My truth about being a mother - a raw, unfiltered version.
Warning : it is not all flowers, rainbow and unicorns.
At the moment of writing this I feel that I have more than I could ever ask for. I feel incredibly blessed and honoured to be the mother of Malaya. We laugh, play, cuddle and enjoy our time together every day. I feel that I got an access to a kind of strength I did not know before and I can allow and accept much more than ever. Yet I also feel like I am on a verge of a nervous breakdown, mental breakdown, emotional breakdown or just whatever breakdown in general. I feel like I just can't cope anymore. Then I feel joyful again. Then I feel like I can't do this.
I guess that's the wave of Life...
It has been a year since I gave birth to my daughter- the being I love more than anything in this world. A year after this incredible, life- changing moment I am ready to share my experience during the first year of Malaya's life and my first year as a mother. Let's start from this point- the birth. The way I brought her into this world was absolutely perfect for me. (Birth story HERE <Click) I didn't have a traumatic birth, it wasn't something I had to heal from on top being a new mum and I am very grateful for it. I gave birth at home, naturally, very fast and without any complications. It was extremely empowering and I felt like I am capable of absolutely anything. A year later, it turns out that I am not. The first moments, days, weeks, months after the birth were like a dream for me. I was spending my time bonding with Malaya while Angelo was taking care of the food and the house. I was incredibly happy. I was nursing, nursing and nursing Malaya alllll the time, enjoying it so much. I loved having her sleeping on the boob while I was trying to learn Spanish or reading books - yes, I read about 6 great books in the first few weeks of her life! I felt like I am living a dream. I could sit in my feeding chair or lie down in the hammock with Malaya for HOURS a day. I loved being allowed to have so much time with her. Honestly after this experience I know how my dream life would look like! 🙂 I felt so free- finally I could rest and do things that I wanted without feeling guilty for not being efficient or doing whatever else I ''should'' be doing. A baby sleeping on me was my pass to enjoy myself. It just felt so amazing to not have any responsibilities other than Malaya for a while.
We were surprised to see how strong she was- she was able to hold her head alone almost straight after the birth. At 6 weeks she was sitting and standing up easily just holding our hands. She never felt fragile to us. After that initial stage everything started to happen very fast. She was able to sit on her own at 5 months and almost immediately after she started to crawl. Things were changing. Malaya wasn't a tiny baby anymore who wants to sleep and be in her mama's arms all the time- she was ready to explore. At 9 months she was already able to walk alone, without holding onto anything. Our reality was changing very fast. I was changing with her.
The pressure to start earning money again kicked in and was getting stronger every month. I started to work on my online massage course as I felt ready to start sharing my gifts and experience with the ones who would like to learn from me. I was also hoping it could allow me to have some passive income once it is ready so I can dedicate my time and presence to Malaya. I started to leave her for 2 hours a day with her ''nanny'' that's like a sister for her and has known her since birth. During these 2 hours I was working on my course- first imagining it, then writing and then recording videos. It was taking a very long time because I wanted to make sure I do it well and with only 2 hours a day it was impossible to get into a flow properly and do it fast. Despite many challenges I was facing, I was happy to be able to work on it and start sharing what I know. I poured my heart into it. I sacrificed the only time I had for myself during the day to work on it. Now the course is mostly recorded yet I am not able to launch it because it hasn't been edited. This is where I lost control over it. After many hours of my work and all the energy I put in it, today I gave up on it. I don't have strength and energy to push for it anymore. I don't want to nag anymore. I can't hold onto it anymore. I lost hope. This is the moment I really started to feel lost, broken, worried, confused and afraid. This is the moment I painfully realised I am not capable of everything. The moment I feel like I failed because I am not able to push for it anymore. I had many moments before when I felt I can't continue but I always picked it up. This time feels different. I am hurting. But I accept it. I failed. I didn't fail only with the course. I feel like I failed Malaya in some ways. But I tried and I am still trying the best I can.
