On July, 7, 2017 Libertee’s life completely changed. She welcomed a baby boy with arguably the best hair ever into this world. She became a mom, part of a family. Immediately, they became completely, wholly and deeply in love with a boy named Oscar.
The first two weeks were a blur of her boobs now being utilized as a feeding mechanism, her shirtsleeves as a vessel with which to wipe up barf, and 1000 percent of her and James’s energy devoted to keeping this new human happy. Their survival, their sanity and their schedule most certainly came second.
Like most first time moms, she went into the whole situation with a certain level of naiveté, honestly believing that Oscar would accommodate their schedule sooner rather than later. In no time at all, she’d be back at the gym, she’d be eating regularly and reveling in the full-night’s sleep required in maintaining such a reality.
And then that didn’t happen.
“I think part of my frustration has a lot to do with looking at Instagram. Even though I know this is a filtered form of reality and a disjointed demonstration of what’s true . . . I can’t help it. I follow new moms and these women look happy, rested and productive in their life all. of. the. time. I don’t understand. I went from going to the gym five times a week, to having gone five times since I became a mom.
My body doesn’t feel like my own. My body doesn’t look like I thought it would, and I’m starting to convince myself that I’m a bad mom for even thinking about these things, and a bad partner for being so effected by this all. Half of the time I’m certain it’s hormones, for the other half I’m convinced it’s hashtags. . .
what I see: #newmom #bliss #blessed . . .
what I feel: #newmom #tiredAF #selfloathing #thesepantsaretight #butstillblessedthough
This is hard.
“The truth of the matter is, I’m having a hard time understanding who I am now. At the age of 37 I was just honestly starting to figure that shit out. Now, as a new mom, I’m kind of who I used to be. . . kind of not. . . and in no way, shape, or form measuring up to who it looks like I’m supposed to be. I’m convinced I might just suck at this.”
It wasn’t until a friend of Libertee’s shared that she was honestly thinking about deleting Instagram off of her phone that she started to think maybe she wasn’t alone. Like Libertee, she suggested that she simply could not stand to look at Instagram, stating that every scroll through her feed left her feeling like a failure.
Seriously, Heidi Klum?
Don’t get us wrong - we’re all about celebrating amazing things, and rocking a bra and panties twelve weeks after passing a human through your vuh-jay-jay is incredible. But if we’re being honest, it also frustrates the living daylights out of us.
Her postpartum-panty-parade, does however, bring up an important point. . .
There is no such thing as normal when it comes to being a new mom.
There just isn’t. So in the interim be kind to yourself. Be patient with your progress in all ways and trust that you’re not the only one who’s sitting on the couch, covered in hours-old vomit drinking a glass of wine, convincing yourself that you’ll make it to the gym tomorrow, and fold all of that laundry the day after.
You’re just not.
You know what. There’s no such thing as normal. . . period.
At the end of the day, this is about more than just being a new mom. Lecina’s not a new mom, but listening to Libertee share her frustrations about feeling like she’s shitty at stuff after scrolling through Instagram resonated with her.
“On any given day, I can take a step away from my life and feel like I’m not good enough. ‘She’s stronger. She’s more dedicated. She’s more successful. Maybe I just suck at life.’ Instagram and Facebook help to magnify this estimation, but I’m definitely capable of feeling this way all on my own.”
Filters, hashtags, followers and self-deprecating behaviours can lead us to believe there’s a normal out there to which we should be able to subscribe.
But there just isn’t.
So we’re here with a friendly reminder to do your best to take the Instagram and Facebook posts with the grain of salt with which they should be served, remind yourself that you’re doing the best you can and believe us when we tell you: you don’t suck at life.
You just don’t.