Why is being a mom so stressful? Does it need to be hard?
How many times have they told the world that “women in the field gave birth and nothing”, “my great-grandmother had 12 children, and these are only survivors, and nothing”, “giving birth to children is female nature, women are adapted to this, so let whine “, but women who have experience of motherhood persist in whining (or endure, clenching their teeth, or even worse)? What’s wrong with them?
Lately, fortunately, they started talking about it – but still too little. And before that, the truth about how exhausting motherhood is was a figure of silence. Just a couple of years ago, a pipe burst somewhere, and revelations poured over us that motherhood is not what it seems. Before that, information about the difficulties, really incredibly exhausting, were spread according to the principle of bullying: “We have suffered, and now you are suffering.”
Once in my childhood, in my own backyard, I became a victim of a cruel prank: I was offered a green pepper, saying that it is sweet. The rest of the children smiled expectantly, keeping complete calm, and I did not suspect a catch. In general, I spent the rest of the day, bending over in front of the open tap of cold water and sticking out my burnt tongue. When the burning sensation in my mouth subsided, I went out into the yard and … passed the baton. In the same way, she offered some naive friend this terribly hot pepper to the restrained giggling of those who had already gone through this hell. So with motherhood for a long time, it turned out about the same.
We were told about pink heels and the tops of our heads smelling of milk, but about the fact that we have to stay awake for years and too often feel signs of approaching madness – they modestly kept silent.
Yes, motherhood is for the most part worth it – it really has a lot of overwhelming love and a sense of meaningfulness and completeness, after the first child it is often covered with the incomprehension of how childless people live without this amazing experience, but … But the deal must be fair. So let’s talk again about what a woman goes to when she becomes a mother. All risks should be spelled out in the contract, not in small print.
- Audio terror – crying your baby
A baby crying is perhaps the most annoying thing in the world. Much worse is the sound of contact between foam and glass. It was conceived this way because, in the course of evolution, only those babies survived who knew how to scream like this heartbreakingly when some of their basic needs were not satisfied: mainly if there was no mother around because she is the source of satisfaction of all his needs. A baby crying is not something that can be endured for a long time. Our nervous system is tailored to the fact that this sound must be stopped immediately, otherwise wild animals will come, and all of them.
But evolution also gave us a lot of side effects: due to upright posture (and the narrowing of the pelvis because of it), we are forced to give birth to our babies immature and take care of them for a long time as if it were still an embryo and not a separate creature. Immature nervous system – and crying for any reason immature digestive system – colic, and again crying. For many young parents, this aspect of raising children comes as a shocking surprise. Yes, everyone knows that babies cry. But the fact that they sometimes cry literally around the clock and so heartbreaking is one of the clauses of the contract written in an illegible small print at the end.
- Physically hard
The smarter the species, the longer the cubs in it remain helpless and completely dependent on adults. In order for humanity to survive, a powerful attachment mechanism works: continuity of contact is the basic need of a child.
The period after childbirth is often called the “fourth trimester” – due to the fact that the symbiosis between mother and child remains almost as inseparable as during pregnancy.
And even if you have strong arms and back, and you have perfectly mastered the art of babywearing, your hands and back will still hurt. A stroller can make life a little easier, but sometimes you have to lift it and carry it up. Grown-up children also love to be in their arms, and they also love to be twisted, tossed, and run after them. Motherhood is a forced workout.
- No compensation
If the husband is paid for his work at work, then reproductive labor is paid almost nothing. First – small maternity, after one and a half years of the child – 50 rubles per month for children. Reproductive labor is not recorded in the length of service, pension savings are not deducted, qualifications are lost – sometimes completely. And usually, with rare exceptions, no one encourages you even with simple praise. At work they can give a diploma, a prize, hang a portrait on a plaque of honor, in a situation of domestic work this will not happen, because these are “female duties”, for this no one praises anyone. And if your husband was brought up in patriarchal traditions, you will also fly for an imperfectly clean floor and salted borscht or its absence.
- Sleep deprivation
This is possibly the worst of all maternal problems. Children, of course, are different and sleep also in different ways, but as a rule, the first year of a child’s life is associated with a lack of continuous sleep for more than two hours in a row for months. And a certain number of women are “lucky” to have no human sleep for years. As a result, depression, illness, distraction, and nervous exhaustion. Moreover, on average, women need more sleep than men. But nature is of little concern.
- Groundhog Day
Children need a routine. For their development, they need a calm, stable environment, rituals, a regime, repeating things from day today. Unfortunately, for an adult, if he is not a homebody, the lack of novelty can seem like torture. Everything washed will be immediately stained, everything cooked will be eaten, everything collected will be scattered. It’s wet on the stake, start over. The same cartoons, the same activities. Raise your hand, who of you did not want to shoot yourself from “across the fields through the fields a blue tractor is coming to us” or “daddy-finger, daddy-finger, where are you?”, Heard for the hundred thousandth time?
