The other week my son had once again gotten himself naked, opened the fridge door, opened the vegetable crisper and while browsing thru the veggies he peed into the crisper. When he heard me yell to stop he moved and the remainder of his pee went on to the juice container and into the side of the fridge door. You can’t possibly tell me that just because I used fertility treatments to have my kids, I don’t have the right to feel frustrated at the fact that I now have to fish through the fridge and salvage what I can and clean the rest up. But you aren’t telling me that are you?
I used to think that I had no right to complain about my kids like “regular” moms because I used fertility treatments to help create them. I would feel so much remorse after I scolded my first child, I would think to myself what in the heck am I doing, I worked so hard and pained so much to have this little girl and now I am getting mad at her for once again getting into the cupboard. All I could think was that I was a horrible mom, there must be something wrong with me. I even had my fears reinforced when I would talk to some of my family members and tell them my motherhood woos of how hard being a parent was, and more often than not I would hear “Well I guess you should be careful what you wish for” or “Well you wanted them” or the worst was “You paid for them and you can’t return them now” uggghhhhhhh!!!! So I started to stop saying anything negative about parenting, and for a while people probably thought my life was all flowers and rainbows because I NEVER complained. In the meantime, I was stuck at home, with 3 kids under the age of 2 and I was going nuts, still feeling like I had no right to complain because these were children that had taken 10 years of infertility/fertility treatments to have…..I should be in a constant state of bliss right?
The only person I talked to about it besides my husband was my doctor, well actually she brought it up with me. Every time I would come in for doctors appointments with the kids she could see it in me, the tears were always teetering right on the edge of my eyelashes and I probably looked like I was about to fall over at any minute. She brought up the discussion that perhaps I had postpartum, and asked if I felt like hurting myself or the kids…..the answer was always an astounding “NO” I wasn’t feeling suicidal or murderous, I was just soooooooo tired and feeling like I was failing at being a good mom, one worthy of these children I had been so fortunate to finally have. After much discussion and a few more visits, I agreed to try taking a little white pill that would help with my anxiety, and help they did. After a few months of taking “Mother’s Little Helper”, I no longer cared what other people thought about me yelling at my kids in the grocery store because one of them was trying to gnaw the other ones ear off! Or because they were ripping fistfuls of hair from one another’s heads. I became a mom just like the other’s, who roamed the grocery store isles like zombies from a lack of sleep, and looking like clean clothes and showers were just a bit too far out of our reach. I was a “normal” mom.
In my frustration and anger and guilt during the early days of parenting, I felt like I was a bad mom, and that not only did my children and my husband feel that way, but so did every single person out there. I felt like everyone knew I had struggled with having my children and when I had the twins I often got asked if I used fertility treatments. But instead of just focusing on the things I was doing right, like getting them all feed, keeping them clothed, and changing 3 kids in diapers every day, I was beating myself up for things that were not even happening. I am glad my doctor suggested medication. At first, I did refuse, because I kept thinking I am not crazy I don’t need medication. However, what it did for me was allow the anxiety to move to the wayside so that I could focus in the moment and be more productive, happy and present for my kids and myself.
I decided to write this post because I have a mom friend who is currently going through similar issues that I had. Hers are not about being a mom who had infertility and then felt she wasn’t worthy of having the children, hers are a little different, as are all of ours. I talked to her about taking something to help her, but she feels the same way I did at first and thinks taking medication to help balance out some of the rough patches is like admitting she can’t handle it. I think that doing everything you can to make yourself a better mom is fine, and if you need a little help to do so, then go for it!
Rolling Stones: Mother’s Little Helper