I saw a friend over the weekend that I hadn’t seen in years. Her first baby is 10 months old and when we started catching up she asked, “Why doesn’t anyone tell you how hard it’s going to be?” Then she said, “I don’t have to ask you how it’s going with two because from your Facebook page it looks like everything is going great.”
I always think that about other friends I see on Facebook who I don’t speak to on a regular basis but it hadn’t occurred to me that I was one of those people. Going great? Hardly. In fact, most days up until now, were a chaotic, overwhelming nightmare.
I guess what Facebook doesn’t show is how much of a terror my 3 year old has become. It doesn’t show how terribly Asher was doing for the first few months of his life with digestive and stomach issues that made him (and me) miserable. It doesn’t show that I developed postpartum depression and felt overwhelmed and out of control. It doesn’t show that I had planned for Asher to come with me to my groups after he was born but because he was in so much discomfort, I wasn’t able to focus on him and lead my classes so I had to search for and hire a nanny. Wow, it was like trying to find a husband all over again.
Facebook doesn’t show how much I cried or the many breakdowns I had because I couldn’t seem to find the right balance. Most days I felt like a chicken with my head cut off running from leading groups to picking up Jack from school, to coming home to relieve the nanny and having both boys in the afternoons until my husband came home from work. I lived in fear each day of having both boys by myself. Eric would walk in and I could see the fear on his face of what I was going to unload on him each day. I hated that I was “that wife.” It didn’t show how much I struggled with trying to breastfeed and how many doctors and specialists I took Asher to see to try and get him more comfortable. It didn’t show how heartbroken I was when I made the decision to give up breastfeeding and put him on a hypoallergenic formula because it was the only thing that made him feel better. It doesn’t show how much work I put in to my groups with such a deep passion that it hurts sometimes.
The conversation with my old friend was lovely and raw. We bitched and moaned about all of the challenges we are both having. And then talked about how much we love our babies that it hurts to the depths of our souls. We talked about ways we can make it better and hearing from each other that it’s not all Facebook perfect all the time was such a relief.
Sometimes I wish I could attend my own mommy and me class all over again because being with other moms in the exact same phase of motherhood is like no other experience you can have as a new mom. Our conversation reminded me that we are never alone. Facebook serves its purpose and I love sharing cute pictures with smiling children who appear to adore each other and behave perfectly. But that’s not always the case and I’m not ashamed to share it. I’m just so thankful that my friend made that comment so that I could take a step back and see it from a different perspective.
And with that, I leave you with my status update for today…
Can I just say that I HATE THE THREE’S?!!!!!!