Previa Alliance Podcast

Navigating Resentment in Motherhood

January 22, 2024 Previa Alliance Team Season 1 Episode 90
Previa Alliance Podcast
Navigating Resentment in Motherhood
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Have you ever felt a wave of frustration wash over you while juggling the demands of motherhood with the rest of your life? We get it, and that's why we're peeling back the layers on the emotional struggles that come with being a mom. From the physical toll of pregnancy to the silent expectations of managing a household, this episode is a raw look into the world of maternal resentment. Join us as we embrace the challenges, champion the triumphs, and above all, remind you that you are not alone on this journey.

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Speaker 1:

Hey guys, welcome back to PreviewLine's podcast. This is Sarah and Whitney, and we are joining you guys today to talk about something that it's going to call the theme and a lot of our preview moms and, honestly, my friends and I think you're seeing it on social media and it's time to talk about this resentment. And I was doing research for this because I was like, how did moms feel resentment? And it was statistics were showing like 60 or more percent are verbalizing that they're simple, and I was looking up I'm like, well, so when does this resentment kind of start? And, honestly, it starts when we're trying to get pregnant and we're the ones, more times than not, that are taking the hormones or getting the injections or the procedures, and it kind of feels like it's all on them. And then when you're pregnant, let's be real, you're the one growing the baby.

Speaker 2:

Oh yeah, you're the one you get poked and prodded. We're doing all the appointments, yes.

Speaker 1:

You're uncomfortable, you're the one literally carrying the child and you have to deliver the child.

Speaker 2:

Yes, so your privacy gets very invaded, yeah.

Speaker 1:

And then it just the tables are kind of turned and it's kind of like the group project that you know. You basically do all the work and then the baby kind of looks like the dad. At the end you're just like, oh great.

Speaker 2:

Your first child that we went through infertility for.

Speaker 1:

Right, and it can come at you as a little bit of like ah, this is not fair and Right. I looked at the definition of resentment and I didn't really like it. So I looked up, her name is Brandon Brown, definition of resentment. Because I was like the one. It was like the dictionary one and I was like, okay, that don't tell us anything. But her Brandon Brown's one is the resentment is the feeling of frustration, judgment, anger, better than and or hidden in the related to perceived unfairness or injustice. It's the emotion that we often experience when we fail to set boundaries or ask for what we need, or when expectations let us down because they were based on things we can't control, like what other people think, what they feel or how they're going to react. Right, and I was like, oh yeah.

Speaker 2:

That's the nail on the head right there.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. So let's talk about this. Because why? Well, I think I know why. I know why we're resentful for right, because I think it goes down to you how we were raised is a lot right. This generation of moms is like we were raised believe we can do it all, have it all right, not ask for help. Like our lives essentially should not change, that's what society has told us right when we become moms and that's not reality. Like you cannot go do a nine to five, check into your second ship, do the five to whatever, wake up one that constantly. Oh yeah, but that's what we're doing and that's what this generation of moms has been kind of told. And then, if you ask for help, you know, oh, you can't do it. Oh, if you have childcare, oh, you're not taking care of your child, oh, you're staying at home. You're paying someone else raise your kids Right, and then you're like home oh well, you're giving up your career and your education, right. Like it's all these you dress up that it's like, oh well, you know, who do you think you are? You're right. Well, she's not taking care of herself. So it's just like all these false things that we're going like. Okay, so what should we do? Right?

Speaker 2:

yeah. So let's just point out that a lot of double standards take place with that and also our society, our economy, is not what it was when our parents were raising us. No, no, you know what I mean. Like it was probably like a 60-40 to income household ratio across the nation. Because I can remember like my dad worked more than full time doing construction. My mom worked part time to literally she could put us on the school bus. She would go to work, she'd come back and we would get off the school bus maybe half an hour later, so she was able to swing something part time, come home kind of, start getting supper and all that prepped up. So she was able to balance it, maybe better than I feel like I can. But, on that same token, the 90s economy is significantly different than what we're dealing with in the 2020s. You know well, we do need to be a two-income household where, honestly, I've always worked full time, always, except for the year I was in grad school. I will say that exception, but I also didn't have children then. Yeah, yeah, did not have children back then. And so this saying of have it all, I think, implies that we have to be able to work full time, be fully present spouse, be a fully present mom, be the PTO leader, be the room mom, be all these things to all these people when that might not actually be. What have it all means to?

