I saw a quote today that compelled me to write my next blog. My first reaction to it was one of frustration and rage. It made me angry because it summed up perfectly what I strived for every day as a mum with depression... yet was never able to achieve (or so I thought).
"Your kids don't want a perfect mom; They just want a happy one." Am I the first to acknowledge that when you are suffering from depression, this is the thing you struggle with the most?
As I battled through each day, I NEVER tried to be a perfect mum... simply because I was convinced I couldn't. IS there even such a thing as a perfect mum? "They just want a happy one." I wanted to be a happy mum.
But I couldn't even do that.
Being a happy mum was what I struggled with the most. I could get them dressed, feed them, change their nappies, put them to bed and cuddle them when they needed a cuddle (for what good it did). I could do all the things I needed to do to keep them alive... but ask me to be happy... no chance. I was miserable every day. I cried at everything. I yelled at my kids more often than I care to admit. I was anything but happy.
Whoever wrote this quote wasn't wrong. A happy mum possibly is all that kids want. But if you suffer from depression, like I did, reading this quote or having someone tell you this just adds a heapful of salt to the wound. You're left thinking "Well that's it. I am a total failure because I'm anything but a happy mum!"
Furaha Mamas is a loose translation from Swahili (an African language) to Happy Mums. A strange name for a group of mums who, perhaps like me, have felt or who currently feel, less than happy. I guess my idea behind naming the group Happy Mums was because I wanted to be looking to the future, rather than dwell on the past. I wanted to recognise where we want to be, not focus on where we have come from.
Right now, my kids certainly don't have a perfect mum (no kid does) but they have a HAPPIER mum. They have a mum who can finally smile at her kid's silliness instead of yelling at it. A mum who can laugh at the crazy baby noises she hears rather than wanting to punch the wall. It's been a hell of a journey...
I was never perfect and I'm not always happy.
But I ALWAYS do my best. And THAT is what my kids want from me the most.