If I can be completely honest the journey from pregnancy to birth isn’t always roses. The journey from singlehood, to parenthood fusioned with back to back pregnancies and being born a new parent each time whilst trying to figure it all out and hold it all together, being able to maintain ME and my ever evolving identity is sometimes just HARD. In this period you lose friends, you may lose family ties, you can become increasingly lonely. You can try to keep your head above water by staying busy but sometimes you need the rest- but, what if you can’t rest because you are the only one there for your family. The reality of motherhood is that yes there are many blessings and many joys to be had but we shouldn’t be doing it alone.
This last month has been hard. I had cold and coughs circulating each child, when one got better the other was sick. I’ve had teething. The teether has had a bunged up nose making nursing a nightmare. That in turn made sleep a nightmare. After the kids were sick, me and hubby fell sick. It subsided a bit and then just when I thought it was over, BAM! the oldest says his ear hurts. We applied a simple remedy because going doctors is a waste of time and I’m not about to try and get 3 toddler boys ready only to be sent home again. Anyways I call dad, he comes home and by time he gets here after a long nap the toddler wakes up jipper saying his ear isn’t hurting (insert face palm* here*).
The last few weeks have been me trapped in my house and barely making it out for some day trips. That’s because the weather has also had a bad turn and there’s a small window between bad weather and bad toddler moods that you can actually get out alive- or awake – or something in between the two.
I love outdoors, I love the rural life but at times I’m lonely, I’m tired and yes I want help. I’ll be honest about this too, sometimes the help I need is to get the house in order but I don’t want you to come over when it’s too out of order. Sometimes I want it to just be a little out of order so that you don’t judge me! Lol
Ahhhh the irony!
Sometimes, it’s been a rough night. One is up coughing, one wets the bed, one is teething, the bedding isn’t perfectly co-ordinated, it’s all mis-matched. One wants a cuddle, one doesn’t want the other to touch them. Then the baby just thinks it’s all fun and games and uses you as a human climbing frame or soft play.
Anyways this morning is looking more like this…
I put a gallery together so you can see my last few weeks in pictures. I’m too proud, I’m Caribbean peeps, so I’ll skip the organised chaos pics.
Something that plays on my mind is what it’s like for women of colour and other women too- who love the rural life but find it isolating. There’s an added isolation for black women because no-one is making friends with you, in my experience to be honest, if people are dodging eye contact with you noone is trying to friend you, but when you offer a smile it can be an invitation to talk. There are plenty of blogs with mums joking about giving each other the sympathetic eye/look -the come talk to me look, we’re in the same boat but that’s been a rare occurrence for me. The only people (for the most part) that are friendly out here are other women of colour or sometimes women who have mixed children. I’ve got the lady in Asda and TK maxx telling me come see them. To outsiders you’d think we were friends but no, we’re friendly acquaintances.
I made one church friend in a predominantly white church and she’s also black. Her family are amazing, husband is European and they are a very sweet couple but if it weren’t for them I’d still be struggling.
I’ll save the church blog for another day.
I’m at an age where I’m not going to force things. Usually the other people church or not if they ain’t for you, they ain’t for you.
I tried volunteering to do some socialising and to also help support people similar to me but I’m not sure it’s going to work out. I thought I’d be able to manage but it’s looking like I need to get childcare, I can’t really afford to pay for childcare for a voluntary role and sadly it’s looking more and more like I can’t do it.
The first time I left my house after moving, a woman and her husband followed me in a car park and confronted me about driving in the ‘wrong lane’ which I later realised it wasn’t as she had said. First of all the audacity to confront someone over such a small thing is insane, then to do it to someone alone with 3 babies… It made me so angry. It made me anxious to go out again for a long time after that.
Sometimes I need my mum and mother-in-law around because I trust them, plus my mother-in-law is an amazing cook. Sometimes I just want my cousin around, we have really similar parenting approaches and I think she was an amazing early years practitioner. She’s a hard-working mum and extremely creative and committed. My grandmother isn’t here anymore but I miss her dearly. She was a huge source of support throughout my whole life, a second mother.
Sometimes i just need my hair done...
Sometimes I just want my old crew around. Sometimes I want the people who knew me B.C around me, but to be honest they’ve well moved on. I want my college friends and early adulthood friends around because they were my sisters in my most vulnerable part of life, they can be trusted to see my tears but again they’ve moved on too.
two of my support, it’s the little things…
Sometimes, I need help finding things like my mobile phone, car keys, or the house phone…
sometimes i need help with play…
sometimes *they* make unsuspecting mess and like to surprise us… sometimes we need an extra pair of eyes and ears
Sometimes I want my A.D. friends around, they make me laugh, they understand my spiritual needs and they are the only potential aunties my kids will have. Sadly we live in an age where insta-moments are more valuable than being around people who need us. I realise that friends can be busy and I can understand for many women it’s a hard pill to swallow if their friends put their activities on social media and then tell you they’re too busy for you. I find myself at the mercy of continually mentally giving people the benefit of the doubt and I’m losing the will. I hear about the loneliness so much and have struggled from time to time with my last son. I often ponder: Is this what society has become? Is this what modern motherhood is like? Must we blog and make virtual friends? How sad… I love my friends dearly and I respect that they are all hard workers… I guess many people are living their best lives. I think as friends we underestimate what we can bring to our mother-friends lives’, sometimes we can simply call if we can’t visit, post a card or gift, order something from Amazon or ebay. Sometimes, she needs you to come watch the kids so you can bond with them, you because she knows, trusts and loves you. Sometimes she needs someone she can trust to watch the kids while she takes a shower or bath. Sometimes she needs someone there so she can have a minute to pray and read a word. Sometimes she needs you there so she can run to the shop without every trip being an event that makes the next one anxious. Sometimes she’s all touched out and needs to have a moment to be. Sometimes, she just needs someone to make her laugh and tell her she’s doing a good job BUT sometimes and oftentimes she needs your presence there. The worst thing is to feel like you have lots of friends but realise you don’t have any.
Anyways I’ll stop here. I’ve always found a way to get things done and I have to say I’m very grateful to my mum and mother-in-law for their help.
If you’ve read this to the end my message is: go check on a friend. If you’re a mum I’m going to create a support group for like-minded rural and holistic mamas. Follow my Facebook page for updates.
I’ll also follow up with some useful tips to help you reduce isolation, reduce stress and how I began to feel better about my situation.