A Heart to Heart…

This morning I received an e-mail from a friend who was asking some advice about having more children, and it absolutely broke my heart. Not because I felt bad for her – but because she felt alone…she felt guilty in her feelings towards the subject.

And suddenly I had the urge to write about it. Why? Because we as women need to unite. We need to reach out and know there are people out there we can talk to, we need to be friends without judgement. We need to know that we are not alone, but rather…we have all either been there or will be.

I cant tell you how many times I hear the same issues come up from my friends when we talk about certain issues…for example, marriage.

What have I come to conclude? We almost ALL have the same issues. The one I hear most about is when children are introduced into the family. There is now a whole new dynamic that comes into play, and at first everyone is happy and cooing over the new baby in their sleep-deprived state…but then things start to get real. Often sex starts to go by the wayside, or there are issues of what is perceived as ‘selfish’ behavior, communication is breaking down, the husband believes that the baby is starting to take the number 1 place in the household, and probably the worst – everyone outside of the situation has their own opinion and simply LOVES to give their own advice as to what they think would be best for you.

It can be a lot, your emotions are all over the place. You are having a hard time running your household the way you feel it should be, and still trying to ‘do it all’. Your own self confidence is taking a beating, and the one person who you need to be on your side the most (your husband), suddenly doesn’t seem to be speaking the same language.

Here is what you need to understand – YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!! Don’t feel like you are going through these things alone, that your marriage is in trouble, that you need to grin and bear it. We were not meant to be islands among ourselves, either as an individual or as a family unit. Find other women, someone you feel comfortable with that is around your age, and reach out! Know that this too shall pass. Your child will get older, your life will return back to a more normal state, and you and your husband will learn to speak the same language again. An extra dose of patience all around can go a long way.

Another thing I hear from women quite frequently is that they feel ‘guilty’ having more than 1 child. They feel bad admitting it, but they are not sure if they will ever be able to love another child as much as they love their first. Guess what..THERE IS NOTHING TO FEEL GUILTY ABOUT!!! These are your emotions, they are normal and they are natural. I am pretty sure most women have the same thought, whether they want to admit it or not. I know I did. But guess what also…you can, and you will. It is hard to imagine right now because you only have one child, but when you have more your heart just grows.

I am not going to lie and tell you it is easy having more children, loving them IS the easy part. But with all its ups and downs, it is worth it.

And YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!!

We need to be there for one another as women. not just to quote scripture AT them and walk away as if they should just know better. But to actually BE there for them, love is an action, it is an actual relationship with someone, not a word spoken to them. To listen, to empathize, give a hug when a hug is needed. To let each other know that we have been there, or will be.

You are not ‘abnormal’ for your thoughts or troubles, you do not need to suffer alone. In fact, you are very NORMAL. As every woman who has ever opened up to me, come to me with a question or wanting to talk about some of these subjects, has had the VERY SAME ISSUES.

Know, you will make it through. Please, I know it is hard to open up sometimes and let people know you are struggling. So often we want to put on a facade that all is well, that our houses are clean. But stop and think, sometimes the healing isn’t for you. Sometimes it is the other person that you are opening up to that needs to hear it.

Find people you trust, and talk to them. You are NOT alone.

And if you don’t have anyone you want to talk to about it, or want to be more anonymous about it all. Know you can always e-mail me. I am not a counselor in any way, shape or form – nor do I pretend to have all the answers. But I can be hear to listen if you need me to. I may not respond right away, but I will respond.

Thanks so much for stopping by, and have a great rest of your weekend.


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Jess

Jess Abbott the Sewing Rabbit is the founder and creative director behind the me sew crazy blog, as well as SewSet.com, 5 & 10 Designs, GNO Events, and co-editor of STYLO. She resides in Virginia Beach with her husband and 3 children.
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Comments

  1. says

    Good post. I have to say I’m surprised at how isolating motherhood can be. It never occurred to me before we had kids how much time moms (especially stay-at-home moms) spend alone, at least from other adults. And it is hard when you are spending your day caring for tiny people who even though you love them, take an awful lot without being able to give much back.

    So great post. Lots of time just knowing you aren’t alone makes things easier to handle. That way you don’t feel like you’re a failure.

    I think women would really help each other a lot if we did things like NOT pick up the house before someone comes over for a playdate. Let your friends see that your house is as messy as theirs and that you’re all just doing the best you can.

  2. says

    Great post! I often feel guilty about many things. I work outside of the home and feel bad that I cannot stay at home and then feel bad because I want to excel at my job. I think often as women, we strive to have it all because that’s what we feel is the right thing to do. Thank you for all that you do!

  3. says

    Someone once told me your heart doesn’t divide it multiplies….
    Funny thing, I go through the emotions wondering about loving another with every child I havehaha, I’m a basket case the whole time haha and each baby brings me more joy than I can imagine

  4. says

    Thanks Jessica. Excellent topic. I highly recommend the book “And Baby Makes Three” by John Gottman for all marriages. You’re right, everyone goes through rougher times and sadly, many divorces happen because of this. We need the tools to work through it, and good support. Check out the book everyone :)

  5. says

    Oh how right you are! I remember the night before I went into the hospital to be induced to have my second child I laid in bed with my sleeping first born and cried. I apologized for having another baby and held him tight. The guilt continued after my second was born because I just couldn’t give the same kind of attention to my son as I had been. Of course I know now I had nothing to be sorry about and that a sibling was actually the best gift I could give him.

