Voices

I’m Battling the Mental Load of Mommyhood. Can You Feel Me?

Working mother to a six-year-old Vaishali Sudan Sharma shares the emotions and challenges from her motherhood journey.

By Vaishali Sudan Sharma

I’m battling the mental load of mommyhood. It feels defeating. Are you there too?

Most times when I’m away from him, I feel better and then some guilt about it. And then, when I’m driving back home, the thought of his kisses and warm hugs makes me feel worse and perhaps, angry.

I am 36, a mom to a six-year-old. I’m battling the mental load of mommyhood. Can you feel me?

I wasn’t born to birth or rear a child. At times I feel like I don’t have a soul of a mother. But my feelings are my feelings. My shoulders are mostly tense. I am often anxious and at times your heart might hear my heart weep. These are a few things your naked eye would miss.

But, I’m quite a fun person, from the outside.

Other than raising a six-year-old, I also work full-time. My husband is always busy with work. We never believed that it takes a village to raise a child, so we never took the ‘village’ route.

The first few years of our marriage got us thinking that perhaps ‘making a baby’ could help us slow down. That never happened. Instead, what followed soon after… Well, let me describe it this way: it was like we were on the fast track to a roller-coaster ride that got our heads swirling, plus dizziness, plus-plus vertigo. Phew!

I have always wanted to be the best! Don’t you want to feel the same? A good mom, a good wife, a good daughter-in-law, employee, no, best employee of the year?

I am not in this alone and I know it. We are all so overwhelmed. Anxious, happy, sad, depressed, bored, busy… Most of us feel this way. We carry the invisible mental load of motherhood that we can’t seem to break free from, even when we do have a strong support system or the lack of it, because the village does not sort of exist, really.

Do you have this constant nagging feeling or do you wake up in the morning thinking you are done doing what you have been doing for so long? Are you buying time all the time? Buying time for yourself? Have you forgotten what it means to take care of yourself or looking at yourself in the mirror and telling yourself, ‘I love you, and I love you with all my heart’?

There’s always someone or something that needs my attention. With the constant anxiety of what needs to be done next, how can you even pay attention to yourself?

I’m battling the mental load of mommyhood. And, it’s pretty ugly. If you don’t feel me, you are very lucky.

But, I won’t lose this battle. I won’t let the goal of breathing go. I won’t let the madness and chaos of mommyhood get the best of me. I will continue to work at it. I want to be a fun person, from the inside.

The overwhelm — the exhausting mental load of being a mom — this soul of a woman-who-is-somewhat-tired, but still loves her boy’s kisses and hugs, and the warmth of which drives her home every single evening, I won’t give up!

Most times when I’m away from him, I feel better and then some guilt about it.

I am 36, a mom to a six-year-old. I’m battling the mental load of mommyhood. And I shall fight it!

Vaishali Sudan Sharma is the Delhi-based founder of The Champa Tree, a blog about parenting, and works with a healthy kids-food brand

First published in eShe’s April 2020 issue

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