Manic Moods of Motherhood
There is a lovely women in Ireland that writes books, the one that pulled me in was about art and motherhood. Last year I was included in her ‘blog carnival’ for her book “The Rainbow Way” and ever since I’ve been in facebook-group contact with her and a group of like minded women. I’ve learned more about how motherhood and art happens in Ireland and England over the past year than I ever thought I would learn *because* I assumed (incorrectly) that it would be just about the same there as here.
Today she is releasing another book; “The Moods of Motherhood” and she asked the group of us to post something about our feelings on the Moods of Motherhood (the general topic, not the specific book). We did get a copy of her book to download and I did not have time to read more than the forward that does explain a lot; She started out with a blog and the premise that there are so many sides to motherhood and most of the less perfect things are done in private. So she blogged. She was probably right person at the right time with the right words and she found tons of support and a ton of ‘me to’ from the world of women looking to the internet for shared experience and validation or help or just knowing that someone else feels that way sometimes. This book is a collection of essay/blog style chapters and while it tells a story it isn’t a story. I’ll be reading it over the next while but she asked us to write something for release day so I’m writing before I really read.
Manic – is technically the word to describe the positive, crazy, “productive” side of the manic/depressive syndrome and it is often used to describe the whole enchilada of manic depressive syndrome. I feel like kids are all in a mini manic depressive state constantly because their emotions are just so close to the surface and swing so quickly and I feel that mothers often end up being a reflection of the moods of our children. I’ve heard the (lame) phrase that “If momma’s not happy, nobody’s happy” and that is absolutely untrue. If mom is unhappy you would be lucky if your 2 year old notices. If a 2 year old is unhappy the whole world will know! I find myself in constant maintenance of their little bodies and lives to attempt to keep the controllable variables under control. On one hand I would say there are tons harder things out there, but, I think it is not as easy as people think either for the single reason that it is a constantly changing environment.
Mom basic – feed child, sleep child, play with child. Those are very broad categories and the building blocks of a happy kid. The devil in the detail is figuring out what, how much, when, of each thing will work and then know that it is very likely to be different the next time. This creates some pretty crazy situations and sometimes when you have it all running smooth and everyone is happy and playing and behaving then you take a second to bask in the peace. I smile and sometimes nearly cry with the odd perfection of the moment. Those moments are so special because they are rare. Not just rare to occur but rare to notice… That is part of the manic mood because peace can go to war in one misplaced doll/lego/drink and sometimes you jump from situation to situation that you miss appreciating the peace in between. I know that my moods also affect them so keeping myself positive is as much part of my day as keeping them fed because both are important to creating a balance.
I don’t want to get too wordy here, but, I have to say that re-reading what I’ve written thus far makes me sound like my life is defined by my children and they are ‘in charge’. For the record, I try to keep the ‘me’ (that has evolved over time and has had a solid 10 years of being an adult without children) alive and well but it is undeniable that kids change how you operate on every level. I have time that I carve out for this or that and I still feel like I have self beyond my mother side, but, I KNOW that I do get pulled into their moods even if I try to rise above them. At the end of a stressful day and everyone is in bed I feel the responsibility of it all slipping away and I feel better. At the end of an awesome fun day and everyone is in bed I feel some of the fun and energy drain away. When I can physically recognize an absence of kid emotion that means that it does, absolutely, affect me.
Like it or not, somewhere along the line, my moods start to follow theirs. Maybe I empathise too much? Maybe stockholm syndrome sets in? Maybe I do really care that the crayons broke… I personally think their little manic bodies exude emotion and if you’re close you just breath it in. I’m sure I’m not unique in my feelings but sometimes I feel pretty alone with them. Knowing others are in the same boat does help and that is why I’m a citizen of the country of Internet! It isn’t all bad for sure, there are times when I’m sad about something and they come over with something so happy that I’m pulled right out of it 🙂
Most days I wake up ready for what comes. Part of that is knowing I don’t know what will come…
Today’s post is part of the Moods of Motherhood blogging carnival celebrating the launch of the second edition of Moods of Motherhood: the inner journey of mothering by Amazon bestselling author, Lucy H. Pearce (published by Womancraft Publishing).
Today over 40 mothers around the world reflect on the internal journey of motherhood: raw, honest and uncut. To see a list of the other contributors and to win your own copy visit Dreaming Aloud.net