First time mum/referee to a wild toddler. Self confessed rum enthusiast. Aspiring writer but hell of a procrastinator. Blogging about Mental Health and this motherhood malarkey from a refreshingly honest perspective.

like father, like daughter?

    

I've felt conflicted by everything I've been feeling as a mother. Confused by what I'm feeling and when to consider what is 'normal', agreed mutual feelings experienced by other parents and when to feel concerned over the extent of said feelings.


So, what am I feeling exactly?
Each emotion, every pressing, or pushed away thought seems contradictory in itself, leaving me feeling overwhelmed and purely stumped by my own pattern of thinking.
I'm immobilized by anxiety, suffocating in guilt. I feel a tired that sleep doesn't pacify and a niggle of irritability that doesn't cease. 

I have days that I'm begging to end, I'm sluggishly dragging myself through till bedtime. I'm wishing it was Dad's turn already. Arthur is lay down to sleep and the terror is already slithering up my spine, dreading the following morning and the tediousness of it all.

I feel a boundless love, but I feel sad. I'm desperate to usher him out the door to nursery, to Dads, to the grandparents but feel the lump in my throat swell when I have to croak goodbye. 
I'm drained, I'm bored, I'm exhausted of early rises and lack of adult conversation but I could watch him explore this big world around him all day. I miss him when he goes to sleep but feel the anxiety at the prospect of yet another long day that follows. I long for a break but feel the silence of his absence fill an empty house. 

I see other mums  plaster every social media platform possible the continuous photo shoots of their babies in overpriced outfits and the overly long captions gushing about how perfect everything is, how they feel so much love, how there's just never a shit day in happy town and I think to myself, "Other mum's have got to be lying!?" 



Why don't I feel this overcome with selfless love? Yes, I feel it. I'm washed with contentment and a love I didn't know existed. Yes, my heart aches with how much love I feel but why is it accompanied by this shadow of hopelessness, almost?
                                         
I've been assured I'm feeling the 'norm' that follows with parenting. I've been reminded that it's okay to need a break or feel overwhelmed. It's been agreed that it is totally sane to lose your shit sometimes, and how you can curse your kid as, "a right little arsehole" but still adore them nonetheless.
Contradictory, to my feelings, I can love my present life whilst simultaneously reminiscing about before.

It's been frivolously insisted that I'm overthinking, just fretting as anxiety takes over. That I'm being too hard on myself, as always and should cut myself some slack. I've been comforted by the reassurance that all parents experience somewhat of the same thoughts and emotions and I'm really not as alone as I may feel.

But when does it go from considered normal 'mum blues' to something of concern? When is it thought not normal? When is it deliberated that I'm a 'bad' mum?
It's been 20 months since I had Arthur. It's been a hurricane of a time, highs and lows. These, ashamed to confess feelings, creeped up on me when Art was around 7 or so months. I'm unsure where they suddenly sprouted from but I put it down to recently moving home, returning to work after maternity leave, the fact I was emotionally deflated and just pure exhaustion. I ignored the feelings that bubbled in the pit of my stomach, concluding that to ignore them meant they didn't exist.

They began to fade over time and I settled us both into a comfortable routine or as best I could manage, we got by. I was still challenged with the tough days and battles, but they grew less.
I felt the love swarm my heart again and no longer felt that pressing hole that probed me into thinking that I was a bad mum, that I maybe didn't love my son as much as I convinced myself, that the bond with Arthur was severed. It was in the background, but it was simply just a dull noise I could drown out through pure ignorance.



That little buzz, however, that irritating clamour echoed through my bones shifting to a high pitched screech I couldn't ignore, in just the last few months. It's felt deafening and I've crawled in shame. Why am I wishing I had one more kid free day when I have missed him terribly? When I'm desperate to see him? Why do I feel the anxiety at the thought of having him home to have him back and feel happy to see him? How can I feel so much love for him yet feel so distant from him?

I love my son - he is my biggest blessing. I adore having a little family of my own and I hope one day to extend it, should I be lucky enough. However, I feel undeserving of what I have. I question if my best is enough for Arthur. Can I really give him what he needs? Will he know that, despite how it seems, I do love him with all my heart?
I don't like feeling like my best isn't good enough, I hate this niggle that hisses I'm inadequate. I think I've lost my confidence in being his mum. It feels, sometimes, as though I was given this role, with an unspoken truth that I would never be able to fulfill it.  

I worry, at times, that I'm unawares and silently following in my (birth) Dad's absent footsteps. My birth dad abandoned before I was even born. It didn't affect me, at the time anyway. 
Fast forward 13 years later and I contacted him, my curiousity peaked at the prospect of meeting the man I had only heard of. 
He seemed to show no remorse for his long absence, no sadness for years passed or birthdays missed, no sense that he would ever have found me had I not searched myself. I was not embraced in that tight hug that emphasized regret. There were no hours of reliving the years he hadn't been there. There was no concrete reasoning, no explainable excuse that would tell me why he hadn't been there despite desperately wanting to be. He hadn't been held captive for years trying to fight his way home, no alien abduction, no government conspiracy he'd become embroiled in... no melodramatic fantasy that I'd conceived could avoid the harsh truth that I just wasn't enough to make him stay. 
That he just didn't care.


I worry sometimes I've inherited some type of faulty gene and, perhaps, that's why I'm failing as a parent. Or, maybe, that's simply an excuse that exposes I'm just not cut out for the job. I excelled in the beginning but I've run out of maternal instinct, I'm no use. 

I lie awake some nights and worry that perhaps, I'm not so dissimilar to my birth Dad. I'm just like him and maybe, this feeling that crowds me so often is the poison setting in. 
Though I would never consciously abandon Arthur, I would never ever leave him, I feel as though my presence is pitiful. I feel as though my attention is as removed as my Dads. I feel as though I have the same lack of 'parentness' he searches for, that I'm not providing him with what he needs.

So, is what I'm feeling normal? Are these just the typical emotions that circulate through stages of parenting? Am I as bad a mum as I feel? 
Or is it really like father, like daughter?

2 comments

  1. This is such an honest and brave post.
    Taylor, I think the fact that at the end of the post you worry that you're not a good Mum proves that you are in fact a good Mum. Bad Mum's don't worry about being good parents. And you most definitely are not failing. I definitely don't think you've inherited any kind of faulty gene.

    My son is 20 months old too, and it's a whirlwind age and I can completely relate to the wanting them to be at nursery, or wanting a break but feeling sad when they're gone. I think it's an age where they're really at the most difficult, and it's bloody difficult for us Mum's too. And I always miss my pre-children life, but I wouldn't be without them at all!

    Also PS the pictures in this post are so cute.

    Sending all the love
    Rachel x

    https://www.racheldowning.co.uk

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for reading, Rachel. Really appreciate the kind words. It sure is a whirlwind. Lots of love xx

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