This post is part of my series, A Real Picture of Pregnancy, where I document my pregnancy every 4 weeks. But rather than a perfectly-styled outfit, airbrushed makeup, a clean house and some chic pregnancy chalkboard pictures, I take the photo just as my life is. A beautiful mess. Unedited and not touched up.
You know, there are just those days.
When you are under so much emotional stress that, in between 3 rounds of toddler breakfast and the debate over the 2-year-old’s choice in socks, you just feel so forgotten. Like you’re just holding back the tears. And any minute, you feel like you could break.
That’s the state I was in when I showed up to my friend’s house last week.
And just plain sad.
“Hey! How are things going?” was all it took.
I didn’t look at her. I couldn’t. I kept my lips shut, but no matter how hard I fought, that bottom lip started quivering. I knew as soon as I started talking, I’d leave a trail of tears on her hardwood floors, which were rapidly becoming cluttered with the toys my 2 sons, and hers, were ripping out of every corner.
“Not good,” I choked out, through sniffles. Sobs. Heaves.
The truth is, at the end of every pregnancy, I find myself in a bad mental space. Maybe it’s because I’m huge. (And in this pregnancy, I’m the biggest I’ve ever been. Up 31 pounds at 28 weeks.) Maybe it’s because I’m exhausted. Maybe it’s because the hubby and I have been arguing.
Maybe it’s because, on this day, I’d just taken both boys to the dentist, where I’d learned our oldest has 3 cavities. And I felt like that was my mama fail. Or maybe it was because, in the parking lot, I’d pulled something in my back as I bent down and hoisted our 2-year-old into his car seat, and now it was painful to sit up straight. (I’m better now though; thanks for your tips via Instagram!) Or, maybe it was because I had a nasty head cold, and for some reason, it was making everything in my little world seem foggy, bleak and hopeless.
I found a chair in the corner and hid my face from the boys, as the tears and sobs flowed out, uncontrolled.
A sloppy stream of I-feel-so-unappreciated, I’m-always-helping-someone and I’m-just-so-tired.
Over the next 10 minutes, I covered my friend in my emotional vomit.
And she just sat there.
She shared some things about her life that made me realize I’m not alone.
That having young children is very stressful. Being home all the time (and not having an outside job) presents stresses and sacrifices that are unique. And, that husbands and kids don’t always get it.
After we talked it out, I felt like a cloud had been lifted from over me. Sure, I still felt tired and taken for granted. But I also realized it wasn’t the end of the world. Other Mamas struggle with this too, and in all reality, we probably all have the same gripes about our husbands. It’s not the end of the world.
“It will get better. Your kids are so young. It’s so hard right now,” she said.
She got up and made me some hot homemade squash soup and roasted vegetables, and then, somehow, my world felt whole again. I knew someone understood me, and while I had shared more than I usually would, I knew it wasn’t going anywhere at all.
At the end of our visit, we looked up and laughed at the mess our boys had made of her living room. It was such a #realmommoment that I asked her to take a picture of me, right in the middle of it, for this series.
A messy house. My eyes, still blood-shot from my river of tears. But kids playing happily and a good friend behind the camera.
This is a real picture of pregnancy. I’m big, I’m uncomfortable, I’m generally not happy.
But I have a great friend, who in that day, decided to pick me up, listen to my problems, feed me lunch and let my kids trash her house before she went to work later that day at her own full-time job.
I can’t do it alone. And I’m so grateful to have friends I can dump on when I need to.