Motherhood

Overwhelm

By February 3, 2017 12 Comments

I’m pacing in my kitchen again. Baby strapped on in her carrier, my knees bending in a rhythmic motion with every step I take, in the hopes that she will give in to the sleep that has been tugging at her eyes for 40 minutes. While I pace, my mind races from each bullet point on my to-do list, frantically searching for a way for me to be productive while I pace with the baby.

Step, bounce. Step, bounce. Sh-sh-shhhh.

Oh, I still have to pay those bills.

Step, bounce. Step, bounce. Sh-sh-shhhh.

Jeez there’s a science experiment growing in the crock pot. Uh, I really need to catch up on dishes.

Step, bounce. Step, bounce. Sh-sh-

Ah! What the heck did I just step on?? Ewww…chewed up dried mango. I HAVE to clean these floors!

Step, bounce. Step, bounce. Sh-sh-shhh.

That basket of clean laundry has been sitting there for at least 5 days. How have I not folded it yet?

Close laundry room door. Step, bounce. Step, bounce. Sh-sh-shhhh.

WHY DO WE STILL HAVE THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS UP???

Step, bounce. Step, bounce. Sh-sh-shhhh.

Stop looking at me like that computer. I know I still have to finish that blog post. But it’s hard to type whilst bouncing and pacing. Although I have no idea why I’m bothering because I’m not getting paid for it. Why do I waste so much time on that? I should clean instead.

Step, bounce. Step, bounce. Sh-sh-shhhh. The baby starts to root around.

I’m never going to get any of this stuff done.

Now I’m sitting on the couch with the baby latched on again wondering what the heck I’m doing with my life. There are so many things that I need to do. I need to put all the Christmas decorations that have been occupying my formal dining room away. I need to swap out the clothes for my 2 month old and 2 year old, both of whom have long outgrown the sizes in the dresser currently. I need to vacuum. I need to steam the hardwood floors (especially the kitchen). I need to catch up on dishes and laundry. I need to pay bills. I need to respond to my 6 year old’s teacher’s email about the activity that I have to put together for their Valentine’s Day friendship party.

But there’s also so much that I want to do. I want to find more time to write on this blog, because it is the sacred place were I can just be. I want to start my own cake business out of my home. I want to have a baking blog that is separate from this one; a blog that is completely dedicated to desserts. A blog that goes live on Facebook once a week to bake something with my kids and that has a YouTube channel with weekly video uploads showcasing different cake decorating techniques and recipes.

But I can’t even manage to get out of my pajamas most days, and I have an infant permanently attached to one of my boobs at all times. Who the hell am I kidding thinking I can accomplish any of that? I should focus on getting my shit together before trying to tackle a business venture. I wouldn’t even be able to make a cake in my ground zero kitchen without cleaning for an hour first.

What a joke.

What a fraud I am.

I believe this is what they call ‘the baby blues’. This time after you have a new baby and you feel like you’re going to suffocate because there’s so much that you need to do and want to do but you can’t seem to get any of it done. Every day gets lost in the step, bounce. step, bounce. sh-sh-shhhh. And as you wipe spit up off your shoulder again and look around at the mess that is your house, you project that mess onto your whole life.

It’s easy to feel hopeless when no matter how much effort you put forth, you are still stuck pacing back and forth in the step, bounce. step, bounce. sh-sh-shhhh. Every day starts to look the same and it’s no wonder some of us start feeling depressed.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to share this picture ever. But I took it anyways, just in case. Or perhaps I took it for myself, so that I could remember how hard this part is, when I’m looking back on it years from now. So I won’t take the journey for granted. If I was going to share it though, it would definitely be after I felt better. You know, after I figured out the secret or had some pearls of wisdom to share with it.

But instead of waiting for some mystical day when I feel like I have my shit together, I’m going to be vulnerable with you now. I’m going to choose to be honest and open while I’m drowning, because that is where God works best. I am going to open up my front door and let you all in; please mind the Barbies on the floor and tape on the walls and feel free to relocate that pile of laundry so you can sit down.

