People always talk about how cute and fun kids are, but the reality is that behind every adorable little child, there is a parent who is probably freaking out about just about everything—their finances, their body, their own relationships, and their lack of sleep.
In a post on Facebook, one mom, Kate Swenson, posted about how she doesn’t even recognize herself anymore after being a mom—a topic that is totally relatable but probably not openly discussed for fear of judgment or shaming. No, becoming a mom doesn’t mean everything is or should be rainbows! Moms are humans, too, and their identities are associated more than just being a mother.
In her post, which was posted to the Facebook page, Finding Cooper’s Voice (where she shares about her kids, one of whom has severe nonverbal autism) she shares, “Most days, I am happy to do it. But some days, some weeks, I don’t feel that way. I feel like I have lost myself along the way…I look in the mirror and I hardly recognize myself anymore. And as I approach middle agedness, that is really scary.”
I Never Knew Being A Mother Would Be So Hard For You...Hi, my name is Kate and I am 36 and I’m having a serious case...Posted by Finding Cooper's Voice on Monday, February 3, 2020
The post immediately drummed up response, because of its transparency and vulnerability.
She writes, “It’s not that I necessary look old. It’s that I look like someone I don’t even recognize. I look tired. I look like I’ve let myself go. I look angry. I look really rushed. Rushed to shower. Rushed to eat. Rushed at stoplights. Rushed at pick up and drop off. Rushed to get dinner on the table. Even rushed at Target. Rushed to type this because a baby is screaming and one is getting off the bus in 11 minutes. And that can’t possibly be me. Rushed. I’m typically unrattled. I’m the one who can handle anything. The boy mom. The special needs mom. The happy one. The positive one. I always smile. I always find the joy.”
We bet every mom out there can find something to relate to in Kate’s words. They’re not pretty, and they’re certainly not all rainbows, but they’re real.
She continued, “But lately, I feel almost empty. When I’m with my kids I feel guilty for not working and when I’m working I feel guilty for not playing with my kids more. It’s a lose lose at times. I feel like I wasted my education. I feel like a housekeeper, a cook, a chauffer, and a ring leader. I feel like I always have sick kids and I can’t finish the laundry or squeeze my butt into my fat jeans. I know I’m a good mom. I don’t doubt myself in that department. But I also feel like all I am is a mom sometimes. I feel like I’m disappearing into nothing. Some days I am shocked at what upsets me. I didn’t know I could be jealous of my husband for getting to poop alone. He’ll be in the bathroom, on his phone, and I’ll be angry.”
And she admits not knowing how to fix the issue. But that she wants to find balance and joy again.
She ends the post by saying, “I don’t know how to fix this funk I’m in. But I’m working on it. I just want to standstill. I want to sit. I want to walk. I want to remember who I am. And what I like to do. I want to slow down so I can enjoy this. Because I don’t want to miss it. I don’t want to resent it. I don’t want to be angry. What I’ve learned is that there is only so much of me. And I need to find balance. This year I will find balance in motherhood, marriage, my job, my home and my sanity. That’s my goal. Learn to laugh more too and give myself more grace.”
The responses were INCREDIBLY supportive, which is SO important because moms deserve love and help (and we all know people can be shaming at times).
A lot of people admitted not knowing how to ‘fix’ the issue, but they did send her big support, letting her know that this season of motherhood DOES pass:
Other moms said that they were or are in the same place, letting Kate know she’s not alone:
Other moms pressed the importance of me-time — a getaway or a few hours of alone time, while others said that they felt better after getting some help. Others suggested therapy (in a nice way).
Other moms told her it was totally valid to feel the way she feels, especially as a mom for a special-needs child.
Other moms said that their goals for 2020 were the same. And we wish them all the luck!