With tears in her eyes
T O D A Y // I was chatting with another dad while the boys swam. His kids are younger than my boys.. and he’s right in the trenches. Like the deep trenches. It was quite raw and triggering to hear his stories, his struggles and the battles he and his wife are facing. The very same battles I faced. The same battles every parent on this earth has to navigate.
Hearing his frustration and desperation took me right back to when I was right where he is - knee deep in the parenting quicksand that feels like it’s never, ever going to pass. I felt the heartache that consumed me when I couldn’t figure out what baby Noah’s problem was, I vividly remembered the exhaustion that enveloped me when E was sleeping in 20minute bursts, the hairs on the back of my neck stood on end as I recalled the overwhelm of isolation that motherhood brought. Goodness, the throwback was so real. It felt like yesterday, and fuck ‘yesterday’ was rough.
We chatted for about 20 minutes - I shared things that worked for us and things that didn’t, I empathised with him and the stage they’re currently ploughing through and at the end as we finished up he said to me ‘Gosh, it feels so good to know that what we’re going through is not any different to any other family’. And that pearl right there is any parent’s saving grace. To know, at the core, that you’re not alone. The feelings you’re feeling and the struggles you’re struggling with cross all demographics, every culture, each age bracket. The depth of your pain may differ, but pain regardless is real.
This week is Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Awareness Week.. and while I didn’t suffer the text book definition, I still had my fair share of dark patches. Reaching out, asking for and accepting help and sharing woes through tears and laughter with other mums over coffee (or wine) were my saviours.
You’re not alone, so don’t struggle alone.