though I am always tired, and live in sweatpants, and full of writing ideas that I rarely manage to get down on paper. If I am being honest here, most (99.99% 87%) days I am happy and the babies are happy and there is no place I would rather be, but I also count down the minutes to that blissful half hour before they go to sleep when my husband comes home and can offer me a hand with feeding and bath time.
At 15 months old, my Snowflakes and I have hit another rough patch. My girl, “Squeaks,” is an incredibly mobile dare-devil, while my boy, “Bubba,” enjoys throwing wild temper tantrums anytime he is not being held (and often times even when he is) and I have caught myself being that mom who posts things on Facebook like:
“Ladies and gentlemen: We have entered the temper-tantrum zone”
“I am too old to function on so little sleep.”
And it is then that I feel that same sense of shame creep in because as much as I would love to live in a perpetual state of gratitude (and I am so grateful, because I know how blessed I am–Do you do that? Qualify your complaints by first being sure to acknowledge how grateful you are?) I am also human, and getting my hair pulled or my nipples bitten hurts, and taking care of two toddlers on little-to-no-sleep for the majority of the time on my own (though I imagine one is equally as difficult) can be, at times, draining.
I just can’t be a shiny, happy, sparkly, pinterest-worthy, super mom every-single-second-of-every-single-day—not that anyone has accused me of that, mind you. So why do I put that pressure on myself?
I think we loss mommas, especially, judge ourselves by a different standard because we know how lucky we are to have a screaming infant, or a tantruming toddler. And maybe, too, because deep down we know we have judged other mothers for airing the same grievances. These over-tired, over-stressed, under-slept days are a gift—each and every one of them—and experiences that we begged God, the universe, Karma, what have you, to grant us. But what we sometimes forget while reminding ourselves and everyone around us about how grateful we are, is that we also need to cut ourselves a little slack.
Even (grateful) rainbow mommas can have bad days, and you know what—that’s okay.