There’s a lot of things about motherhood we never talk about. I was surprised by the amount of “hard things” nobody told me before becoming a mom. We tend to wear these things like badges of honor. Like the newborn stage and toddlerhood defines us.
And for a while, it does.
We are Mom. We solve problems, wipe faces, clean up dishes and toys and cups and dirty clothes. We give hugs and kisses and rub backs and rock babies to sleep. We become everything to our littles.
But we don’t talk about how the season of littles is hard. It’s exhausting. It’s draining. It’s all-consuming. And as much as I love my boy, sometimes I just want to be alone in a quiet room where nobody needs anything from me for several hours.
While my circumstances are unique, I decided I needed to speak to someone about all the things swirling around in my head. I had a nine month old at the time, and I was transitioning from breastfeeding to formula. I had no idea I was going to have my biggest hormone shifts since birth when I quit breastfeeding, but there I was in the thick of it. I was working full-time, mostly from home, but planning my transition back to the office.
And I simply couldn’t “hang in there” without help. My postpartum anxiety was at an all-time high. COVID was raging in our community. I just couldn’t get myself under control. I was miserable, and I knew I needed something to give me a push out of the funk I was in. To help me think through who I was and what I wanted.
So I made an appointment, filled out an informational form and went to meet my fate in therapy.
Why do we struggle so much to take steps to help ourselves? I kept thinking I would get over it or bounce back. But I just didn’t.
I sat down across from this stranger, my therapist, and told her things I had never told anyone. I told her my fears, my dreams, my insecurities, my hopes for the future, my past experiences. I told her everything.
It was liberating.
She helped me find freedom and acceptance in myself. She gave me language to help me understand what I was feeling. She helped me work through scenarios. She talked me through one of the toughest seasons of my life.
What if you gave yourself permission let go of your preconceived notions and tried therapy?
It could really help you figure some stuff out. If you go and you don’t have a great vibe with the first therapist you try, ask them for a referral. They won’t be offended. Good therapists want you to get help, even if it’s not from them.
If you are struggling or something feels off or you don’t feel quite like yourself as you settle into motherhood (or anytime), get yourself a therapist. I have a great one, and I gladly give out her information to anyone who asks or who I think would be open to hearing my story.
I still see mine twice a month. I look forward to going, even when it’s emotionally difficult to talk through hard things. It’s become a lifeline in my current season of motherhood, working full-time and trying to “do it all.”