Speaker 1:

us individually and that's, I think, goes back to the expectations. That was in that definition, and the resentment too, when I was doing more of this research I'm like so what is the common reasons why moms are feeling resentful? Now we know our own personal reasons, but what is the vast general consensus and it was. We're literally the ones that are responsible, like we said previously, for carrying this child, delivering this child. Right, it's our bodies that take the hit, it's our minds that you know, when we're talking about anxiety and depression, the most common complication of pregnancy, right, maternal mental health issues, they're kind of like okay, so I get hit here, I get hit physically, I get hit mentally with these things. And then, you know, and some other reasons was like this one mom was like I am so resentful that my whole life changed the moment I got pregnant and his did not. And I was like, ooh, yes, right, because for a multitude of reasons, yes, they could be a very active and participant, you know, partner spouse, like their life has not ever changed to like ours and ours will never go back to pre-child. I mean, we're forever changed. And you know, I remember even thinking multiple times when I was pregnant like gosh, like I can't just get up and do what I want, like I can't just eat what I want right now, like because you know, there's dietary restrictions, right. Like and then the delivery process was like I really don't want to go through that. I remember thinking that was well, like I don't really want a C-section, I don't really want that recovery.

Speaker 2:

But like I, got to You're like well, this is not my gym, I'm not feeling this.

Speaker 1:

Oh, and then I was like even started feeling resentment when like I was the one making milk and he wasn't, and like I was the one getting up and I was, even if he did give him a bottle, I would still have to pump or else I had, you know, clogged up, and that was just a whole another level of hell that I don't wish upon anyone. And so it just started to feel like, yeah, very unfair, and it didn't feel like the unfairness was recognized, right.

Speaker 2:

Well, and I think that kind of hits a point of you really needed validation for everything that you had been through and worked for, and you weren't really getting it from anybody.

Speaker 1:

No, no one. Because I think previous moms or like family or friends, like they had, went through that super hard right, the very unfair to them Right, and not like they were being. I mean, yes, there is some that have been like, well, you know, we went through it and we couldn't complain like your generation's complaining. We walked to school 20 miles in a backpack in the snow. You know that whole thing right. So there's some that were like, well, we just did it and we were quiet about it and it's like I'm so sorry for you.

Speaker 2:

That's about to say, but let's also look at that oppression. They wanna learn to talk about it.

Speaker 1:

And you're still bitter about it, literally.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, let's look at how much that oppression, that gaslighting, that invalidation has harmed you. That's a therapist soapbox. I could get on real quick. But to come back to resentment, the original topic, we do feel resentment because we do carry the burden. Let's call a spade a spade because physically, we go through infertility treatments, we go through pregnancy, we go through labor and delivery. We go through either producing milk or trying to stop producing milk, depending on what somebody's situation may be. We are honestly the ones because we're on maternity leave and let's just say that is a disservice to husbands where they don't get paternity leave more often than not in America. So guess who is taking baby to the pediatrician appointments when we are still bleeding significantly, whether it's from our stomach or our vagina or both, and so we're the ones doing that initial talking with the pediatrician. This is what we need to be looking out for. So we're taking that information overload in on our sleep deprived brain. So it is not fair when you think about what we inherently take on because of how things are set up. But to come back to that definition of the failure to set up a boundary or expectation, I think that's a big thing. And because this is the podcast. This is an session, so I'm allowed to be a little bit more free with the information I give here. When it was my first daughter. I'm not breaching my ethics when I do it on the podcast. I can't do it in session. But to pull it back to like when my oldest was born you don't know what it's gonna be like with an newborn let's just call it. I was gonna say you don't have an idea. We don't know what it's gonna be like. And when people say, oh, you have to feed the baby every two and a half to three hours, well, you have that idea, but until it's reality you don't know what that looks like. And so Michael and I in the beginning thought, okay, well, we're just gonna trade off feeds because we formula fed. Well, let's just be real. His already preexisting depression did not handle that sleep deprivation. Well, so who was the one doing night shift? Me, it was me. That resentment built up, not that I couldn't see that he had a genuine problem, but because I'm like, okay, I'm already bearing the brunt of all day feeds when you go to work, but I'm also doing night shift too. Like that's not cool. I don't think I like this setup. So when the second one came along, it was one of those that said okay, we already know night shift doesn't work for you. We know that. Okay, I also knew what to expect better of myself in that postpartum timeframe. I said I can take night shift, but what I need from you is to be able to pick up our older daughter from daycare in the afternoons after you come home, and let me get a shower or let me get a nap for an hour because I have to have that. So, yes, putting up that expectation, setting up that boundary, can prevent that resentment. I can honestly say I did not resent him that second time postpartum because we knew better what worked for us.