Postpartum Depression

This, my friends, is what the early days of motherhood can look like. A woman holding a baby crying because she feels so very small. So very tired. So very overwhelmed.

I was pretty bad for the first 3 weeks after my little Oswyn was born. Even though I’ve been able to crawl out of the fog since then, I have days like today when it finds me. It doesn’t mean I love my children any less or regret having them. They are hands down the best thing that I’ve got going for me and I know I would be a true wreck without them. But to be so needed all the time is ever so draining.

It can all be just a bit much sometimes, right?

If you are in the same place as me, I fear I have no real pearls of wisdom for you. For I am not on the outside looking back; I am in the trenches right along side you. But I do have this bit of encouragement for you…

Believe You Can Quote

It might sound cliche, but I know it’s true. The biggest hurdles we fight are right inside our own minds. I know the lies that are rumminating around in your head, so please let me speak some truth over the both of us:

You are a wonderful mommy.

You are doing a great job.

The state of your house does not define you.

It is ok that you have no idea what you are doing. None of us do.

It will not always be this hard.

So keep reaching for those impossible dreams. Keep going for it, even though the odds are seriously stacked against you. Cry, drink wine, have a cookie. But never give up.

Then wake up before the sun tomorrow, and do it all again.

Join the discussion 12 Comments

  • Rose Cole says:

    Amanda that was such a sad picture it broke my heart, I also feel broken hearted for my daughter. Im going through a bummer time myself. But I keep asking God to show me things I need to know. Because I know others go through depression also. I know that we have to walk through the Valley at times, but Immanuel , God is with us.

    Joyce Meyer (who I listen to daily) said the other day, Everyday when you first wake up say 10 things you are thankful for. Well I dont exactly do that , but throughout the day I start saying things that Im thankful for.

    Keeping praying and casting all your cares on Him.
    love yu

  • Amanda says:

    Love you Aunt Rosa <3

  • Hayley says:

    No doubt, that stage of mothering (or really, all stages) show you what you are made of!! In the trenches with you, girl!

  • Brianna says:

    I remember this feeling well. Those first couple months I just felt so isolated and alone, and I didn’t really have a support system around me to help pull me out of that. But yes, the clouds did clear, and it got better. It always will, it’s just hard to see that when you’re in the midst of it 🙂

    • Amanda says:

      It does get better, thankfully. But it’s helpful to have this space where I can be honest about how I’m feeling and have other mamas like you reach out to remind me that I’m not alone. Thank you for your support and encouragement ❤️

  • Meg says:

    What a beautiful, raw look at motherhood. Oh, those first few months are HARD! I’ve been there, and I’ll be there again, but I’m in between right now. You’re right…it won’t always be this hard. Or, at least it won’t be the same kind of hard. One thing I love about motherhood is the constant growth, not only of my babies but also of me as I work through each new stage right along with them. We become stronger, and more capable women…and that is something. Hold on. You’re doing great things.

    • Amanda says:

      Whenever my dad reminisces about a memory from my childhood, he always begins it by joking, “Hey, remember when we were growing up…” And now that I have kids myself, I totally understand what he means by that. You are absolutely right–there is so much growth that happens in the parents as well as the kids. We really are growing up right along with them, just in a different way. Thank you for the encouragement <3

  • Kate AL says:

    If it makes you feel any better, there’s a plastic Santa sitting on a table in my dining room right now. Every time my 18 month old points at him and says ‘ho ho ho’ I think ‘I NEED to put that away!’… and then I get distracted and busy and well, he’s still there. :/ Much empathy and love, mama.

  • Naya says:

    This stage of motherhood was the hardest for me. I spread myself so thin that the baby blues turned into anxiety and depression. Limiting the items on my to-do list helped immensely. Sending you lots of love, mama. It gets better.

    • Amanda says:

      Thank you for the encouragement <3 Trying to hang in there and enjoy her as a baby, because I know how fast this phase goes in the long run.

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