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‘But I don’t ask for help either’

Image: Nine IJff

Tessa Heinhuis (33) is pregnant and mother of Bodi and Daaf (3), married to Billy and editor-in-chief of Mama Magazine. They live in ‘t Gooi.

Perhaps nowhere are there so many secrets as in motherhood. And usually you don’t do it consciously, that sneaky stuff. Usually you do it out of self-protection, ignorance or shame. We disguise our real days. Our awkward, non-Instagram worthy moments. Mother shame.

Mother shame

A friend texts me: “How are you?” I prefer to answer: “Good, I’m working in Monkeytown because we don’t have a shelter. Yesterday my toddler wouldn’t put his shoes on and I had to pick him up half the block from school and take him to the car, screaming and all. The other moms looked at me like I can’t handle it. But I know my boy, he’s tired and then it’s too much of a stimulus when he sees mom after a long day.

“Yesterday I had to take my toddler to the car, screaming and screaming. The other moms looked at me like I can’t handle it”

I feel torn because I leave them alone to work, who doesn’t know that those early years go by so fast. But aren’t those early years also the hardest? I miss them when they sleep and find it very hard when my son lies between us. He has been doing this for almost four years. It’s a darling, I love them so much, it hurts when I look at them. When I hear them laugh I am complete.

But sometimes I want to slam the door because no one wants to go to bed or listen. And this morning I had a fight with my toddler while getting dressed. One of my sons doesn’t want to be potty trained yet. Then the tears in a pregnancy, because being pregnant isn’t all sweet. That I sometimes feel lonely since we’ve been home so much with the kids, while there’s nowhere I’d rather be than home. They prefer to be with mom and I with them. And I’m also looking forward to dinner with a friend.

Read also – ‘I have to have coffee before I can be a nice mom’ >

Wouldn’t want it any other way

I live in leggings and I’m always on, we live by their rhythm and schedule. I wouldn’t want it any other way and I don’t know who else I am anymore. I look at baby pictures every day and see how big they have become, those years fly by, you know it too, don’t you?

“How will this go when they get bigger and don’t want to sleep next to me anymore?”

And oh yes, I don’t love anyone anymore, that’s not physically possible, what about when they get bigger and don’t want to sleep next to me anymore? Can you tell me how that works, with older kids? I’m not ready for that yet. They are mama’s princes, we are so connected, we are also so tired. I haven’t finished my work and I don’t have any groceries at home, so I don’t ask for help, I’ll manage.”

But I’m not sending that. I send: “Going well here dear! They’re cuties. And with you?”

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