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Let us all be open and honest here, having a baby is hard. Being pregnant is hard. Keeping a relationship alive is hard. Life after having a baby can be even harder than them all.
I find myself being the mom that I never thought that I would be. I tell my child "no" more often than I like, use the television to my advantage, am equipped with a short temper, and use cuss words like it is nobody's business. I had always pictured myself as the mom who would do arts and crafts, make cute star shaped sandwiches, and maybe even teach my kid sign language. Yet, here I am ten miles apart from that. This is not the motherhood I had pictured.
Before I had children, I would have considered myself a generally happy person. Some may have considered me to be a bitch, which they were right about because that is how I presented myself to most. Yet I was still a happy person. I never really let the minor things get to me, and would always find a way to push things to the side, including my emotions. That all seemed to change once I had children.
Having children brought out many things in me that I had not known was once there before, like a patience I never knew I could behold, a love so strong that it changed me, but it also brought out some darkness. There is this rage that seems to lie just under the surface that likes to creep up and take over my body whenever it can. People often speak of the depression you experience after children, but never the rage. The burning desire to just scream with fury at anything that is in your way when the beast awakens. It is the most frightful monster of them all.
Society is slowly growing to accept that women can suffer from depression after having a baby. Tell them that you have rage—well, you might as well be shunned into the corner. People aren't short to assume that the rage you are withholding means that your children are the ones receiving the brunt of it. In a sense, they are right. The children do get a taste of it, but so does the loving husband, the adorning grandmother, and most importantly so does the mother herself. Which turns everyone against her, so how is she supposed to feel as though she can fix herself when she must be on the defense at all costs?
There is always the underlying feeling of never doing enough, never saying enough, and just never being enough. There is so much weight that is held on a mother's shoulders, from the responsibility of raising children in today's society, trying to fulfill everybody's needs but her own, and making many sacrifices for her family. In today's society, a mother is judged on every aspect of her parenting, from the way her children are fed all the way down to what diapers she uses. It is no wonder why the rage a woman can suffer from is not spoken of.
The rage that bubbles up isn't from anger or hate. It is due to the lack of compassion. Not hearing she is appreciated, always doting on everyone but herself without a thank you, constantly feeling this need to be better, and the endless need of demands. So just like a pot of water sitting above a burner on high, eventually it is going to get too hot and boil over. Eventually she will not be able to take the constant screaming from her children, the daily nagging for affection from her husband, and the sacrifice of never being able to be alone. She will eventually no longer be her.
We need to start taking better care of our women, and stop shaming them for being human. We need to help them through their struggles instead of sweeping them away and saying they're nothing. How are we supposed to raise a country of warriors if we can't even take care of their mothers? Rage is not the problem. Absence of appreciation is.