Sunday, January 29, 2012

It's hard

To the mother looking at crumbs on her floor, toys scattered in almost every room and laundry piled up, I'm there with you.

To the mother with a screaming toddler, who doesn't know why the child is crying or how to make it stop, I'm there with you.

To the mother who wants to raise empowered daughters, who reads and agrees with all the blogs blasting Lego Friends but still buys a set for her daughter because that is what she wants, I'm there with you.

To the mother who opts to go to work instead of stay home with a sick kid and feels bad about it, I'm there with you. To the mother who happily sends a child to Gramma's for the weekend and doesn't regret it, I'm there with you.

To the mother who loves her children with her entire being and would step in front of a speeding car for them but who just needs a few minutes without someone needing a diaper change, a juice, a snack, a blanket or a pacifier, I'm there with you.

This mothering thing is hard.

It's second-guessing yourself. It's dealing with others second-guessing you.

It's constantly putting yourself second or third or fourth. It's being tired all of the time no matter how much sleep you get.

It's getting the kids to bed just so you can clean the house, do the laundry, pee without anyone staring at you and then collapse in bed at midnight just to start it all over again in the morning.

It's doing what works now - breast or bottle, cloth or disposable, characters or no characters, media or no media - even if someone will be judging you for your choice.

It's realizing that most of your discussions with your husband lately revolve around poop and snot or whose turn it is to sleep in on Saturday or stay home with the inexplicably sick kid.

It's not being fazed by your own broken foot, not ever crying about it but crying when your child has a fever for 102.7 and you can't do anything to make her feel better.

It is realizing how much time you wasted when you didn't have kids. Why didn't I run a marathon instead of watching that Lord of the Rings marathon on television? Why didn't I read more, travel more, do more when I actually had the time and energy? It's wanting to punch your child-free self in the face for ever complaining about being tired or not having enough free time.

This isn't a cry for help. I'm not abandoning my quest for positivity in my life. I love my life - messy house, crying children and all. It is simply a recognition that this is hard. It is a message to other mothers so they know they aren't the only ones who look around and think, "Holy smokes I am wiped out. Can a girl get some peace and quiet around here?" and then put the television on just so they can get just that, even for 5 minutes.

Sure there are great things about being a mother. The first time you see your child, the first time they smile, hug you, say I love you, do something the first time you ask them to or better yet, do something without you asking them to do it.

The good times get you through the hard times but it doesn't make them go away.

Some days are easier than others. Some stages are harder - hello, 13-month-old who suddenly turned into a raging, tantruming toddler over night. The trade off is knowing that they will eventually grow out of it. Eventually she will turn into a lovely almost 4-year-old who wants to read books with you or quietly play Legos or something else awesome that you haven't yet experienced.

It's hard. Hang in there. Just remember, you are not alone.

And I thought of this after I posted: Do me a favor and all the mothers out there who feel alone, leave a comment even if you have never left a comment before. Let any mother who comes by to read this that yes, it is hard and that they aren't the only ones who have felt it. Sometimes, even if there is nothing you can do to change the situation, it's nice to know you aren't the only one.


Mrs. Irritation said...

Love love love this. Thank you!!

Jennifer said...

TRUTH!! :)

(especially the suddenly tantruming toddler because SERIOUSLY??? Maggie was at least 2 before this started and Audrey is driving me NUTS!!!)

d e v a n said...

Oh Lawd! This post is awesome. One of my favorites of all time! You're right; it's hard. It's the truth, it just is.

I especially loved this part: It's wanting to punch your child-free self in the face for ever complaining about being tired or not having enough free time.--- Oh, to know then what I know now!

Julie said...

Yes, is so nice to know I'm not alone in all this. I am so glad that I know other people out there who can say what I am feeling and get it completely on point. Thanks for this and know that we all understand.

Cupcake Mama said...

I wrote a similar post while making a nice dinner tonight that I ate alone. This is hard and I have anger. I can cry when I think about how much I love Ella but I am also crying about the state of my marriage and the toll it has taken. I am tired physically and mentally. I am tired of being under-appreciated, I am tired of trying so hard and I am just plain tired. I don't know when I took so much on but I feel overwhelmed with no support and that makes me angry. SImple apologies do not help as nothing changes. I refuse to give up but I am paddling up hill over here. "Nobody said it would be easy. No one ever said it would be this hard." Those lyrics play in my head A LOT. This is no cry for help either--I get it.

BlueCodeRed said...

Fantastic post! Love, love, love.

One more line to add: If you're a mom and you're unsure if you want to be doing what you're doing RIGHT now [because your kids are doing xyz that's driving you nuts or because damn it mothering is HARD], I'm right there with you.

Kristin said...

Thanks for the post. I am there Idaho. I stumbled onto this blog from Heidi's and fell in love.

Laura_n_Andy said...

I am leaving a comment, though I have never left a comment before, because your statements here are truthful and resound in my state of mind! I appreciate you do not denigrate any subset of motherly thoughts but affirm them all!

Sara said...

It's so hard, it's so hard, it's so hard. And yes, it's so worth it.

I purposely didn't fold the four loads of laundry until after the kids were in bed just so I could have 30 minutes to myself with the TV and no one begging/crying/whining for something. I would never have thought quiet laundry-folding would have been so NICE. It was.

julie veith said...

Yes! Mommyhood is the most exhausting, frustrating and rewarding job on the planet. I love it more than anything (except Jesus and my husband), but at the same time count the minutes until bedtime every day. :-)

k said...

I adore you.

Jessica said...

It's so, so hard. I'm glad I'm a night owl because at least I come alive and fly around the house getting things done after everyone is in bed.

TaderDoodles said...

I'm sitting here now almost in tears because two won't even TRY the dinner I've cooked, one never eats and I'll probably eat my cold because the 18mth old will eat mine off my plate. Everyone in the house is upset... and it's all about dinner. Is it bedtime yet?

I still wouldn't trade them for anything in the world.

Elsha said...

So true. Although, when I think back on our Lord of the Rings marathons I mostly just wish we could have them again, not that I had been doing something more productive :)

Erica said...

I definitely feel like I'm constantly scrambling to hold everything together just to start over the next day. But I also agree with Elsha, if given some time and freedom I would probably try to find a good tv show with multiple seasons on DVD and plant myself in front of it.

julied said...

tting here reading this while nursing the baby as my eyes burn of exhaustion at 7:30 (yes I think I could sleep now) I wholeheartedly love your post. These our my cherished minutes "alone" in the day. In a few minutes I will go sit on the couch just to spend a little time with my husband kids-free before the hamster wheel starts again at 5:30 am, if (fingers crossed) boy sleeps tonight. Your post is so truthful and just nice to not be alone.

Gerbicks said...

& here's to you guys! (i'm clinking by cold cup of coffee on the computer desk...)

~she~ said...

Well said! I loved the line about wanting to punch your childless self in the face! Yeah, I would do that. What the heck did I actually complain about back then???

Yeah, I've been there...yeah, I've lived there for almost 13 years now. Dude, you're SO not alone! (Sorry I called you a dude.)

And please add cleaning up piles of puke off the floor with your bare hands and not even wincing. It deserves to make the list. And yes, this is what I was doing at 2:00 AM this morning.

Let's toast to Motherhood!!!