I see too many mothers killing their own children in the news these days. There’s no excuse for why they do this, I repeat, THERE IS NO EXCUSE. As a mother of two, that rarely gets a break and has mental breakdowns regularly I am telling everyone to start looking out for our mothers. We miss their clear cries for help as mothers ourselves because, “She let her child act like that in public?” and “She didn’t see that baby hair before she let her walk out the house?” and “Now why she let that child walk out the house with them dirty ass clothes?”. We spend too much time judging each other and not enough time simply asking, “Is everything okay?” which leads to the unfortunate tragedies of these babies’ lives.
Growing up I didn’t appreciate my mother nor understand her many jobs as a mother. I always said how much she got on my nerves for coming home complaining about how nobody washed the dishes, how nobody picked the piece of tissue up that’s been in the floor since she left this morning, how nobody can simply keep their rooms clean if nothing else, and then some. My siblings and I would listen to her talk when she was fed up and the words that have always stuck with me after she was done giving us the rundown was, “That’s all I ask”. OH GOSH! As a mother and a wife, now, those words pierce me so bad. I see now why that’s “all she asked” because something simple to me like bringing the clean clothes upstairs is too much to ask around these parts. I watched my mother cook every day if not every other and be pissed off that food went to waste. Everybody stayed crying about how hungry we were though. I watched my mother clean the entire house on her own while trying to hide her frustrations about having no help. I watched my mother want a break, get a chance to get one, and because my father and my siblings and I acted like she didn’t deserve it she stayed home. You know, the usual acting like we couldn’t live without her for a few hours. I have watched my mother get minimal respect from my grandmother (my dad’s mom) and be used by her own family. My mother is emotionally unavailable and it’s hard to deal with at times, but I understand it now.
I try my hardest not to judge other mothers because I know it isn’t easy. I know what it’s like to need a break. To know someone will watch your kids, but you won’t leave them because you don’t trust those people. I know what it’s like to walk through the store with a crying baby that’s upset because she couldn’t get the doll she wanted out the toy aisle, so people are looking at you crazy. I know what it’s like to suffer from postpartum depression so bad that you don’t want to touch your baby let alone look at him/her. I know what it’s like to have people who mistreat their children judge you for how you choose to parent. I know what it’s like to vent to another mother who pretends to feel your pain only to turn around and gossip about it. And I know what it’s like to wish you had waited to have children and have to keep saying, “I love my children to death” so people don’t take your truth wrong.
Every mother can’t understand your pain just because the both of you are mothers and that’s some hard truth I had to accept. There’s the working mom and there’s the stay-at-home mom. Most working mothers judge the stay-at-homes because they “could never stay home”. Most stay-at-homes judge the working mothers because it’s hard to believe that a mother is comfortable leaving her newborn with complete strangers. Of course, I can only speak from a stay-at-home’s point of view when I say that I don’t understand the need to constantly remind others that you couldn’t stay home with your child/children all day. Some of us don’t have a choice whether it be because we can’t afford daycare, we don’t trust those available and/or we can’t find a job. Many moms want to switch places which isn’t a surprising thing to me, at all. There are mothers who barely get time with their child because they work so much which leaves them with the constant question, “Am I doing enough for my child?”. For some of us stay-at-homes it gets hard when we start to feel the silent law of, “I work, and you don’t so I shouldn’t have to deal with them”, begins to take place. And unfortunately, there’s not too much we can do about it.
It’s sad to know that there are mothers who are so damaged from their childhoods and relationships as adults that they take it out on their children. I’ve seen mothers dress one child better than the other, get upset at someone else and hit their child, call their child out of their name, talk negatively about their child to others for them to hear, etc. It’s crazy to me because in the face of others they act as if none of these things go on. And don’t let you speak on it because they get so offended because they don’t feel what they’re doing is wrong. Now, that is a toxic mother not a cry for help so PLEASE KNOW AND UNDERSTAND THE DIFFERENCE.
I cope with the stress of motherhood by reminding myself that no one is going to care for my children the way that I do. I struggle with suicidal thoughts, lack of sleep, lack of respect from people, the stress of potty-training and teaching, even getting them to simply eat things other than what they’re used to. The lack of respect and audacity from some people truly baffles me and these people are family. It’s so hard when people feel they owe you nothing, yet you owe them everything. They don’t care that your children are yours they still feel obligated to them, to give their input, and they feel it’s okay to make their wrongs with their children right with your children. YOU DON’T GET TO MAKE YOUR WRONGS RIGHT WITH OTHER PEOPLES CHILDREN. I’ve explained myself for so long as a parent and I am done. I don’t feel a need to explain to anyone why they can’t do something with/to my child. I’m done asking for respect that I deserve as a mother, it’s time that I stand up for myself and get it. Again, I don’t feel I need to explain anything anymore and it’s sad that people ever made me feel that way. You’d be surprised at how many mothers feel this same exact way.
Even though we’re mothers, we don’t all have a voice. Some of us don’t want to ask for help and some of us can’t ask for help. Some of us have a hard time speaking up for ourselves so imagine having to speak up for your own child. It’s hard enough that we tear each other down when no one understands us but us. But it’s even worse that we don’t even try to help each other. I don’t know what more we need to see in order to care. No, no one else’s kids are yours however they are children and they do not deserve to suffer. Ask if she needs help if you can give it. Ask if she needs someone to talk to or wants to bring her kids over for a playdate. Sometimes all a mother needs is to know that someone feels her pain because she already feels alone – and it starts at home. We have to do better because again no one understands us but us.