The mother’s need for the right to physical integrity is constantly violated. The child (or several children) touches her – whether she wants it or not, sucks the breast (and often pulls the second one) when he wants it, without asking if the owner of the breast is comfortable with it, often hits the mother – simply because she cannot express feelings otherwise, makes you carry yourself in your arms, requires almost continuous contact. At the same time, the child satisfies his own vital needs – he really needs all this, but the needs of the mother herself move into the closet for a long time, and most of the time she simply suffers discomfort from the inability to control her own body on her own, limit penetration into her intimate zone and just take a break from tactile stimulation. And if the mother also belongs to that 20% of people whose nervous system features make them highly sensitive, it is very easy for her to overdose on tactile stimulation, and it is very difficult to withstand such sensory loads. Also, a situation often happens when the father of the child is sure that his business is to make money, and the children are “women’s affairs”, and that’s all.
In children, the cerebral cortex matures to the ability to control emotions only by the age of seven. And before that, a world full of frustration for any reason (a cookie broke or was not allowed to drink from a puddle) will cause a storm of emotions with deadly regularity.
Depending on the temperament, the child will either just annoy you with his tantrums and screams, or push you to the gates of hell.
Hi, parents of highly sensitive choleric or neurotypical children. Let’s hug.
Mom is a full-time psychotherapist who has no supervision. It is hardly possible to explain what it feels like to someone who does not spend 24 hours with a child. An experience that cannot be conveyed by any words.
- Increased requirements
If earlier, in order for you to be considered a good mother, your children had only to be alive, dressed, and at least from time to time fed, now you must try very hard to earn this high title. Earlier development, whether it was wrong (by the way, it is harmful, did you know?), After three it is too late (no), manners and good vocabulary by one and a half years, possession of hygiene and self-care skills by the year, sports, and other mental arithmetic.
If your child, even in the third year of life, walks in diapers and says only “kaka” and “goodbye”, this is the stigma of a bad mother with the entry into a personal file.
At the same time, a mother immediately after childbirth becomes slim, always ready for summer, with no stretch marks and bruises under the eyes from lack of sleep. Any deviation from the canon – that’s it, you let yourself go, push your husband to commit adultery, bad, bad mother.
- Nuclear family
There is a saying “in order to raise one child, you need a whole village” – humanity first encountered the concept of a “married” or “partner” family – when only mom, dad, and their children live in an apartment or house. Before that, people lived in an extended family, where there was always someone in the wings, but now most of the work of caring for children has fallen on the shoulders of the woman.
Psychologist Olga Pisarik says in her interview “I think that this is not just a wrong opinion, but a very harmful one, especially when it comes to a nuclear family living far from relatives or for some reason does not want to use the help of relatives. But this is how most modern families live in metropolitan areas.
First of all, one must understand that never in the history of human and human development has it been assumed that a child is being raised by the efforts of one adult.
When a woman is almost completely engaged in a family with children and household chores, this means that one person is charged with responsibilities, which should normally be divided into 5-6 people. The consequences of this “injustice” and overload are very devastating. “
- Social isolation
When you give birth, you suddenly dive into loneliness with the baby in your arms. Your childless friends are no longer very comfortable seeing you, because you need to adjust to the baby’s regime, and he will not always let you talk calmly. Someone finds new friends on playgrounds and in children’s clubs, but often this is a superficial communication – because it will be a great success if you have at least something in common with the mothers on your playground, in addition to children, and again – before Is there a conversation if your child throws sand in the eyes of another child, and he takes the machine away from him.
- Round-the-clock inclusion
The experience of motherhood is the experience of being constantly focused on an object without the ability to pay attention to your needs, thoughts, and feelings, and just be with yourself in silence. You are constantly being twitched. You need to switch ads in the cartoon. You need to name the items one by one. You need to give a drink, you need to walk, you need to need.
If there is more than one child, they can often take care of each other (if they get along, otherwise they will also have to be constantly separated), but one child will want you to play with him. And you are unlikely to be able to explain to him that you just do not want to. Also, remember how annoying baby screams are?
- Most likely it has never been easier
There are many who like to refer to the experience of our grandmothers, and they broadcast from every iron. It is a pity that at the same time they do not remember how many of the same women who gave birth in the field, died in childbirth, what a low survival rate was among children, how infanticide was widespread – simply because the family could not pull one more mouth. There were no diapers, no washing machines, no hot tap water. And there was postpartum depression – they just had no name, and, accordingly, no treatment. Therefore, dads, please, let’s leave our great-grandmothers alone and go and help our wives in their hard work.