    I am so lucky to have 6 girlfriends that I have been friends with since childhood and we talk about anything and everything and have supported each other through so many phases of our lives. I hate to think that any woman feels she is alone or doesn’t have anyone to talk to.

    You are phenomenal for posting this today, thank you!

  6. says

    Great post, Jessica! Guilt definitely plays a part in my life. You can’t be all things to everyone at all times, but we as mothers and women just do the best that we can.

    You’re right, many women are afraid to speak about the way they truly feel for fear of judgement. I feel very blessed to have my best girlfriend in my life. She is the one person I know I can say anything to without fear of judgement. We tell each other the thoughts that are really going through our heads, not just the ones we think we should be saying. I hope everyone can find a special person like that in their life because we all need to have someone who understands and is going through the exact same things.

    Thank you for your honest post today. Have a great rest of the weekend!

    Lindsay

  7. says

    Thank you so much for this wonderful post. It seems like my brain and heart are sending two different messages. I don’t want to take anything away from my daughter even though I know I will still love her with everything I have.

    You are a beautiful person inside and out!

    Amy

  8. says

    great post momma! your friend is so lucky to have you in her life. we all need someone to talk to and know that we are not alone. and im pretty sure you have listened to me vent more then a time or two about my crazy life. your a special gal!

  9. says

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. You’re very right in that loving the new baby is the easy part. I think that too often women and mothers feel guilty when they don’t need to. We expect perfection from ourselves, and don’t like to give ourselves the time to learn, adapt, and grow in the stages of our lives.

  10. says

    I have FOUR kids and I love people’s reactions. I only have four and yet to some I may as well be the Duggars. But I am 100% comfortable with my decision to care for so many lives and so reactions dont’ bother me.

    Other mothers’ (and other people’s) comment hurt more when you are insecure about your choices. I’m really insecure about the size of my house so when people make comments, I get really agitated. But I never feel bad about the size of my family.

    I would say, based on my experience, that you really should only have more children if you are 100% sold on the idea. Because when the going gets tough, you’ll definately rethink and regret your decision and I think that children should never be something to regret.

  11. says

    I completely agree!! I absolutely would not have made it through those early weeks and months of motherhood without the support of the moms I met in my brestfeeding group. It was SO wonderful to hear I wasn’t the only person feeling the way I did about everything. Thanks for sharing!

  12. says

    Thanks for this post. I just recently found out I’m pregnant with my second child and have been feeling some guilt and some nervousness about how it’s going to change our family dynamic. It helps to hear others go through these same feelings.

  13. says

    I have four kids and I always tried to remember that the best gift my parents ever gave me is my sisters. I couldn’t imagine my life without them and I want my kids to have that. I am now at a stage where my oldest is 12 and my youngest is three and it is so much easier. I often tell my sister with a 3 year old and a baby that her two are way harder than my four just because of the ages, but I never in any way have regretted any of my kids or the times I had them even though it was really hard at times on me and on our marriage, but we all made it through those tough but rewarding times and I will always have the memories of my sweet little kids which made all the hard times worth it.

  14. says

    SO well said! It is like you began to speak a different language with your husband after having a baby. It does put some distance between you, did for me & my hubby anyway. I did worry about the same issues with having another child, but as you said, your love multiplies & is NOT an issue. I cannot imagine my oldest daughter’s life without her little sister, I know we did the right thing :)
    Women do tend to put up a front of perfection. We def should be honest with each other & just live honestly. My house is a DISASTER all of the time, my husband and I rarely get time alone, and I do get stressed with all my responsiblities. BUT, I wouldn’t have it any other way because I LOVE my children & my life!

  15. says

    Great post… I’m so lucky to have a wonderful prayer group that is a safe place to vent, despair or rejoice as the occasion warrants. I think the whole motherhood thing gets easier when you can be open with others in a group formed in trust and honesty. Whether it’s through ante-natal class, playgroup or church I think a mothers’ group is a must-have!

  16. says

    What a great post!! I think so often we all try to ‘mask’ our troubles when in fact, talking about them makes things better. We are all in the same boat, feeling the same things. And I agree with you, things do get better and a little easier as the kids get older. Marriage is not easy. Life is not easy. But being happy can be easy if you don’t expect everything and everyone to be perfect!

  17. says

    i found the transition to becoming a mother was the hardest of all. the learning curve was sooo steep and i hadn’t had a lot of experience with babies prior to having my own. yet, one great thing about parenting is that in many ways, it gets easier as you go. you learn to trust yourself and the best teacher is experience.

    we have four kids and i can now smile and nod when people tell me my baby’s ‘manipulating’ me with her cries (or other parenting advice I disagree with), while inside I know I’m just going to keep parenting the way that feels natural to me. my husband and i have also learned about ‘seasons’ and yes, while sex may go to the wayside temporarily after the baby is born, it does come back. we’ll have many years for fantastic sex, but this time with a new baby is a short, short season in the grand scheme of things. when our first was born and our world was turned upside down, it felt like life would never return to normal. now we know it does. a good dose of surrender to it all helps too!

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