The Dark Days Of Motherhood


The first month or two of being a mom, whether it's your first or second time, can be some really dark days ladies. "Dark Days!!!" (again Tessa's term) No one talks about how hard it is. You've given birth and are flooded with emotion. You are so amazed and blessed that you are meeting your baby and sharing this moment with your beloved family....and you are overwhelmed by the task at hand.

It has been a dark time for me...(Even though nanny frustration isn't helping, I am day 3 of no nanny! More on that later.) Coco's crying a lot because of acid reflux, and hubby and I are just plain exhausted from the late night feedings. We are barely alive but then have a spunky 2 1/2 year old to contend with. He wants to party I am telling you! Party starts at 6am, skipping and dancing and I literally feel hungover from lack of sleep.

Coco is now 5 weeks and she is adorable, but the isolation of these first days are tough. I cannot thank enough people who have brought us meals, visited, and told me their stories of motherhood and their "dark days".

I often wonder how in the world Mothers did this back in the fifties. Was there quiet desperation? Things not spoken about? Or were grandmothers and sisters living down the street who were helping and neighbors to the rescue? I have great neighbors but I am home ALONE with these two!

The loneliness you feel as you sit there, burping your baby with spit up in your hair, your body hanging in places it never did before, bleary eyed trying to remember if you paid the gas bill, is palpable. You feel like a one trick pony. No longer are you a wife, a woman, a sassy gal on the town...you are a walking boob. A feeding device. An exhausted hag who needs an eyebrow wax.

No time for phone calls, lunch dates, or fancy dinners out. You are house bound and losing track of days. Where did your life go?


Let's make a pact shall we? That we will share our dark days openly and not feel judged for not being perfect or handling it all. That we will show up to new mothers houses with lasagnas and tissues. That we will look for support and not suffer alone.

I know my dark days will turn into some gorgeous good times with my beautiful boy and girl...I just have to be where I am and do the best I can do. Just had to tell you the truth, the while reason I started this blog was to share the good and bad.

How about you Moms? Ever had these dark days? Come on share. It will do us all some good!

xoxo The Mrs.

40 comments:

lizziefitz said...

Yipee! You got me all excited about baby # 5. Just kidding, but you do forget about those dark days. I don't even know which state we wil be living in when Grace is born...could be very lonely. I will keep you in my prayers:) Hugs, Elizabeth PS Got the package , you are really amazing :)

Mom x 2 said...

Oh, crap! Your post scared the **** out of me! I remember it, believe me. I've suppressed it, but I do remember it. My #2 was in the NICU for 5 weeks so I pumped round the clock to bring in milk for him. I was a zombie. When he came home, I was nuts, worrying he'd die with me here alone. I didn't even realize until my 6 week checkup that I was falling into the abyss of PPD. I know this is so American to say, but Zoloft saved my life.

I'm hoping that this time around, the transition will be easier. But I'm not fooling myself thinking it will be all roses and rainbows. Motherhood is hard and I especially think the first 4 months are the hardest.

Good luck and keep talking to us!

Preppy 101 said...

Yes, everyone goes through those times because no matter how much help you have, there are times you are ALONE. And the guilt of wishing those days away cause you are so tired - beyond exhaustion - is another thing to deal with. Cause we know as they get older we want those days back, etc. Yes, we all understand and we have all been there! xoxo

S said...

This is tough stuff. . been there with twins as my second pregnancy. Hang in there!!! As you know, there is a light at the end of the tunnel :)

AMY said...

God bless you! And yes, I remember...clearly. I walked into many a sales meeting as I wiped spit up off of my business suit and hoped I didn't start to smell like sour milk from nursing pads! I still joke about simply not liking my husband for the first year was our birth control. Poor man, I was so stressed and tired that I just couldn't connect with anyone, even him. Girlfriends that understand and don't judge are so important. I wish I could bring you a big dinner of comfort food and lots of laughs. Finding the humor in the dark times keeps you sane & you do a great job of that. :-)

MOMMY-MOMO said...

I love this blog! So honest and true! I think times HAVE changed. I dont think there's that support structure of family and friends living next door. I think thats HUGE. keep your head up girl. one day at a time. before you know it she'll be sleeping through the night and you'll enjoy your days. my husbands cousin brought us a huge pan of homemade lasagna after our boy was born and that awesome gesture helped more and meant more than any flowers and balloons! back to those day....

