If there is one thing that I can tell you I have learned about motherhood, it is simply that it isn’t easy. And THAT is okay.
So often I feel like mothers these days aren’t supposed to admit defeat or that they aren’t supposed to say they had a hard day. It's as if we need to remain Instagram and Pinterest perfect 24/7.
And some older generations apparently locked their rough days of mommyhood way back in their files of memories, so clearly they can't quite sympathize (cue the occasional eye roll). I suppose motherhood can be like childbirth, you do forget the hard parts over time and simply remember the complete and utter joy.
But damn, I hate when people say, "I don't remember being as tired as you. I don't remember feeling as stressed as you. I don't remember my babies waking up as much as yours. My kids weren't sick. We did it like this... or You're only making it worse..."
Mamas, I feel you and I know that you think that is crap. I know you don't always feel supported or validated when you say your day was rough or when you explain why you didn't get any sleep the night before. Or when you try to talk about a sleep regression. I know sometimes you feel like even your significant other can't quite comprehend what your day home alone with your precious and yet sometimes-bat-shit-crazy kids was like.
There’s days of wanting to lock yourself in your closet for five minutes just to regroup. There’s moments of going to put the clothes away in your bedroom and you close the door simply because you want two minutes of peace and quiet. And there are plenty of days where you are impatiently waiting for daddy to get home because you’ve been waving your invisible white flag in surrender for the last hour (seriously the evenings are crazy!). By the time daddy takes his shoes off at the door, you're already running the bath water and pouring the wine (ha, I wish).
Sometimes you pass a comment to others or to grandmas or the like, about how hard the day was and you’re met with a comment or a look like you shouldn’t be complaining. Granted, motherhood is a blessing and it is a blessing that unfortunately not all can experience, so I get it. We shouldn’t “technically” complain when others would give the world to be us. I get it.
But I also get how YOU feel. I also get that it’s okay for others to not understand what it is like to spend ALL day alone with two toddlers while you’re six months pregnant with your third. Or perhaps others who do stay at home don’t understand the feelings of the working mama who has so much to juggle.
We can’t understand each and every mama’s life and story. We can’t always relate and we definitely can’t judge. We can’t say that a mom of one doesn’t have much to make her stress about, just as we can’t expect an older generation mother of two aged gaped children to understand exactly what a modern mom of three toddlers under four is experiencing. Each situation and dynamic is so different.
But what we can understand is that it is okay to be tired. It is okay to say you had a rough day and it is even okay to complain a little. It is okay! Raising kids, taming toddlers and taking care of babies is hard. Like really hard. It’s the best job in the world no doubt, but it is also one of the hardest and by far the most tiring.
So mamas don’t judge. Don’t say it isn’t right for a mama to take a weekend break from her kids every once in a blue moon and don’t criticize the couple that takes a date night for themselves while the kids stay at their grandparents for the evening. We all need these moments and we benefit from them. They keep us in check and they help us to live a little.
And definitely, don't make a tired, worn out mama feel any less about herself just because she said she had a rough day. Chances are, she is likely already beating herself up on the inside for not being as perfect as a mommy as she envisioned or for losing her patience too much that day. You never know the struggle of others, so lift them up. Empathize with them and remind them how awesome they are doing!
I WISH MORE PEOPLE JUST SAID, "GOOD JOB MAMA."
So mamas, just so you know - I know exactly how you feel on your hardest days. I know exactly how you feel on your best days and even on your just okay days. Just remember that on your hardest days there is always a fresh start for tomorrow. And I promise, you're probably doing a much better job at this then you think.
Good job, mama.