This week, I have two very poorly toddlers here who refuse to sleep, and want to be carried all the time, not eating, grumpy, cranky and throwing a tantrum at every opportunity. We are realising that it is surprisingly hard to give both of them equal attention, or carry them both at the same time, and they are becoming quite competitive. They don't like each other very much right now either so they are fighting too. I feel like I am drowning.
I was reflecting on the series 'Come home' on BBC recently. Did anyone watch it? Women are ostracised for leaving home and their children. How can a mother ever do that? She must be heartless, and in some ways it is the ultimate sin. And, I get that. But who can honestly put a hand on their heart and say that in one of those moments, when you have the load of your family on your shoulders, when you haven't slept for so many days, you feel so mentally and physically exhausted that you feel like you don't matter at all, you don't want to exist, who hasn't fantasised for one little moment, that dreadful moment that you immediately regret, of just walking away from it all?
The series really threw light on some very significant issues, such as post-natal depression. The main lead couldn't connect with her new born and wished she would die so that she wouldn't have to hear her cry. And, this was used against her in court. It is the sad reality that PND is so misunderstood. Mothers are supposed to naturally bond with their children after birth and no one wants to talk about what PND does to a woman's brain and body, and how it affects everything including her relationship with her child and her self-worth.
I wish women are able to talk about the reality of motherhood, and that it is ok to be honest about how they are feeling, and how they sometimes need so much more than just being a mother. I like how more and more women are doing this on social media, and I have found some fantastic and very honest women on instagram recently which I am really pleased about. It feels like we don't need to pretend anymore, and it will be so refreshing to be able to say how it is, much like a man I suppose!
The women who I have interviewed recently for my stress awareness campaign 'Spring in my Step' over on our website, have mentioned 'juggling' and motherhood often, and how on one hand, it is the one thing that can be most stressful, on the other, it is what keeps them sane, and makes them smile.
One of the reasons that I started The Art Tiffin was because of my own experiences with being a Mum and post-natal depression and anxiety. The stress, overwhelm and loneliness that I felt in those early months, and still feel now, has been one of the motivations to set up this social enterprise to bring creative inspiration and permission to say how it is, to provide a platform and voice to those who are struggling and lonely, overwhelmed and stressed, especially new mums, donate to mental health charities, and encourage self-care. Our Art Tiffin boxes are themed every month according to season and colour, which has a huge effect on our mood, and our psychology. This month, our April box links to the stress awareness campaign 'Spring in my Step'. Have a look at our previous boxes here.
Parenthood is strange and lovely all at once!
“Through the blur, I wondered if I was alone or if other parents felt the same way I did - that everything involving our children was painful in some way. The emotions, whether they were joy, sorrow, love or pride, were so deep and sharp that in the end they left you raw, exposed and yes, in pain. The human heart was not designed to beat outside the human body and yet, each child represented just that - a parent's heart bared, beating forever outside its chest.”
― Debra Ginsberg