Speaker 1:

I think that's a good point. I remember Bill could not really take the night shift for either other boys because he had to go right back to work and he was operating on people. Clearly I felt like, oh, I can't say anything, right, I'm at home and I'm doing this cycle. But I was very, very sleep deprived and we know sleep deprivation leads to postpartum depression, anxiety getting worse. And now that we're back we should have had some kind of conversation. I have to be able to get three plus hours of sleep and I finally figured out with James again second time around, because we had no clues. The first time was that I would go to bed at seven. I'd get willed down, I'd go to bed at seven and Bill could stay up to ten and at least let me start the night with three or four hours of sleep and then I could take over. But again it was like I got my shower and I hopped in bed and it was just that little period of time, really safe. But in two you hit on something else that I think I know I feel resembled, for at times you are the ones that are like we research things right. So it's even when you're pregnant, like researching what car seat or which pediatrician or what baby bottle, all the stuff that is like, all the things Like. And then if you're like, if you, I always wanted I need sleep for my mental health and just for me to not be an angry person, to be real with everyone, like I do not do good flow sleep. So I was very interested in how to figure out what NAPS schedule should be like and like how do we sleep through the night and when and so. But all that is work and that's invisible work, but that's still work that we're doing. And then you feel almost for simple, like, OK, going back to that great project, here you're at a great project and you're doing all that work, and then you're going to this person going OK. I've researched the best. This is how we do it, and then you're teaching them. Mm hmm, and you're just like, so why is it all on me To research what's the best and teach you how to use it, or like, and you know, I always think that kind of just continues, like because your kid grows and there's new things that you have to learn about and you have to purchase. Or you now they're starting solids, or you know each are they supposed to do this, or you know, ok, so now they need a booster. See, well, ok, what there's constant. And if you're the one researching and you're the one that's learning and making those decisions, right, you do get resentful oh, absolutely, and it's kind of hard not to because, again, that full responsibility falls on mom.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so it's just like, even now my oldest is six, almost seven, and her teacher, they use the dojo app to message with us and all the things. Yes, and so my daughter is honestly a very good reader, kind of always has been a really good reader, and so she got put in this little book club with a couple of other classmates and her teacher and we got that message yesterday and I said, oh, I'm so proud of you, I'm so excited about this. My husband was like, well, how'd you find out? Did she email you? And I said, no, no, it's in the dojo app. And he goes, really, and I said open the app, read it. Like it's sent to this group of parents, it's not like it was sent to just me. It was not an individual, because I have messaged the teacher individually about different things that I can understand him not seeing, because we do have two different logins, whatever. But I'm also like you're included in this, I shouldn't be the only one. That's like, ok, well, this is the book club book, this is the project that comes with it, and like why am I the one doing all the homework here, literally. Why am I the one doing all the homework when you have just as much access as I do and we are out of that baby stage, so you can't say that it's my job because it's the baby. We're six and a half to nearly seven. We're out of that.

Speaker 1:

But I think it's just a common thing too of like well, I mean, you've went away on a trip, I've went on trips, like if you go away without your kids, right, and all the things that you do to go away, versus what your partner does, it is a night and day. You got the childcare range, you've got their laundry done, you've got their clothes picked out, you've probably like the school know, you've got the food stocks, you've got like list, you've got everything done where generally the HRs worry about packing their bag and their transportation and they're out the door, and I feel like that kind of example is what a lot of moms want.

Speaker 2:

And so you know, this is something that my husband and I have been in. I feel like it's something like, in all honesty, we may need to revisit now that homework is really kind of kicking up, and first we'd kind of reevaluating how we do things is utilizing the fair playbook or the fair play card game that you can get on Amazon and it's not very expensive. And then goal is not to pit one person against the other of, well, I do 20 things, you only do that. That is not the goal. The goal is to say, okay, well, this is the task, here's everything that goes with that test. So think about like an iceberg the task is what you see above the water. All the mental effort is what is underneath that iceberg, and so that can help really give both parties a good understanding of what each person mentally puts into the tasks and how can we rearrange things so one person doesn't always feel that load on them at all times 100%, and I think we, as women have a hard time because there's a lot of lies that are told to us and we are believing about what we should like.

