Ive thought about this post for a little bit. Ive started it then deleted it then started it again. I have struggled. In more then one way to put this all into words. Words and analogies usually come easy to me, but this has been a hard post.
Sometimes, the hardest things to say, the hardest things to write are the most important. They are the things chewing away at you, pushing down threatening to crush and mold your soul into something else. Something that you have fought so hard for it not to be. The hardest things to stomach, that sits in you like a lump, overriding all senses. Those are what need to be shared. When I started this blog…many times over, four years ago, three years ago and again now, I promised myself the one thing I would do was say what needed to be said no matter how hard or daunting. So I’ve been writing this post. On and off. Back and forth. And here it is. I cannot promise to be perfect, I can’t promise to post a lot. But you will never come to this blog and wonder if what I post is truth. You will never wonder if its lacking emotions. I am not writing this blog only for people to follow it. This is not a popularity contest. Not for me. This is real. It’s raw, because it’s my hope that maybe someone will gain perspective through what I have to say. It’s my hope that maybe we all feel a little less alone in what we are doing. So here we go. Get ready.
Being a mom is hard, it is the most rewarding yet thankless job. There are so many times I sit there and wonder what the hell I am doing. There are plenty of moments I feel like a bad mom. And that led me to number one.
1. Feeling resentful:
Feeling resentful does not make you a bad mom. It makes you human. There is so much change involved with having a baby. No matter how prepared you are, it will eventually come around and smack you. It ranges from not being able to sleep when you want, or make it through a TV show or book without a crying baby. It could be just not being able to sit for 20 minutes and breathe with no noise. I love my son. But sometimes I feel resentful. Sometimes I feel resentful that I can’t do what I used to do, or be who I used to be. Sometimes I feel resentful towards my husband because I feel like he has sacrificed nothing in comparison to me. When in truth he has in his own ways. It’s hard to see that sometimes. When I asked if I could take a step back from work to be with our son, take a pay cut and also focus on school without hesitation he said yes. Without hesitation he has shouldered the financial burden, without complaint he has worked 40+ hour weeks. How has that not been a sacrifice? I am sure he would love to be home more with our son. My point is, try to see the perspective of others and don’t give yourself a guilt trip for feeling what you feel. Work through those emotions don’t just bury them. And know that its okay. This does not make you less of a mom.
2. Taking a step back:
Sometimes you pile your plate like its Thanksgiving, you pile it so high with potatoes, turkey, gravy corn and some cranberries. Then you sit down and take two bites and a.) realize you got way too much food and b)realize your already full and cant finish anything else but the two bites you’ve had. Life is like that sometimes. You have to start picking and choosing and scraping off the shit that doesn’t matter as much, even if it’s temporary. Even if you have to stick it in a container in the back of your fridge to eat tomorrow. Maybe you’ll never eat it but you cant bring yourself to throw it away. That’s okay. sometimes you have to take a step back. You have to realize whats important. And only you can do that for yourself. This goes through a range of things from work to nursing to expectations, I seriously could go on. I’m the kind of person who thinks I can conquer the world before dinner time. I’m tieing on my mask and cape to kick bad guys to the curb, then life comes in and puts me back in check. You can’t do everything, thats ok.
3. Peoples Opinions:
This one is a big deal to me. I didn’t think it was, but it is. I have never cared what people think of me, I’ve never been one to try and fit in. I haven’t been one to be impacted by the things people say to me or about me. So I was surprised when I discovered this was now something that applied to me. The other day someone told me “Your just a (insert job position) now, huh?”
This hit me. It hit me like that school bus at the end of Mean Girls.
I had no witty come back, I had no clever thing to say. My response was “I guess so.”
And I went back to what I was doing. But I mulled over that. I chewed on it, back and forth, around and around in my mouth like a piece of bubblegum. I spit it out and popped it back in and chewed on it some more. For a few days. Until I realized, it made me angry. It made me more then angry. It was like a kaleidoscope of different level’s of anger. But it didn’t make me angry because I am just whatever job title. It made me angry because there was someone yet again judging a choice that I had made for my child’s benefit. There was someone yet again, giving their opinion towards the life I was building, the choices I make every day to try and raise a tiny person. It made me angry because it was callous.
I am just a worker at chain of places.
I hung up my cape and mask. I took a step back. I work part time but I am a mom full time, my days don’t end when I clock out. I go all day, every single day, Monday through Sunday.
I realized I was angry because I was sick of hearing people say that the women who decide to work full time aren’t a good mom, and that I was tired of hearing the ridicule of a mom who doesn’t work or who is somewhere in between. Because we are faulted for trying to do it “all” and faulted when we aren’t doing it “all”
We are all doing the very best that we can. I made the decisions I’ve made for the best interest of my child. So when someone try’s to make you feel bad with their opinions remind yourself of that. Remind yourself that you are the best person to decide what is right for your family and child and don’t let them get to you.
4. You let the baby cry it out/you didn’t let the baby cry it out:
Multiple people have told me to not hold him too much, that it’ll spoil him. I am a firm believer that you cannot spoil a baby, that no child will ever complain to their therapist that their mom loved them too much. I’ve also been ridiculed by people for not letting him cry it out and for picking him up right away. Let me just say that I have had moment’s were I was frustrated and was desperate for anything to work to get him to sleep without being held and I let him cry. And we both cried, for 15 minutes. It doesn’t work for me and it doesn’t work for my kid. We both cry, we both get hot and sweaty, and red and blotchy. The kid gets weazy. And he doesn’t stop crying, not until I pick him up and love on him.
I will not let him cry. It doesn’t work for us. But that doesn’t meant the mom’s who do let their babies cry are bad. It doesn’t make them less. Again, it is up to you to decide what is right for you and your baby.
5. You put yourself first sometimes:
Why moms try to do everything without giving themselves a break is beyond me. And honestly I say that but I am guilty of it. We give so much, day in and day out. It’s okay to go take a bath for an hour. It’s okay to take an hour to just exist. To browse pinterest, to read a book or watch a TV show. Its okay to say I need a moment for me. How are you supposed to take care of your baby to the best of your ability if you aren’t even taking care of yourself?
So there it is. It’s unapologetic and probably chaotic, a mixture of self judgement and self understanding.
My house is chaotic and 90% of the time you stop by it will be a mess. The kid may have just peed himself and you will find me wiping him up with a baby wipe and throwing a different outfit on him.
Dinner will probably be late but there will always be plenty to go around.
And hey, my kid is over there laughing with his daddy.
So the biggest favor I’m going to do for myself as a mom, is going to be to cut myself some slack.