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The depictions we see of motherhood on social media typically revolve around cute photos and heartwarming moments. But Gylisa Jayne wanted to show a different side of parenting — one we rarely talk about but desperately need to.
Next to a photo of her son looking on as she shaves her legs, she wrote a viral Facebook post describing the challenges of being a new mom. She listed all the taboo feelings (and, in some cases, lack thereof) she felt, reassuring other mothers that they didn't have to feel ashamed.
"No one told me that it's perfectly fine to admit you didn't 'love' your baby when it was fresh from the minge and being thrust at you," she wrote. "It's OK. I felt the same way I felt when I saw my placenta in that sick bowl — morbidly interested in what it looked like — but no thanks, I don't really fancy a cuddle with it."
She also told her followers it's perfectly normal not to be happy as a new parent. "No one told me that they felt mad too after their babies," she said. "That they felt lonely and scared and weird and not like themselves anymore. No one told me, so I felt I couldn't tell anyone I felt like that either, until one day I did tell someone and it all spilled out and I ended up sharing my words with thousands of you. And you all admitted it too."
Indeed, the post has gotten nearly 80,000 reactions, over 70,000 shares, and around 27,000 comments, many from parents who relate.
Karen Kleiman, L.C.S.W. told Self that Jayne's feelings are very normal, though if they persist strongly for over two weeks, you should be evaluated for postpartum depression.
Other aspects of motherhood Jayne illuminated included the pain that sometimes comes with breastfeeding — though it gets better, "and then your partner can take cute photos of you smiling with your cub instead of gritting your teeth and crying" — and the lack of privacy.
She also hilariously called out the people who judge moms by talking about "why you should only rock it for give seconds a day else it will be a spoilt little fuck, and how if you aren't holding it 24/7 then you are clearly a Shit Mum."
Given all these standards moms are expected to live up to, feeling like a bad parent is totally normal — but, as Jayne reminds us, that feeling doesn't mean you are one.
If you are experiencing postpartum depression, please call the Postpartum Support Helpline.