I’ve seen this issue crop up a fair bit on social media recently and given that it’s Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week, I thought I’d address it.
I’m a member of a Facebook page for twin parents and there’s been a lot of debate on there about whether people are being overly negative or just having a bit of a moan. In my view there is a difference. There are only a very small minority of people who are just real Negative Nellies or Nancies or whatever, who moan constantly and are always complaining about how hard their life is with kids. Maybe these people need help more than anyone else but you know the mums I mean, where you almost feel like they’re just moaning for the sake of it? But most mums aren’t like that. Most mums are very grateful for their children, can’t imagine their lives without them and wouldn’t change it for the world. HOWEVER there are plenty of times when it is just bloody hard and nothing can really prepare you for those moments. I never imagined the lows of motherhood being as low as they have been (and still are) at times for me – the highs are absolutely amazing and do outweigh them (otherwise jeez the human race would have died out by now 😂) But there are times where I think without the listening ear of a friend or another mum going through similar issues, I would have totally lost my marbles by now 🙊
Even just this morning for example, attempting to get my two out the house to get to our twins group, I pretty much lost my sh*zzle. Having battled two writhing, wriggling children into new nappies and clothes, while they did everything in their power to resist (and Henry in particular is reeeally strong 😫) I was already shattered and losing patience. Then as I was trying to get everything together to leave the house, H thought it hilarious to chase me and repeatedly ram his wooden push-along trolley into my ankles (really quite painful). Meanwhile C was nosing in cupboards and emptying out their contents, wasting more time as I then tidied up. H had moved one of his shoes for no reason whatsoever so we spent another five minutes searching for that. C then legged it up the stairs when I tried to get her shoes on and refused to come down so I had to run up and grab her, then of course H decided to come up too. I know it’s normal toddler naughtiness bla bla bla but WHY do they always ramp it right up when you need to be out the house by a certain time?! 😫 Trying to leave the house with two toddlers must look like a bloody Benny Hill sketch – I can almost hear the music 🙈 Anyway H went back to the ankle-ramming and by this point I was so fed up I grabbed the stupid trolley and practically threw it into the living room (no children were in the living room at this point) and said (AKA shouted in a rage) ‘Would you two rather just stay in the house all day?! Why do we bother trying to get out and do nice things?!’ Immediately C came up to me and cuddled my leg, my anger turned into shame and I felt like the worst mother in the world for losing my temper over basically nothing.
When we (eventually) got to our group, I was feeling a bit crappy but chatting to other twin mums and hearing their stories of how theirs were driving them mad that day or throwing tantrums or whatever, made me feel so much better knowing that it’s all normal – normal to get wound up, normal to feel guilty, normal to worry, normal to want to chuck your kids out the window sometimes… 🙄 (That’s not just me, right?!)
So I suppose my point is that we all need to TALK. It’s not being negative or ungrateful to need to let off steam and have a good rant every now and then (or every day 😏) It’s healthy and has certainly kept me halfway sane. It doesn’t mean you love your children any less and in fact I think the odd moan will make us better mums to them. I know I find it much easier to shake off those rubbishy moments after having talked them through with someone – otherwise I’d be dwelling on them all day feeling crap and therefore not enjoying that time with my bubbas. I guess you do just have to be aware of having a whinge in the right context/to the right people – I wouldn’t go on my Facebook page for example and post a public moan because I don’t know what others might be going through or how it might make them feel. On Instagram I know almost all my followers are other mums and are a lovely supportive community so it feels like a safe place to vent every now and then 😁 I’m lucky to have lots of lovely ‘real-life’ mamas to keep me on track too but there’ve been plenty of times when I’ve struck up a conversation with a random mum at a toddler group or softplay, not because I’m super confident or anything (hardly!😂) but just because either I’ve been at the end of my tether and desperately needing a chat or if I could see the mum was having a hard time herself at that moment. I’m not going to end with anything super cheesy but just remember there’s nothing wrong with a good rant 😎