Moments of Doubt and Darkness / by Rebecca Tillett


Lately I’ve drowned in thoughts and anxieties that shout the words: why-is-this-so-fucking-hard & why-aren’t-I-stronger into my own echo chamber and then I remember something I read recently that really resonated: Sleep deprivation is an actual kind of torture. It is. and needlessly, I had surrendered to moments of doubt and darkness about the strength of my family and our resolve and our indestructibility as a unit but especially about mine and my husband’s status as a team. But only because I did not truly respect the intensity of the obstacles we’ve faced. And cleared.

Motherhood is hard. So hard. We are fortunate to have help & it’s still the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Ever. and it is absolutely awash in complex and contradictory emotion. I both love my daughter more than anything, and a single smile from her can fill my entire soul with all of the light of the universe, and yet at the very same time I can cry and mourn the loss of my pre-parental life; the one that had uninterrupted sleep and endless free time. I cry at many things these days. Sometimes just the simple thought of facing another day is enough. And mothers, do me this favor: stop following any of those stupid fake hipster family Instagram accounts that make you feel like shit. You know the ones: the accounts with the desaturated colors and doting mothers posing with their kids in handmade clothes against their always spotless and beautifully minimalist designed interiors, talking about how “tired” they look when really, they appear to have just walked out of a salon. The ones who feign vulnerability. The mothers who have turned their motherhood and their families into an attention-starved revenue stream and whose every post is advertising something either obviously or on the sly. It’s gross and it makes you feel gross even when you’re not entirely conscious of it. Trust me. When you see it enough, you begin internalizing it as truth and forget that what you’re seeing isn’t real. None of it is real. Your wrecked, raw, messy, sometimes ugly, painful & disorganized life is much more beautiful. And honest. I would rather be united in that common thread than in our desire for the unattainable masquerading as reality.