When Motherhood Gets the Best of You
It's not rare to find a post on Facebook or a blog such as mine that captures the very essence of motherhood so well that you're pretty sure the writer was reading your every thought. It's pretty common to come across that perfect post that captures your exact feelings that day. Perhaps it's a post about life as a stay at home mother and how tiring it can be; perhaps it's a post about having three under three; or perhaps it's a post about balancing work with motherhood. Either way, there's almost always a good post floating around that makes us feel like we're not alone.
That's the thing about motherhood. We are never really alone. Somewhere out there is another person going through the same highs and lows as us. Somewhere is another mother who is going to bed feeling like they handled motherhood like a boss that day, but somewhere there is also that mother going to bed feeling completely unworthy and full of doubt.
Yet sometimes we feel like not everyone gets us.
I've shared my exhaustion and my lows on occasion just to be met with with a comment that doesn't sit well with me. So many times I've walked away wishing that I never even opened my mouth about my day because instead of receiving a response that I had hoped would comfort me, I've walked away feeling like a bad mother for "complaining" or sharing my woes.
So am I a bad mom for complaining or for being exhausted and occasionally wanting to run away and hibernate for just five seconds? Am I any less of a mother just because I cried that afternoon when both children cried for me at the same time, for the third time that day? Am I horrible for bribing my kid to eat lunch by promising a trip to the park? Or do I terribly suck just because I had to put the TV on for my toddler so I could chill for five minutes?
No, not at all.
If there's anything that sucks in the world, it's the feeling of feeling like you failed; especially at motherhood. So while I'm learning how to wisely choose what to say when I'm sharing my lows and woes of a particularly rough day, I'm also learning that it's okay.
It's okay to have had a bad day. It's okay to have yelled a little more than you wanted to; and to have cried for yelling and then apologized for yelling. It's okay to stay in your pajamas with your kids simply because you don't feel like adulting that day. It's okay to run to Starbucks (alone) the minute your husband gets home from work simply because your day at home as a stay at home mother with two littles got the best of you. It's okay to feel like you can hardly handle the ones you have but yet you still want more. So when people say, "And you want more kids?" with that look like you can't handle the ones you have...say, "Uh...Yea."
It's simply OKAY that motherhood got the best of you. It happens. Shit happens. And people who can't relate either can't remember or simply had a totally different situation that you. Let's face it, in life we do tend to remember the good moments rather than the exhausting, rough moments (probably because we were too tired to remember those days). We don't harp on the rough days, we move on from them.
So while I"m learning that sometimes it's just best not to always complain and sulk in your lows of the day, I'm sharing with you that it's totally okay to have them. You're not alone. You're not a failure and you're not incapable of happily raising more children and no one should make you feel otherwise. Just because two are a handful doesn't mean that you can't handle two more.
If we walked around perfectly perfect, we'd be so boring. God knew what he was doing when he made us mothers. We're warriors, we're savages and we're strong mother-effers that can handle a throw up and a nosebleed all at once like a boss. He knew we'd be able to handle a toddler tantrum and a newborn crying excessively at the same time (even while we're crying on the inside), he knew we'd handle it well and that's why he made us MOM. It's the best title around and we know that each and every rough, tiring and crazy moment is a blessing that we can never thank the big guy enough for. We wouldn't trade a bad day in as mom for anything.
Embrace the crazy, tread through the exhaustion, relish in your five minutes of glory thanks to Mickey, live motherhood up and have all the babies that you want. You're doing a damn good job, just like the rest of us.
We all walk a similar path, but our pavements have a slightly different texture.
And yes, I totally get just as stressed as you; you are not alone. Good moms have rough days too. And I'm having all the babies I want and I hope you hold my hand, pat me on the back and say, "You're doing a damn good job" when I'm at my weakest.
Because that's really all I need to hear.