Mom = Superwoman?
We won’t lie, when we become moms, our lives change drastically and we suddenly find ourselves having to deal with a lot of new responsibilities and concerns that we have to try to learn to juggle as best we can. Becoming a mom is a learning experience that amazes us more often than not but can sometimes overwhelm us despite ourselves.
Try not to feel guilty if you realize that you don’t know what to do anymore and you are gradually sinking. It’s normal to feel helpless, but if you listen to the signs that your body and mind are sending you, you can more easily recognize that you have reached your limits. Don’t wait until it’s too late and you wake up one morning completely disconnected from reality, unable to make the effort to get you out of that abyss you ended up falling in and risk losing everything. Be hopeful that you can start reclaiming your life now.
Not striving for perfection
Accepting that we are not infallible and that we can’t always control what happens in our life is like experiencing the various stages of grief. It feels like we are mourning the image of the perfect mother, the one that always has all the answer and on who the family should depend all the time. We don’t expect perfection from the ones who are dear to us, and yet, we try to meet those disproportionate performance standards we impose on ourselves.
And if we tried instead to stop putting pressure on ourselves and to stop letting external pressure influence us? We would probably learn to let go. We must try and break this rigid vision we have of what life and a good mother is supposed to be like and learn to live life as it comes: full of surprises and twists that we had not planned for on our never-ending lists.
The more you beat yourself up and wait before attempting to climb out of your torpor, the steeper and arduous the climb will be. It’s better to admit as soon as possible that you need help. I can tell you from experience, all those fears you have that the people around you will think you are weak are for the most part unfounded and exacerbated by your negative perception of what you are going through. Look around and you may be surprised to find that those you love are already there, waiting for you to just ask.
Are you ashamed of needing help? Try to see the situation differently: if your child was in your situation, you would wish for him to speak up and find support. You can now set a good example to your children by acting the same way you would like them to and teach them how to be in control of their destiny.
What you have to remember is that you are not abnormal. When someone tries to do everything for too long without ever delegating, or forgets to reward themselves with daily pleasures to balance their life, when we ignore our needs to concentrate on other people’s needs, at one point it eventually catches up to us and our body sends us an alarm saying it’s too much.
Help at work
Do you have an understanding employer? You could perhaps consider having a discussion with him to let him know what is happening. If you are honest, they might help you lighten your workload temporarily or refer you to psychological help services depending on your benefits. The important thing is to keep them updated to avoid potential repercussions that might result from your inability to perform your tasks.
If you can’t be honest with your employer, you may consider taking your vacation time in advance or even taking an unpaid leave of absence if you can afford it. If you can, go on a trip and disconnect from reality. A trip is always beneficial but even more so during hardships as it can really help strengthen us by giving us some much-needed perspective.