Pink in a sea of blue said...

I so remember feeling like a "walking boob"! Nursing pads everywhere. Breast pump parts everywhere. Sleep NOwhere! They are definitely the dark days. Thank goodness they pass as sleeping patterns form. I just remember saying, in the middle of the night, after #2 was born that "this will pass". It was my mantra! I feel for you....I really do!! But, you're a great mom. Don't forget that!

Danielle (Life with the Hewitt Family) said...

I have had those times. I felt like I was a servant to my little guy and that all I was good for was making milk. It is crazy, but now that I have gotten through that time early on I miss those late night feedings and special one on one time with Carter.

Some Like it Southern said...

I cannot even begin to tell you how happy I am that you posted on this subject!

Being a new mom to a 12 week old, I dealt with these same feelings and wondered if other moms did too.

I remember sitting there feeding my son in the middle of the night and realizing that a peice of me had died- that girl with no cares and worries. And then the guilt of feeling that way... it was all so overwhelming at times.

Point is, I applaud you for tackling this subject! I tried to post this on my blog was not as brave as you!

Thinking of you!

Debbie said...

Oh gosh yes. Who hasn't had dark days? Or days you were in such a funk you couldn't even see if it was dark or not. I hope you come out of those days soon.

Belle said...

The walking boob...yes. Remember that clearly. Hope this isn't tmi but I remember feeling like my breasts were all I was good for. The baby wanted them my husband wanted them and my toddler was jealous that he didn't have them. I felt so clausterphobic and like I was a prop not a woman wife or mother. Lots of crying in those dark days. We're here for u so keep talking. Thinking of you!
Much love,
Belle

Stacey said...

I vividly remember crying, no sobbing in the fetal position, in a corner feeling so stupid. How could I be so bad when I'm so lucky to have a great husband, a cute little home and a great child? I thought it was just the baby blues but after 6 months or so and going back to work I finally sought real help. Why won't people talk about not being able to do everything? Why does every mom feel like she needs to be super mom? Why do people feel shameful about asking for help? I LOVE this post!

Jillian, Inc said...

I'm only saying this worked for me and not advocating it for anyone else... but I only had 7 weeks maternity leave and I felt like I spent the first 2 weeks in breast-feeding hell and day one of Week #3 I just gave it up and went with bottles. My son was happier, I was happier, I was no longer a walking boob and my husband could alternate night feedings with me so I could get some rest. (We have no family nearby whatsoever for help). I went from the darkness to the light and was able to prop the bottle and let little baby eat while I showered, dried my hair, did errands, etc. God bless you girl. I think about you every day and I hope the dark days pass soon.

Preppy Mama said...

Oh God do I remember. I vowed to change things this time around. Nursing had me so frustrated and frantic. I literally could not do it. He was miserable and I was so down. I think everyone has those times and no one really talks about it. I remember it though. I feel at least this time I am prepared to know that its ok and everyone does do through it. Thanks for sharing because it really does help to know you are not alone.

Mrs. K said...

Ha! I remember telling J's dad that I was glad we lived in a one story because had we lived in a high rise I would have for sure thrown my baby down the balcony at one point...not really but...she was colicky, crying from 10 until 3am every night, the list goes on...it wasn't until she was 6 months old that my life finally changed and i saw the clouds part and all that....i'm glad i held in there :)

Tessa said...

I went on zoloft about 12 hours after telling Husband that we needed to "run away...hide...Montana Ranch... no one could find us.......". Mine was morphed more into a weird social anxiety than an actual boo-hoo-depression. Some weird stuff.
But, speaking of old times, my Dad was taken away from his mother and sent to live with his Auntie for the first FIVE MONTHS of his life. They used to call the baby blues "melancholia" back then. Ha! Dad always had such a warm place in his heart for Auntie. And she always thought of him as her own.
But it was all done very hush-hush those days.
Thanks the Lord we are able to just spill it and never look back!
See you soon. xoxox, Tessa

PaperCourt said...

Hang tight...it will get better.

Always Organizing said...

I'm not a mom yet, but love this post! I have some friends who are already moms and only one has ever talked openly about the "dark days"!

ps. I had to laugh at "exhausted hag who needs an eyebrow wax"! You are too much :)

Angry Julie Monday said...

