Does This Mean I’m Not “Cut Out” For This?

Does anyone else feel like this at times?

depressed mom

I have always known that I wanted to be a mom, just like I always knew I wanted a career helping children. I just love kids and from a young age I knew that I wanted to be like my mom someday and have a family of my own.

Now, I have four children, with the birth of our twins a few weeks ago completing our family of six. I have four beautiful, amazing, wonderful gifts that call me “mom”. It is a complete blessing to watch them grow, to have carried them, and to have the opportunity to be their mom.4 kids under 4

I love my children with all of my heart.

But…

These past few weeks, more so than the other three years I have been a mom, I do NOT feel cut out for motherhood.

It seems like everything in the world has been going wrong. One episode of crazy after another. First, of course, it started it out with the birth of the twins and the unplanned c-section that really threw me who being for a loop. Physically and emotionally, I still do not feel like myself even weeks later. The recovery part of that really made my first couple of weeks as a mom of four extremely difficult, but I figured it would get better eventually.

Can I just pause for a moment and say how much I hate when people say, “It’s okay, it will get better”, to me? Hate. It.

Anyway, as the weeks have gone on, my feelings of being an inadequate mother have come and gone, but they haven’t gone away for good. My toddlers, ages 3 and almost 2, have been having a hard time adjusting to all of the newness that has been going on in our house. It is only recently that I have had the energy to try to help them work through the emotions of change. Sadly, it seems like something I should’ve done weeks ago when we first brought the babies home. Just another way I feel like I am lacking in the mom department.

We have also had family visit, which kept the older girls happy and occupied with loved ones, and it gave me a glimpse into sanity. None of my own family lives near me, so to have them come visit is wonderful, but to have them leave again is heart wrenching. When I have them here to help, I have extra hands to hold a baby or extra eyes to see if someone is misbehaving when I am not looking myself.

Now, during the week when my husband is working, I’m alone again with my four children that I love… but I find myself wondering daily if I going to be able to handle this new-found title of “Mom Of Four“.

Does this mean I’m not cut out for motherhood?

Just in the past week, I have battled with colic symptoms in the twins along with their non-existent sleep schedule as of late, a 3 (going on 13) year old that thinks she’s older than I am and proceeds to argue with me on everything, and an almost 2-year-old who copies her sister, who had a severe case of pink eye and viral infection, and who gets into anything she’s not supposed to.

I don’t mean to complain. I know this is just the daily life of a mom and there are plenty of parents out there who have to deal with more than I do. This though, it’s hard. Harder than I ever thought it would be.

I have had friends tell me that they think I am “super mom” or some version of superwoman for doing all of the things I do, and still being able to look put together when I leave the house.reality of motherhood

I am here to say that I feel nothing like superwoman and nowhere near to the title of “supermom”. Not to mention the fact that I, in no way, shape or form, have it all together. I feel like a complete mess of emotions, loneliness, and loss of self. It is not a pretty picture in reality although I know how to put on a good front.

It feels like I am not doing a good enough job as a mom to all of kids, especially my oldest two. I’m trying to bond with the twins while they are babies, but that takes a ton of time away from the older girls. My three-year-old isn’t getting prepared for preschool work (Even though she is very intelligent for her age, and I’m not just saying that. The girl knows her stuff.), because I don’t have the time right now to sit and teach her. Plus, I feel like I am causing my middle child to actually become “the middle child”. As a someone with degrees in psychology and counseling, middle child syndrome is a real thing… and I’m failing as a parent for watching my daughter slip into that mold.

I knew there would be bad days and that it wouldn’t all be easy. I wasn’t expecting some perfect little family with children that never got sick, never talked back, never fought, never cried all at the same time… I’m a realist. I know better.

What I didn’t know was that I would feel like my world turned upside down. Gone are the days of having it all together. Gone are the days of leaving the house to run errands, because with these four kids that is insanity! I don’t always feel like cooking the most healthy dinners like I used to, because they usually take more thought and effort. I don’t always spend as much time reading to my kids as I should, and Netflix has become a saving grace/babysitter at times. It’s also a good thing my husband loves me unconditionally, because I put no effort into my appearance aside from a shower, on days when I am not going anywhere.

This is the reality of motherhood.

Not to mention, I have been dealing with some crazy anxiety and hormonal imbalance issues since the twins were born… which has really taken it’s toll on me physically and mentally (more on that later).

So, because I feel like everything is out of control and that I am lacking as a parent in pretty much every department, I have this nagging thought that I am not meant to handle these four children that have been given to me.

I know that we sometimes we are given more than we can handle on our own. Prayer at the beginning and end of each day brings me back to the reality that I may not feel cut out for it, but I will get through the bad days and there will be plenty of good ones to make up for them.

I’ll be doing a post in the next few weeks about my battle with postpartum anxiety and panic issues, plus all of the hormonal struggles after delivery.

