Monday, June 15, 2009

Super Woman Doesn’t Exist... And If She Did, She’d Need Help

I’ve had videos of Monkey on repeat all weekend long. I can’t help myself; I’ve been watching them over and over again. My kid’s cuteness is like a hypnotist’s wheel and I can’t tear my eyes away from the screen!

Watching these videos, though, I’m having two pretty intense feelings: pride and deep sadness. The pride is self-explanatory, but the sadness?

I feel sad because I don’t think I was fully present in the early months of Monkey's life. I managed to be there to take care of my baby, but not be there, you know? I’m ashamed to admit that I don’t remember making these early videos of him. And watching them now, it hurts my heart (and my head) because I’m trying to remember some of these moments, but can’t.

The story is that I was too overwhelmed to really enjoy anything during that time. I was either frustrated with how slowly my body was healing, mad about being sweaty all the time, or crying for no good reason in the bathroom. On top of all that, I had this sick idea that I had to be Super Woman - even though I just gave birth and needed to rest and heal.

I tried to clean, do laundry, cook. Subconsciously, I was scared that if I didn’t do all these things, it meant that I was a complete and utter failure at motherhood and wifedom. I was afraid that when everyone who was there to help me left, I would fall flat on my face, proving to everyone that I shouldn’t be a mother because I was inept.

Ugh. Thinking about that time makes me want to breathe into a paper bag…

Oh well. I ended up being a failure in my attempt to live as Super Woman - that didn’t take very long - but I’m more than okay with it. It taught me some very important things along the way:

1.) I can’t do it all
2.) I shouldn’t do it all
3.) There’s no shame in accepting help, especially when you’ve just given birth
4.) You can never have too many pictures or videos of your kids

And if I may toot my own horn, I don’t think I’m doing a half bad job at being a mom or a wife.

… Though I can’t say the same about the housework.

16 comments:

blueviolet said...

You're a great mom! And who gives a flyin' flip about the housework?

Cairo Typ0 said...

From what i've read here you're an awesome mum!! :) Housework is overrated. :p

Suzanne said...

I still can't finish my daughter's first year scrapbook...and she's 14. Every time I try, I start bawling because I can't even remember that time. Why do we beat ourselves up like this???? I should be so happy I even have all those photos. Go hug that baby and be nice to you...you are a great mommy!!!:-)

LZ said...

Uhhh...yeah. My oldest is in school and my youngest is almost 2. I still don't manage to squeeze in housework. Don't beat yourself up - that's not the reason you stay home!

Manic Mother said...

For my first baby I was the same way, too worried I wasn't dong it right to enjoy it. The 2nd baby was a much easier experience.

Tami said...

I was the same way, I worried I wasn't the best wife the best mom, and just cried for days.

Now... I've learned, super woman is a myth. And Wonder Moms Do exists!

We Mommies are the true heroes!

Sherry said...

Awesome post, Jennifer! I know exactly what you mean. :)

ModernMom said...

So many women feel..felt the same way!
Wonderful post.

Miss Behavin said...

You're right! No such thing as Superwoman.

It's difficult trying to live up to unrealistic expectations. I shucked that philosophy a long time ago and I'm much happier marching to the beat of my own drum these days.

The Blonde Duck said...

I'm sure you'll remember more later. At least you can treasure the moments now! Being a mom, esp. a new mom, is really hard!

The Bumbles said...

I keep trying to get this point across to my friend who is a first time mom with twin boys. I'm afraid that she is missing out on all the good things while worrying about doing everything and doing it all in a way that no one can be critical. I don't know who put these ideas in her head or why she cares. And she never asks for help. Yup - sounds like she too is suffering from Super Woman syndrome.

Veronica Lee said...

You're a great mom, Jennifer!!

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

Agreed. I had postpartum with my first and I don't remember most of his infancy. It was a black hole. Sad, but true. I think your point on asking for help is the best advice ever.

Mary K Brennan said...

You toot that horn girl! Motherhood is hard. Sometimes our experiences are so similar. After Scooter (my 2nd) was born I was a mess. Potter (my 1st) was a preemie, and he still had issues. Scooter had colic and cried constantly. Hubby worked over an hour away. I didn't want to get out of bed. Luckily, after talking to my Dr. he realized it was post-partum. I wish I had taken a video. So hold onto that gem of a memory. I know I'm cross country, but it looks to me like you're doing a pretty good job. I'm sure Monkey would agree.

Alicia said...

Hi Jennifer!

I think many of us go through that w/ our first. We feel we need to prove we can still do the same things even w/ a new baby. It is very humbling to ask for help, but it's such a blessing to get it!!!

Zeemaid said...

I know what you mean.. I always said that with the next one that I would just take it easy, spend as much time in bed resting with the baby etc... let the house fall on someone else's shoulders for a while. but.... life never seems to work out way. Either there are always work crisis for the hub or you just plain ol feel guilty disappearing to rest and leaving them with the rest of the kids. and sick days... I once had to beg my mother to come over for a couple of hours and look after but otherwise, mothers are pretty much on their own.

Reality is you probably did a much better job coping than you think. New motherhood is always overwhelming but we all do the best we can.

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