Oh hugs!!!

I've been there, done that. That reflux makes it even worse.

I don't know how people have 4 and 5 children. Really I don't. I can only handle my one.

Craig and Christy said...

I'm going to say this with lots of love and respect... Suck it up girlfriend! We've all been there, without a nanny, mind you. And we survived just as you will. You live a charmed life, rembember how lucky you are and get over yourself.

Michael, Shelby, Charlotte and Maeve said...

Thinking of you. My youngest one is about to turn one. I do remember having those dark days but luckily for me I have already forgotten those days. However, I will never forget the 'dark days" I had with my first born b/c I was living in a new town, I didn't know anyone, it was winter and she was a miserable baby. It was so hard! I feel you pain and I am thinking of you. It will pass, and it will pass too quickly. I am a wreck my baby is turning 1.

icing on the cake said...

Beautifully written. As a first time mother, I appreciate the honesty and really enjoyed reading the comments to this post. Thanks so much for sharing this!

Maureen said...

I would dread the night... I could handle exhaustion during the day, but the night was another story. In my head I knew that the period of time would end, but I couldn't feel it so it made it seem that much longer. It's also tougher in some ways with the second because you have to entertain and be there for your son. I remember going to bed (crashing out) one night and wishing I was still pregnant so that I could go to sleep. Stay strong... it will end soon.

BroncoMom said...

Oh my friend...

Thank you for your honesty and sharing your feelings. All of us have shared those terrible dark days of motherhood.
Please keep sharing your thoughts on this blog.
I am sending up some prayers for you.
Hang in there!!

Domestic Diva said...

Going to "THE DARKSIDE"
I thought I was the only one that felt that way. Reading this brings back the first couple of months home with the twins. I really could not believe that NO ONE told me how hard it was. I was so determined not to have any help. Not having a mother or siblings to help..I felt all alone. Many of my friends had night nurses and live in help. My husband, finally had a night nurse come for a week. Then we had someone come in once a week. Once the girls turned two, I did not need any help. I think that the first two years are the HARDEST. Hope you have a fabulous Friday..lots of rest!! xxx me

LPeterson said...

i have a 2 1/2 year old and 4 week old twins. (three boys!) I am kik's sister and read your blog from her...love it! There have been difficult days and nights around here, especially when you finally get one baby to sleep, and the other wakes up screaming. Thinking of you these early days- and sending prayers to you at 3 am feedings!!

Impoverished Preppy said...

Hang in there! I remember feeling overwhelmed when I went from one to two, and while my older daughter has always been a complete handful, S was the easiest baby - and I still felt like I was going crazy. I was lucky enough to be living on the campus of the prep school where DH taught in WV and had a good mommy friend who also lived on campus and who was amazing about having E over to play frequently.

One trick I used from time to time - throw both children into the car and DRIVE. (Not environmentally the best option, but oh well.) The baby would invariably fall asleep and E and I were able to talk or sing together, or go through a drive thru for a treat and talk about the things she saw out the windows. I also always took along a book or a couple magazines on the chance that they would both fall asleep. If that miracle occurred, I headed straight for the Starbucks drive thru and then sat and read in the parking lot of Starbucks.

the Preppy Princess said...

Heaven love you for posting this. (Full disclosure: we are not able to do the child thing.) But we have seen *so* many of our friends go through this, some even suffering the judgmental slights of others. And how our mothers did it is beyond me, totally beyond me.

Good for you, and thank you.

Sending a hug,
tp

Brie said...

Hang in there :) I had some serious dark moments when I had my third (only a year and a half apart from my next baby) I found a nice college girl stat to come over 3 days a week to help me. She seriously saved me. I love her and still stay in touch. My angel :)

Surf Girl said...

I honestly think that in the 50's they had more support than we do now. It seems like families are more spread out these days. There was so much more neighborhood support too. I remember that all my neighbors were like aunts and uncles. All of us kids were in and out of all the houses like we lived there!

Hang in there - you can do it! I had so many dark days. I stupidly moved away from my friends and family when I was 7 months pregnant. So I was already in the hole in the emotional department. Then 2 weeks after Boogie Boy was born, I started keeping my SIL's 2 year old girl at home with me AND watching her elementary age boy and girl when they got home from school. Talk about stressed out!! I sooo feel you. Just remember, this doesn't last forever. I'll be thinking about you. :)

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

You have a great blog. I willl be back to read more...

