Looking back now, I can almost-sort-of-kinda-not-really laugh about it. My husband still hasn't forgotten about it, and it was such a raw moment that really captured the intensity of my journey through new motherhood.
I threw a shoe at my 6 month old. My husband was holding him and I think I may have almost wanted to hit them.
I know I wanted something to happen. I was thinking that if I threw that shoe hard enough maybe it would crack the layer of suffocation I was feeling around me. Maybe it would give me some air, or maybe I'd get in trouble and someone would say "Okay, she's clearly had enough. Let's give her a week off from this motherhood thing."
I don't remember what it was exactly, but I was overwhelmed. I was tired, and stressed and the days and weeks and months of constant caring for a baby on almost no sleep were starting to really get to me. My son never napped for more than exactly 30 minutes at a time and my husband was working his regular job, leaving 5 nights a week to play music. He was living his life exactly as it had always been, while it seemed like I was rotting into a corner of our couch. I missed my old life -- the one I had before the baby. I worked late hours, spent the days hanging out with my husband or friends, had dinner parties and went anywhere I felt like going, whenever I felt like (that last one still makes me jealous of my old, naive self).
The reality of motherhood had me feeling pretty pissed. I vented to my mother about how everyone had been lying to me. "How could you all act like this is fun? Why in the world would any of you mothers have let me go down this path?!" I remember one day I posted on Facebook "Motherhood is the worst job I've ever had." I felt deceived. I felt like I wasn't enjoying every moment. I felt like my journey wasn't beautiful and easy and it wasn't just me and my baby sitting around blissfully staring into each other's eyes. Instead it was me, staring at the clock wondering when bedtime would come.
Most days seemed to tick by and I felt like a slave to this tiny, demanding creature. Feeding, diapers, timing naps, entertaining someone with the attention span of a fruit fly... It felt pretty tedious most days.
So, I can relate. I see it in the eyes of so many new moms: that hazy, glazed over, tired, touched-out look. I feel you, ladies. I have totally been there! I think most people assume because I'm a doula I must be some Mary Poppins/Pollyanna type singing songs about the joys of children... Trust me -- my mission is to normalize the insanity of being a new parent. Because we all have crappy days. Cheerios on the floor so we can catch a 15 minute nap, Netflix on for too long, the swing that was on for three hours that morning so you could drink your coffee hot.
That's what we call Survival 101.
It's when survival turns into sadness or depression that we need to take a closer look and make sure that everyone is coming out of the glazed and tired place eventually. We need to make sure that we talk to each other, and connect, find our motherhood tribe and make sure that we get help if we need it. Because throwing a shoe at your baby never fixes anything. Trust me.