Speaker 1:

we believe we're better multitaskers. Well, we kind of are, but there that is something that can be learned and taught and, like our partners, can be very efficient in that we're told, essentially, that our time is not as valuable as our partners, or that our time is endless when theirs isn't right. So, like that says boundaries with our times and our needs, or that our needs or her basic life needs is not as important as our partners. Or is it like the quest to be the perfect mom or the mom that has it all together that we feel like we have to give ourselves up to do it all for everybody? Are we, you know, preparing ourselves and going? Well, here's Susie, she does this, that's and that, and like still looks this way and goes to yoga five times a day, blah, blah, blah. You know, like do we put ourselves? Like in comparisons to have this on our, to our expectations on ourself, or they too high? And I think it's important to define, like we said, like the mental load, the mental invisible task, like you said that iceberg that is considered work and that needs to be recognized as work and energy. So it's like we're asking ourselves all these questions about well, what are we believing about this? Why is it okay for us to feel like we have to do it all? Or why is it okay, you know, why do you feel bad if you get grocery delivery versus going to the store? Right, right, or like, why do you compare yourself? Or was do as a kid you would, you know, always had to take care of others. So this is now. You feel like you always, you know, all these things kind of get brought up. So why it's a big term resentment? It goes deeper.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely Well, and you know you touched on something as far as like well, we had to grow up quickly. You know, is this hitting on an inner child wound that's not healed?

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

You know, because that's definitely something we always need to be aware of is maybe this is hitting. You know something that is been there for a lot of our life.

Speaker 1:

The good girl, right, the perfectionist, the always does what's asked. We're the oldest sibling.

Speaker 2:

You had to help care for the other siblings.

Speaker 1:

Right. So you were kind of you felt like your needs couldn't be heard or seen, and you know you may have been ashamed for voicing what your needs are.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

So I think back to Renee Brown when she's talking about this is and she has in her book is let resentment talk to you and let resentment get curious about resentment, right, and the discomfort of feeling resentment, and start asking questions about why we're feeling this way and start digging deeper, like that iceberg. So we're going to go back to that and you know what boundaries do we need in place to be less resentful, because resentful will turn to bitterness and it can sit with you and it can destroy relationships.

Speaker 2:

It can ruin everything, yeah.

Speaker 1:

So it's like, don't let it take over, look at it as the way, like you don't have to stay resentful, like go back, say okay, why is it that I'm the only one that never gets X, y and Z? Why is it that I cannot delegate this task? Why is it I can't say no and then I'm over committed and then I never rest? People placing tendencies Exactly so. It's like has someone let you down or did you not tell that person what you needed as your boundary? Because, let's be real, people will run you over and they will keep asking of you. It's like you know the PTA thing. I mean you sign up once. Lord help you. You were drawn into the cycle of feels like you can never get out. Like always go to the person who always says yes.

Speaker 2:

I did hear a great thing in a podcast one time that said if you want something, don't give it to somebody who's busy, because they'll get it. Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Right, and it's like at some point you know we're not counting gold stars, like we were in elementary school, of how many we get for our tasks, and it's like rest is productive, and I think that goes back to mom, so like we don't deserve the rest or that pause time, right, and so I encourage mom. So you're not alone if you're feeling resentful, because the skills are always turned towards mom having things harder just from trying to get pregnant on, but start looking and getting curious. Why am I resentful? What can I do about that? What boundary can I put in place? What need is unmet that we can figure out small steps to get met? Right, yeah, inner child, okay, well, what? How was it, when your childhood work with a therapist, work with someone like Whitney, to really dive deep and say why is it so hard to say no, are you a?

Speaker 2:

chronic. Are you type A?

Speaker 1:

Oh yeah, that's us.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's us. Yes, are you an Enneagram one or a six?

Speaker 1:

Now you're just like labeling me, now you're just pointing it out that this is, this is us.

Speaker 2:

You know we are two of the same.

Speaker 1:

But it's just I think I needed that is like you know. Don't let resentment get right. Get a hold of you and steal that, because you can't find joy and you can find peace and you know you. It is okay to set that boundary. People don't have to like your boundaries.

Speaker 2:

No Well, boundaries are there to protect you, not to appease others.

Speaker 1:

Exactly so. It's like those nice guardrails, and we've said it before. But people, if they buck a boundary, they'll learn real quick that boundary doesn't move Like a golf rail, you know like. It's like bumper cars right, they may bump into it, but that baby ain't going to move and you're just going to have to keep going with it. And the hardest time generally boundaries of people, if you've never established it is that first time and then it's just nope. This is what I need and this is what you know you're going to respect. So get curious the next time you're like billing resentment. It's not a bad thing, it's just telling you we have some unmet needs and we need to set some boundaries, and you're not alone in it. And are you still going to want to maybe smother your husband at night if he's snoring and can't hear the kids cry for the 15th time? Yeah, probably, but that's just how it goes, right? So you're not alone in that, yeah.

Speaker 2:

Well, and just realize too, like boundaries are more than appropriate to implement.

