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The Hardest Days

Those days when you are awoken by a cry and the first thing you feel is dread.

When you can’t provide for your own basic needs before meeting the needs of another.

Those days when you feel like you are “losing it.” When you pray the baby will just go the fuck to sleep and stay asleep. Once the baby is asleep, you are paralyzed. Unable to make any choice, dreading when the baby will awaken again.

And then feeling guilty for having that thought at all.

Those days when you feel resentful of your life lost. When you realize life will never be the same. It will never again be just yours. You will always share your time with an inconsiderate jerk who doesn’t know any better. Who is innocent and just needs to be cared for because she can’t care for herself.

And then you feel guilty for wishing for your old life.

Those days when you have been indoors, repeating the same cycle over and over and over, and you are unable to see any life beyond that cycle. There is no yesterday or tomorrow. There never was and never will be.

You are hungry but you have no appetite. Anyway, if you sit down to something hot, you most likely won’t get two bites in your mouth before you are demanded again.

And the worst thought of all: maybe this was a mistake. Maybe you shouldn’t have had a baby at all. Followed by panic that this is no longer a choice because you are stuck with this kid forever. Then guilt for having that thought at all. Then the suffocating and sinking feeling that you are the only mother having such horrible thoughts about her child.

STOP.

When is the last time you slept for five hours uninterrupted?

When is the last time you breathed fresh air?

When is the last time you were in the company of mothers with babies your child’s age?

When is the last time you ate?

How much non-coffee have you been drinking?

  1. Put the baby somewhere safe and go outside. Take ten slow, deep breaths.
  2. Ask yourself, “What do I need right now?” The answer will come to you quickly and will most likely be:

“I need to eat.”

“I need to sleep.”

“I need adult company.”

“I need to get away.”

  1. Call the right someone and tell her what you are feeling and ask her to help you meet your need.
  2. Know that every mother experiences this from time to time. You are not the only mother who has had these thoughts and you are not the only mother who has needed help coping with them. Most of us have been there, multiple times, and we have worked through these moments, often with help from those closest to us. You won’t always feel this way and you are not a bad mother. If, however, these thoughts are happening most of the time, most days, you need to tell someone who can get you help from a professional.