*Cheers to not feeling up to the task some days, and to retaining our sanity in motherhood*

joanna at motherhood and merlot

 

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18 comments

  1. I’m not able to give any advice since my 2 are so far apart–when Mitch came along his big bro was in 2nd grade! You’re not failing at mommy hood, you’ve just got a ton on your plate. It’s hard to care for babies when you’re not feeling well yourself. My advice is for now just get everyone through the day relatively clean and fed! Don’t panic about teaching the older kid, you’ve got time. Being loved by a sane mommy goes farther than early math skills any day. And maybe you can mail order your shopping? So you do Amazon prime? If not, sounds like it’s dads job now!
    Denise recently posted…What Should Women Really Look Like on Video Games?My Profile

  2. I can’t imagine handling all that you have on your plate…You have every right to feel overwhelmed! I wish I had some sort of profound advice to offer, but all I can say is that there is light at the end of your tunnel. I only have two girls, but I still look back at those days when they were really little and wonder how I got through each day. It was totally hectic, and I was exhausted and mentally drained. Now that they’re 7 and 8, life seems much simpler. Of course we still have our crazy times, but at least they can do things on their own, and most importantly SLEEP.

    Hang in there, and make sure you make time to take care of yourself and get breaks once in a while.
    Alyssa recently posted…SUM-IT-UP SUNDAY: August 2nd, 2015My Profile

  3. I definitely feel that way too and I don’t have any children yet. I really want kids, but I watch all my friends and siblings with their kids and I don’t know how I’m going to make a good parent. I always think there is so much to know and so much to teach them, I’m not sure I’m cut out to do it. Plus when you add the emotional part and anxiety with it, it sounds a little overwhelming and hard. I think if you have a good support system that is probably where it will seem bearable some days. I just keep telling myself I’ll make mistakes, but the rewards of motherhood will far outweigh not having them at all.

  4. All I can say is Thank you!!! Thank you for saying what has been on my mind for a while now. You’re not the only one who feels this way and you’re not the only one who’s somehow-miraculously-making it work. I do want to say that you’re cut out for this, maybe not at this exact moment; but you can and are still a great mom. And I’m not going to say that it gets easier because the reality is that it may not. But I will say that you will get better at handling your craziness. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  5. I once heard a quote that said “God gave them to you because they need YOU as a mother.” I have to remember that when Im overwhelmed and feel like Im failing or not cut out for motherhood, especially on those bad days when I yelled more then I spoke nicely. The older my kids get the craziness changes and I feel a little bit more in control… sometimes.

  6. Oh Joanna, I feel for you. I can just feel the anxiety in your words. Here are my two insights coming from the outside looking in and hopefully they make you feel better. These little babies almost doubled your family. It is a huge adjustment to go from two to four, no matter how prepared you felt. With your first two it probably was an easier transition but having twins is a big thing. I see my own cousins going through this as well. Also, it hasn’t been that long, it probably feels like an eternity to you. But routines will become established and the twins will start sleeping and you will be able to spend more time with your older two.

    You are right, we aren’t given stuff we can’t handle. Sometimes it feels like it, but it will work out soon. Just do the best you can. Hang in there Mama!
    Jeannine recently posted…Delicious Homemade Broccoli SaladMy Profile

  7. Oh, Joanna, what can I say but what you are going through means you are human. You have every right to feel overwhelmed right now. Heck, being a mom of one can feel overwhelming. I can’t tell you how many times I have felt unbelievably inadequate as a mom (just yesterday, for example). Going from 2 children to four is a huge adjustment and no one would ever expect for you to have it all together. (For that matter, no one ever has it all together all the time!) The most important thing you can do for your children is show them love, and I don’t doubt for a moment that your kids know you love them. And I know how isolating this can all feel, but everything you are feeling is so normal.
    Bev recently posted…That time I was on Huffington Post LiveMy Profile

  8. Aw yes I think everyone has these feelings in motherhood <3 You can do it though! Remember to get help if you need it – from your family members and if you need to hire someone from the outside to help with some stuff around the house that's okay too!
    Claire recently posted…White Wine Pan SauceMy Profile

  9. I think you know deep down God would not have given you those 4 little blessings if you were not capable of caring for them. We all feel like this and I thank you for saying. So many people pretend that everything is perfect when its not and so many moms need to know that they are not alone in the insane world of motherhood. I know how you feel. I really do. You can do this! If you ever need to talk or just have someone to listen let me know.
    Samantha recently posted…People I Would Love to Learn FromMy Profile

  10. This was so authentic and heartfelt and I’m so glad I found you on Instagram! I felt that way and I just have two small kids (and a stepson but he is 11 so he’s by far the easy one). What I hate most is when moms pretend mothering is easy or they have it all together. Because mothering (in any capacity, even if one child) is HARD. Nothing prepared me for it either. I just posted on my Instagram Monday about the premise of my blog- I started it because I didn’t feel like myself anymore. It’s so important for us to have something else – keep up your writing! I also don’t have family around to help and that is such a challenging aspect of raising kids. Sorry for the long comment but I just wanted to say I relate and thanks for writing the hard stuff. I’m thinking of you and praying and you aren’t alone! Xo

    1. Thank you for the sweet comment:) It means a lot that you took the time to stop by! I absolutely used to be one of those moms that pretended like I have it all together… and I think upon first glance people may still think that because I am not that open about it. But no matter how many kids you have, like you said, motherhood is HARD.

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