Speaker 1:

I think they're great and I think you we can. You know you doing it for yourself. Then we teach our children you know what healthy boundaries are and that why it's important to work through our emotions. But it's really hard to teach your child to work through his emotions If we can't acknowledge ours and start off. You know it's that. I think the hardest part of parenting is honestly navigating and regulating my own emotions, to be there for my children with big emotions, right. So what else? Any quick other tips when it comes to resentment or boundaries that you give your clients so you can share with us?

Speaker 2:

Well, I mean, I know and other therapists may disagree with me on this but almost practice that boundary conversation in your head so you feel prepared, because and I say this it's not that you're attacking the other person when you put a boundary down. Remind yourself, it's not an attack on them, it's a protection for you. But just practice saying hey, you know, I really think it would be great if you could do X, Y and Z for me, or you know what? I'm not really able to take that on right now. And you don't even have to say why you can't take something on. No, it's a sentence Now, admittedly, because I got to ask to be remon this year. I saw your review, I know, but and I said, here's the deal, I work full-time in a therapy office. I said I'm happy to help, I'm happy to help with events, I'm happy to give supplies and all the things I said, but I have to have notice because I have to be able to block my schedule to be able to accomplish those things. I said I cannot take that responsibility on fully, but I can help. So even giving them that understanding of, well, Whitney needs advanced notice. That is a reason that I feel like, yes, I can give you the reason for my, maybe for my 50-50. Yeah, you know what I mean. Yeah, that makes us feel like we are like, hey, this is the why give somebody that perspective. We're not necessarily justifying it, we're giving that perspective. But if someone says, Whitney, I need you to go do blah blah, blah, blah, blah for me to get ready for my party, I can be like no, I don't have the availability for that. I don't have to say why I don't have the availability, I can just say no.

Speaker 1:

And I think it goes to well where family and friends. This is where it gets more messy right Versus, like school or you know, because they are maybe used to you growing up. You know, and maybe this is a new way, or you know a parent tends to sometimes look at us still as children, even though we're grown adults and have children. Our siblings may still see us as a younger child or whatever. So again, it is hard in the beginning to kind of say, hey, let's you know.

Speaker 2:

Well, just realized too. You're almost having to work against your discomfort to be comfortable enough to set those boundaries up.

Speaker 1:

And discomfort is not a bad thing, right?

Speaker 2:

It's like Again, it doesn't feel good, but it's not dangerous.

Speaker 1:

It's not, and I think that's something to dig deep to. If you're not okay with feeling some discomfort for the outcome to be something that's going to be beneficial, then you need to dive deeper with that. And you know, I will say there's one thing that I have started to do is like small cold inversion. Okay, I don't like the cold, but I do like if you get in my shower, I turn it on cold first and I hop in and then it turns warm. What I've found is that I don't like discomfort, right and like being involved. There's a lot of discomfort, like mentally and physically, so I'm kind of getting used to myself being slowly more okay with discomfort, if that makes sense. So when I do have these situations, like if I do need to set a boundary right or I do need to say no or I need to end something that's not beneficial to me and that is discomfort, like I'm taking kind of that fight or flight away from my nervous system. That's like you know.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, you're trying to get yourself desensitized to fight or flight it a little bit, a little bit.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so that's something I've been trying to do and it, you know, or early morning, runs, whitney's a runner. I am not a runner. Every time I run I think what is wrong with this woman that she does it for joy, but I'm doing that again to get through the discomfort, you know. So that is something again. Be curious about why I resemble.

Speaker 2:

Be curious why you're Allow yourself to have feelings of discomfort.

Speaker 1:

And work through that. If you're like this is a big problem and I really need to talk to her somewhat Therapy, amazing, cool, safe space and really just dig deeper. But we'll keep talking about this. We'll keep talking about tools you can implement. But send us your questions. You can DM us on Instagram and we always have the hey Whitney's that you can submit. To go back into our previous episodes and these are these real questions that you guys have sent into Whitney and they come are all topics, so nothing is off limits when it comes to us. So we thank you, guys, and you're not alone this journey, and we appreciate being part of your week. So until next time, right see ya.

Speaker 3:

Maternal mental health is as important as physical health. The previous Alliance podcast was created for and by moms dealing with post-partum depression in all its variables, like anxiety, anger and even apathy. Hosted by CEO founder Sarah Parkhurst and licensed clinical social worker Whitney Gay, each episode focused on specific issues relevant to pregnancy and postpartum. Join us and hear how other moms have overcome mental health challenges, as well as access tips and suggestions on dealing with your own challenges as moms. You can also browse our podcast library and listen to previous episodes at any time. Please know you're not alone on this journey. We're here to help.

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