I wonder if yummy mummys cry when they’re alone at night.
Horrible thought isn’t it?
Do you know what’s even worse?
I kind of hope they do.
I hope that sometimes they feel weak and scared and overwhelmed by it all. It shouldn’t matter and I actually think it’s pretty damn cruel to wish ill will on anyone, but for my own sanity, when I see these wonderfully put together moms, I begin to convince myself that at some point, when they’re sure no one is looking, they have themselves a little melt down.
I know that makes me a horrible person but my brain cannot comprehend how it is even possible to have everything in life fall together that well.
To have your hair and makeup done, nails flawlessly manicured, free from chips and stains from the latest craft activity or pasta dinner. Clothes spotless and creaseless, like the laundry is always done and they have plenty of items that haven’t been drooled, snotted, or spit-up on and a body that looks good in all of them.
I’m not talking about the moms who look perfect but haven’t spent an ounce of quality time with their children.
I’m talking about the ones who are happily pushing their toddlers on the swing as they chat away to all their other mummy friends about the latest amazing art project they created or the completely organic meal they plan on making from scratch later. The ones who find the time to keep the house clean while giving their child every ounce of attention they deserve. These women seem so completely distant from my reality that I have only two theories to explain it:
Option A: They’re super women
I know a few mothers who fall into this category. They are amazing. They rarely have a bad day and when they do, they can easily find a silver lining. Their children are thriving and they are too. I will not fault them for one second but I do envy them. I do not like the word envy (it is one of the seven after all) but if I’m honest, I have to admit I wish I could live life like they do – happy and completely fulfilled.
Option B: It’s an act
I know a few others like this too. Frankly, I fell into this category for a while there in the beginning when I was trying to convince myself everything was all fine and dandy. I was sure that as long as I ticked the ‘tidy house,’ ‘play with child,’ ‘prepare meals,’ ‘exercise,’ ‘teach child,’ boxes, that all would fall into place and I’d stop feeling so weird and detached about things. However, while I might have been pulling all of these things off on the outside, on the inside I was an absolute disaster, just ticking my way closer and closer to complete and utter destruction.
When I first admitted to my health visitor how I’d been feeling and postnatal depression was explained to me (the real symptoms, not the crazy extremes we see on TV) I felt nothing but relief.
I finally started to give myself a break.
So here I am, at the end of a weird day. Not one of my worst but not one of my best either. The beginning of the week threw some serious triggers my way and I just barely managed to hold it together. (Thanks once again to the amazing #ppdchat support!) Today my daughter has been a little more high maintenance than usual. I struggled to keep my cool at times and to not cry in front of her at others. When her bedtime came, I felt like a failure, still having no idea what is wrong with her.
What if she is really ill and I’ve missed the signs?
What if I didn’t give her enough attention today and she just needed a bit more love her way?
I then took stock of a mental to do list and realised I had to clean the shower. Yes really.
On a Friday night.
It needed it that badly.
I have neglected it that long.
It’s clean now and my daughter is sleeping but I had myself a little cry and have cracked open a beer.
So that brings me back to my theory:
If I need that cry, and feel the need for a take out or a cheeky beverage after a day like today, those yummy mummys must feel the strain at some point too right?
Honestly I do hope those women fall in the supermom category as it’s nice to think that sometimes, if everything falls together right, life can be downright amazing.
However, I do hope if they have taken option B, that they learn to cut themselves some slack. I hope these women can stop for a second, don sweats and grab a bowl of ice cream or go for a nice long run, whatever they want to do just for them, not for what they think the world wants to see.
I hate that sometimes I still feel the need to take Option B. I doubt anyone would mistake me for a yummy mummy but in everywhere but on Twitter and this blog, I try to keep moving like everything is just fine.
I am a mom of a toddler and I have postnatal depression. Those two stack up to some really shitty times.
I had to let go of my perfectionist tendencies just so I’d stop feeling like a complete failure each and every minute of each and every day.
I cry when I need it.
I run when I want to not because I feel I need to.
I let the housekeeping slip.
I rely on my husband to pick up the slack.
I have learned that I shouldn’t feel guilty about this. (But sometimes I still do) I have an illness and it takes a lot to get better. Without the illness, it still takes a hell of a lot to be a parent.
If you know a supermom, be sure to tell her just how wonderful you think she is. I bet she doesn’t hear it very often so even she may have doubts at times.
For those of you who have taken Option B, be brave and tell someone when you are feeling overwhelmed. I bet you are surprised by the response you get.
If, like me, you feel like you’re on the outside constantly looking in, you are not alone. We are not alone. There are thousands of us fighting this fight and although it feels like everyone else has it all together, not all of us do.
I certainly don’t.