I’ve written and failed to publish no less than four posts over the last few weeks, each one more moany than the last. Perhaps it’s moving house, or pregnancy hormones but I’ve been so down and grumpy that I’ve caught myself being extremely negative.
I believe mummy blogging should be honest! Sugar coating what can be a bloody emotional time in our lives only perpetuates feelings of failure or guilt for other parents out there who aren’t frolicking about on Instagram…..But where do we draw the line? When do we know what’s ‘normal’?
Do other parents let their children watch YouTube for two hours straight cos they’re so shattered? Do other parents serve beans on toast for dinner twice in a week cos they just can’t face cooking?! Do other parents lie in the bath for an hour at night cos they don’t know what else to do or think? Do other parents feel so overwhelmed at times that they consider packing a bag and running?! Even if they know they would never actually go through with it?
Because we can jokingly say ‘crap day! pass the wine’… but can we actually say, today I doubted myself so much I couldn’t look in the mirror? Must we always follow up a negative comment about our day with ‘but I know I’m blessed!’? When actually at the time you really can’t see the wood through the trees.
What of those who do say their issues out loud? I certainly judge cryptic negative social media status’, the sort which prompt a whole host of friends to comment with ‘you ok Hun?’ ‘Pm me’ etc etc…..you know the drill. But why does it make us cringe?…..Someone is reaching out for help and we roll our eyes?!…..Is it because it’s done so publicly perhaps?….. Attention seeking? Yet mothering can be lonely, and do we not deserve attention or support? Why is that shameful?…. It used to take a village, but we are far more insular now than previous generations….. the internet shrinks the world….Where would we be without google or mummy forums to get us through? And why can’t social media or blogs become that new village?
Here’s the crunch!! If every mother out there was honest on the internet, and indeed in life…..we would know when our own negativity crossed into more serious territory.
It’s possible I am predisposed to antenatal and postnatal depression… so far I don’t think I have had either. But I wonder, if, rather than sharing filtered bump shots and jokes about vomit, we actually reached out eveytime our day was crap…. would we be better able to ‘gauge normal’?! If instead of saying new baby #blessed, we said ‘fuck I’m tired and want to rip my nipples off’ could we help others more? And I’m not talking about just the once. How often do other mothers doubt themselves? Daily? Weekly? Rarely? Does it come in waves? Blocks of time rather than fleeting moments? Who bloody knows?? Cos we are too busy trying to prove we have our shit together to notice that we are carrying around a steaming pile of dung.
I don’t know if my anxieties and downright negativity could be leading to a mental health issue or if I’ll snap out of it as soon as my hormones and the house move stress settle….Either is entirely possible, and of course I’ll be mindful. Plus I know I’ll be fine! But I wonder, would I question my mental health and worry that I’m on some abnormal downward slope if every second person on my newsfeed just said ‘beans on toast tonight again’??