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What They Don’t Tell You...

Shawna Kitchin

Motherhood is nothing like I had imagined. You think you know how it’s going to be, or how you want it to be, and it’s the complete opposite. I guess I had this image in my head of how things would go and how my baby would be. Boy was I wrong. 

PPD/PPA ARE REAL. Everyone deals with it differently and it affects everyone differently. What they don’t tell you, is it takes a while for “normal” to happen. We’re six months into this journey and I struggle daily. Some days are better than others that’s for sure. But I’ve had some incredibly dark days. People say they’re there to listen, but who wants to be a burden? Now with this COVID-19 and having to stay home more than I already did, it’s taken it’s toll. Honestly, I just need a trip to Target and that usually helps. 

You’ll feel the loneliest you ever have in your life. And maybe some people don’t. But I do, and that’s what they don’t tell you. I have all these friends and family who love and support us and would be there at a drop of a hat. But being a stay at home mom, that’s hard. I shouldn’t complain right? I have this beautiful and healthy baby girl. Where do I find the nerve to complain? That’s what I’m sure you’re thinking. And honestly, I’m not meaning to complain because I know I’m lucky and this is all I’ve wanted, but man is it lonely. All my friends work, so get togethers are few and far between. My husband works nights, so it’s usually just me and little miss all day. Postpartum and motherhood are just lonely. 

Anxieties will tell you you’re not good enough. That’s what they don’t tell you. I’ve struggled with my anxiety since Jaxton. I don’t think I had it before, if I did, it was minor to now. There have been so many days where I tell myself I’m not fit to be a mother. I shouldn’t be allowed to care for this baby. What am I even doing? Even though deep down, I know that I am the best mom for her, regardless of what my head tells me. My heart knows better. 

Comparison will be the death of you. That’s what they don’t tell you. Jenny from the block and her kid are doing this, while you and your kid are doing this. Why isn’t my kid like Jenny’s? I saw this baby on social media doing this, why isn’t mine? It’s a vicious cycle. It all goes back to the anxieties. But just know, whatever you’re doing, you’re doing your best and that’s all that matters. I mean, our baby is literally a baby who hates all things babies should like. So that’s been fun. And I see all these other babies doing those things or using those things, and I just look at Arya and ask her why! She usually just says “mama” back and doesn’t give an explanation, so there’s that. 

You can never, ever, ever win as a parent. Your parenting style will work for you and not for someone else, and that’s okay! But it’s also what they don’t tell you. YOU DO YOU. And let them do them. Don’t get me wrong, it’s heart breaking when a family member makes you feel like less of a mother because you have a different parenting style. And the comments will always come and go.  I’d say take it with a grain of salt, but it’s incredibly hard to do so. I’m one of those people that things stick with me for a while and the more I think on it, the more it upsets me. I’m learning to move on and let go though. I have to. Otherwise it would eat me alive. You can’t please everyone. 

Breastfeeding is the most difficult yet rewarding thing you’ll ever do. No one tells you that. There will be days you want to quit. And there will be a lot of those days. Or maybe that’s just me, hell I don’t know. I always said my goal was a year, but then some days I’m ready to throw in the towel. And that’s selfish because I know there’s moms out there that would kill to be able to feed their baby via breast. And they say it’s the most natural thing in the world. But I can assure you folks, there’s nothing natural about trying to feed a tiny velociraptor with razor sharp claws while they attempt to escape your grasp. There’s just not. 

You’ll run off pure exhaustion. I mean, I’m sure someone said it down the line, but I’m going to pretend they didn’t and tell you that no one tells you how exhausting it actually is. Shoutout to working moms, because I don’t know how y’all do it. I can’t imagine having to get up and go to work after dealing with a baby all night. You’re the true superheroes. But you stay at home moms, kudos to you too. Everything is exhausting, and everything physically hurts. My back has turned into a 90 year old lady from having a child. You should see me try and get off the floor. No matter how much sleep you get, it’s not enough. It’ll never be enough. So if you’re a soon to be mom, or just a person with no kids or grown up kids, enjoy the naps. Don’t take advantage of them. 

I guess I’m sorry if this came off as complaining. Sometimes my thoughts just need put onto paper, or in this case, a computer screen. I swear I love my daughter with every ounce of my being and would move the ends of earth for her. Some days, are just hard. But tomorrow is always a new day. 

XOXO, 

Shawna 


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