The Desperate Housewives star admits that sometimes she feels like she’s “drowning in motherhood.”
I often feel I am drowning in motherhood. It was really bad when my girls were younger, but it still exists now: When I am home I want to be away. When I am away I want to be home. I am no longer the person I was before having children, but not quite comfortable with whom I have become. I feel like I live in two different worlds and the oxygen supply in both is only sustainable for about four hours and then my system starts to stress and suffocate.”
At the beginning she thought she was going to have an easy mothering style – but instead she described herself as “an anxious mother.”
I walked into my babies’ room many times a night, compulsively trying to figure out if it was too hot or too cold. I compiled all sorts of arcane equipment to make homemade rice milk because I decided that the rice milk from Whole Foods wasn’t pure enough! My daughters hated the taste and I couldn’t blame them. I made sure their diapers were organic, compostable and made of corn or something; in a pinch we could have eaten them for dinner.”
She adds, “I was impersonating what I thought a good mother was: hours of pretend, enriching experiences, always being there 100 percent, my needs last!”
However it was after one of her daughters called her “The Grump” when finding out their dad – William H. Macy – couldn’t join them on a museum outing that made her change her parenting style. After a tearful phone call she realized from her sister that she just needed to be herself.
Maybe good mothers can pretend to be Poobah for two hours and go on endless trips to museums and parks. But I can read out loud for hours, I can build forts all afternoon, I can really listen when things go wrong and I am great when the flu hits. I now try and accept my limits. I am a nightmare after 5 p.m., so instead of muscling through the evening, my husband has taken over nighttime parenting, and it works great! Everyone is much happier. I have a voice (small but true) that I rely on and it even gives me great advice sometimes.”
To read the rest of Felicity’s blog visit iVillage.com.