I am still new to the land of blog, but so loving reading others stories. Everyone has a story and so many of them are so touching....
Hope you will stop by for a visit.
The May give-away has started and this month there will be 10 winners. I will be blogging from Disney World soon...

Happy Homemaker said...

Oh girl! You said it! For some reason I did not feel this way with baby #1 (probably because I still got plenty of sleep) but with baby #2 I definitely had DARK DAYS!

I share this story with all my girlfriends because I, like you, always wonder if what I share may help the next person.

I had just come home from something and I was sitting in my car in my driveway about to go inside and relieve the babysitter when I had this fleeting thought... wouldn't it be "easier" if I just kind of rolled down this mountain and (literally) crashed!?!?

Needless to say, I scared myself, went inside, and made a doctor's appointment- fearful I had post-partum depression. She said I did not but that I was sleep-deprived. It was rough and I have not forgotten it!

Some things that helped me:

1. sleep WHENEVER! give up computer/TV/housework/dinner, etc.

2. try to get a shower everyday- just put the kids in the bathroom with you if you're worried about their safety.

3. get OUTSIDE and take the baby on a walk. You and baby girl will feel a thousand times better when you are in the fresh air and sunshine.

4. try to fix yourself a "fun" drink whenever you feed baby. Iced water or crystal light during the day and hot tea or hot chocolate for those late-night feedings- it makes mom feel special and keeps you hydrated.

You probably already know all of this- and it is temporary. I just wish I was there to help you out!

LOVED receiving her birth announcement! PERFECT!!

Belle (from Life of a...) said...

I think some dark days are just a right of passage...and when the second child comes along, there is NO rest because you can't sleep when(if)they sleep because the other little darling needs attention. You WILL get through it. Just don't be shy about venting...venting will make it a lot better and we're all here to listen. Wish some of us lived closer so that we could help. Hope the nanny situation will get fixed soon...

Tres Poshe Preppy said...

I can't relate at all but know so many of my friends that have had 'dark days'. It gets better and you do forget, or so they tell me. You have so much support here in blogland and I'm sending hugs your way!

ilovepink said...

I went to work last week with tee tee down my pants...didn't even care and was too rushed and too tired to change! I would have NEVER done that a few years ago...not even with baby #1. It is so much harder with 2. There is NO Mommy Time! But, I know I will miss these days and so will you. Babies aren't little for long. I just try to remember that when I get frustrated. (Which is often I may add). Our pastor just did a sermon on "if I had one month to live.". It has made me really think. I am going to try to focus on some of his concepts when I get overwhelmed. Let's just hope I don't break my neck on toys on the floor in the meantime! Ha!

The Major's Wife said...

hang in, 12 weeks will be here soon, it all gets better day by day at 12 weeks +. Pinky swear

Cookie Crums said...

And here I am trying to talk the hubby into #2. :) I so remember the weeks I was home along and hubby had gone back to work..with our child. I felt like everyone else was out living life and I was stuck at home. How horrible I know! But it is good to hear another mom talk about the "dark days"! They are real but they do pass! :)

Nice to "meet" you.

Eloise said...

Hang in there! It does get better! As soon as Coco starts sleeping through the night, the whole world will take on a new look. It's amazing what a stretch of uninterrupted sleep will do for your sanity.

I appreciate your candor and honesty. You're wise to reach out.

Sending you hugs and restful wishes. XOXO

MMM said...

Feeling for you. I have a baby attached to my boob as I type. No, seriously...I do. He is 15 wks now and things are much better, but I still have my days. This Mommy business is the hardest (and most rewarding)job I have ever had. The reflux makes everything harder. We finally switched Baby J from zantac to pepcid and it was a miracle drug. He still sleeps in his car seat and his naps have gone to ****. But, he slept 8 hours last night so compared to just a month ago I am a new person. We are just taking one day at a time. She will start sleeping and feeling better. Now, I am not quite sure how you do it with two. I'm scared. =) Hang in there!!!!!!!

Petunia said...

Nobody told me how bad the first few months were going to be! I guess if I had known then I never would have become pregnant, so I'm glad I didn't know in a way. But I do wish someone would have been there to help me like 24/7 for the first -- oh, 6 months or so!!!