My husband and I became parents at the worst possible time.
We had been married for two years before I became pregnant with our first child. This was all laid out in my mental “plan.” We would get married, enjoy married life for two years then start a family.
After our second anniversary, my mom casually asked me if we were having trouble conceiving or if we had intentionally put off having kids. I told her it was the latter but that we were going to start trying now. By then we’ve gotten this question from a lot of people but it would later turn out that the one coming from my mom would be the most significant.
After about six months of trying, we found out I was pregnant. We were thrilled and worried but could not wait to tell our family about it. I wanted to tell my mom in person so she does not end up hearing it from someone else, so my husband and I decided to head home to tell her of the good news.
In typical Filipino mom fashion, she kept her excitement inside and simply said, “aw maayo” (well, that’s good then). But boy did it show. I would also later learn that she had planned to live with us throughout my pregnancy until the first few months post-birth to help out with the baby.
That did not happen.
Only four weeks after our announcement, my mom suddenly passed away. It came as an absolute shock and it shook our whole family. I had to come to terms with the fact that I was to continue this motherhood journey without her. The worst part about all this was that I could not even grieve! “Try not to stress yourself too much, it might be bad for the baby.”
Well it turns out bottling up grief can really mess up the mother, too. Pretty bad.
A few months later, I give birth to the most amazing baby girl. I wish I could say the same about my birth experience, but that is a story for another day. And just when I thought things could not get any worse, my dad passes away – only six days after my baby is born, which also happens to be my birthday.
When it rains, it pours.
This was in 2017-2018. The years following that were bleak. I don’t know how we lived through it but we somehow survived. And in 2020, I became pregnant with and gave birth to our force-of-nature of a daughter. Things were finally looking up, or so we thought. Cue Covid-19 Pandemic.
From 2017 to 2022, my mental health fluctuated between “I can’t do this anymore, but who will take care of my kids? And what about my husband?” and “Let’s just survive this day and maybe tomorrow will be better.” There were highs for sure, but some nights were just unbearable.
I would sometimes share my experiences/depressive episodes on social media (in writing) hoping for some consolation and to my surprise, many of my posts resonated with other moms who were also going through their own struggles. So I kept sharing.
Fast forward to 2023, I decide to take this a bit more seriously and start blogging again. Thus, Diary of a Millennial Mama came to fruition. As I learn and share about my parenting woes, daily wins and my aspirations for our little family, I can feel the darkness that has enveloped me start to disappear. Could it be that I am finally starting to heal from the trauma of the last few years? It certainly feels like it.
Writing has always been a part of my life, I have always enjoyed it – although I may not be very good at it – but I have always considered myself to be a story-teller.
For now, I am only writing to my heart’s content because I find it therapeutic. I am not sure what to make of this yet, I don’t want to think too much of it. If by chance you stumble across this and resonate with it, I am glad we made that connection.
Maybe I can write a memoir in the future, or a book about navigating motherhood as a millennial, who knows? 🙂
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