There are some things that I am proud of 😍
I am very grateful I am able to give Malaya the best food possible, tailored specifically for her. I never fed her formula (there's nothing wrong with it and I understand some mothers can't breastfeed for different reasons but I can and I honour it). I am happy that my body allowed me to produce enough milk for her. She never had a bottle and I never introduced a pacifier to her. She always drunk from the boob directly, on demand, whenever and wherever she wanted! I feel like my boobs are not even mine anymore, they are hers. Yes, it hurts a lot at the beginning. It definitely hurts as fuck when she bites me, especially since she got her teeth. I sometimes scream and cry when I experience sudden, strong pain. It is very demanding on the body on many levels and I know I am far from perfect when it comes to my nutrition. Yet I keep going and will feed her for as long as she wants/ as long as my body allows because her wellbeing is the most important for me and I know how much she benefits from it. Even though my boobs look nothing like in their glory days and I hate the way they became I am grateful for them and wouldn't change a thing.
I am happy that Malaya falls asleep and wakes up every day next to me. I love that I am able to provide her the comfort she needs. I am grateful that I knew from the beginning that I'll never use sleep training methods and let her cry it out until she loses hope that someone will attend to her. I always responded to her every single time and immediately. It's not always easy. I would love to have a full night sleep. My back hurts every single day from sleeping on my side (because she nurses a lot at night) and not being able to sleep in my comfortable position. Sometimes I wake up dizzy, with a brain fog, heavy head and painful back, thinking that I won't be able to go through the day. But then I see her smile every morning and it gives me strength. I can't help it, I have to smile back. And I have to get up as soon as she does to attend to her no matter how I am feeling.
Being available for her
I am with her 22-24 hours a day. She follows me to the toilet. She follows me to the shower. She is with me when I make food and sits on my lap when we eat. We play together but she also plays alone, as long as she knows I am around. Recently she's been going through a very clingy phase and she just wants to be with me all the time. Sometimes I feel that I can't breathe. I want to be able to poop alone and not entertain her while I am pooping. I want to be able to eat alone and chew my food properly. I want to have a moment for myself to rest. But the time she's with her nanny I almost always dedicate for creating something, working on something, catching up with the house or whatever other responsibilities. Yet I am happy and grateful I can be there for her.
I know I am doing my best but feel like my best is not enough.
I KNOW I am enough, I KNOW you are enough but I never truly felt that I am.
I can't be the best mother for her while also keeping the house in order and being responsible for finances, working on my projects, trying to be in all these roles 😢. Be a mum, be a provider, be a woman. Cook, clean, take care of the baby, make money, maintain a good relationship. I can't. I am breaking down.
I am in this incredible place in Guatemala, by one of the most magical lakes in the world. I experience so much magic and beauty every day. Yet I am here without family, without my parents, without a proper support system. If I want a moment for myself I have to pay the nanny for it so most of the time I don't because I am trying to save money. All the savings that I gathered working hard for years are nearly gone. I have almost nothing. No land, no house, nothing of material value. The most expensive things I own are my singing bowls.
Yet I have everything- I have a happy daughter, I have her father/ my partner, I have many incredible friends here and in many places in the world and I have a supportive family across the ocean. I know this is a true abundance. But we live in the world where we need money too.
I feel so much abundance and so much lack. So much love and so much fear. I live in a paradox. I don't know how one being can hold all these opposite emotions. Maybe I am going mad. At this point I am pretty sure I am going mad... Sometimes I massage people and I feel like everything is great again- I feel calm, cantered, inspired and present in the moment. Sometimes I receive healing from someone and I feel I am capable again. Sometimes I go into nature, massage myself or stretch and I feel like my life is great. Sometimes I connect with my partner and I see what kind of incredible magic we can create together. I feel like we can do anything. I look at Malaya and I know that I will do anything for her.
I look at my partner and I know I love him and I am grateful for our relationship.
Sometimes I am sleep deprived and I feel like I am about to collapse. Sometimes my whole body hurts and I feel totally depleted. Sometimes I feel ugly, fat and totally undesirable. Sometimes I feel like I lost my charm, my spark, my joy. Sometimes I really worry about our future. Sometimes I feel like I have some mental health problem and I am not addressing it. Sometimes I feel like my partner will never understand what I am going through.
WHAT is happening? Is it supposed to be this way? I am asking for help. From whom I don't know. But I pray that my ancestors and whatever human and non humans beings who wish to assist to help and guide me now. I need you. It is too much.
There is no shame in admitting that we struggle. There is no shame in admitting our life is not as perfect as our photos on social media.
We are all in this together and I want you to know that :
You are NOT alone
You are NOT a failure
You are doing your BEST
You are ENOUGH
This is my message from me to you and to myself ❤