This is not a post about how being a mom is harder then being a dad. Apples and oranges, people.
This is not a post about how being a mom is the hardest job in the world. It’s not a job, so the comparison is unhelpful.
This is not a post about how my husband doesn’t help me enough with our daughter. He helps plenty and is the best dad for his daughter.
This is not a post complaining about being a mom. I am so grateful for my daughter, and compassionate towards those who long for children and don’t yet have them.
To find out what this post IS about, keep reading – unless I’ve already offended you, in which case, come back next week and I’ll post about something neutral, like recipes or book recommendations 😉
– – – – – – – – – – –
Cold coffee, forgotten breakfast, conversations with friends cut short because you’re baby is demanding your attention, date night interrupted or skipped altogether for months because your child won’t sleep for a baby sitter, squelched moments of romance between you and your spouse because you need to comfort a teething baby, supper that’s cold or eaten in haste because you were busy cutting up your toddler’s food or putting someone into the tub, opportunities missed out on because you couldn’t make it work with your child’s nap schedule, skin that sags and is wrinkled with cellulite and stretch marks, workout goals that take a backseat so you can bounce the baby to sleep, friends you haven’t seen in ages because you don’t have time for a shower, let alone coffee and catching up.
These are just some of the ways mothers have to put their children first on the daily; the cold coffee and missed opportunities are the ones that ring truest for me.
Don’t get me wrong – being a Stay at Home Mom is THE BEST (to me), and in many ways I still get to do what I want, when I want, because of the freedom in not working a 9-5 job. But, I also never get to take a break from momm-ing. This is true for stay at home moms, working moms, foster moms – all the moms! Once that baby is here, you never truly get to take off the ‘mom hat’ and be totally off duty.
Recently I had to say no to a creative opportunity that I was really excited about. I had been asked to be involved in something that would let me practice a talent I rarely use, and most exciting to me, this opportunity had NOTHING to do with being a mom. It wasn’t a moms group, or something with kids, it was something FOR ME, something that I am good at. But, I said no. I talked to my husband, and he was excited for me, but thought I might have too much on my plate right now. I wanted to blame him for not supporting me, but really, I knew he was right. And I was frustrated. I was resentful. It didn’t feel fair.
After Jessa was born people would stop and ask me how I liked being a mom. I have always answered that question truthfully, and usually my answer is that I love it (or that I’m tired). But what else can I say? I feel like people want to hear that it’s awesome and I love not having to get dressed until 10am (if at all), and being able to nap during the day. But am I allowed to have another answer? Am I allowed to sometimes feel smothered and like running away? Being a mom is what I chose, so why would I feel those things, you ask. If you read my last post about feminism, you might be thinking ‘you chose to be a mom’ – and a stay at home mom at that – but, as I’m learning, you can want something, and love something, and also feel very conflicting feelings about that thing. The two are not mutually exclusive.
Honestly, this is my best ‘job. I feel complete as a mother, and this is the happiest I have ever been. But my feelings of resentment and struggle with feeling tied down are real. Even though I love being a mom. And I’m allowed to feel this way. And so are you. You can love your kids like crazy and be a good mom, and be honest with your feelings. Because I know it’s not just me who feels resentful, overwhelmed, smothered, tied down. In being honest with myself and talking to my friends about how I feel, I’ve found that other moms feel this way too. And they’re good moms, I promise you.
I love being a mom. This is what I dreamt of, having a child (and hopefully more then one) and staying at home full time. This IS the dream. This is what I signed up for. So how could I be so ungrateful and feel frustrated or resentful when I don’t get to do _________ (go out, eat hot food, pee alone, sleep at night)?
Because being a mom isn’t fair. It’s not about fairness, or balance, or splitting things 50/50, or finally getting it together and being able to ‘do it all’. Being a mom is about putting someone else first, it’s about sacrifice for someone else’s best interest. It’s about never getting to finish your coffee, not going on an out-of-the-house date for awhile, not having uninterrupted sex, not fitting into your old jeans, not being able to do certain things cause your babies’ needs come first. And sometimes that’s going to hurt. Sometimes it’s going to hurt A LOT. And you’re going to have to dig deep to remember that this is what you really want, more then those other things, even the good things.
So let it hurt. Let those feelings come, face them head on, be honest with yourself and say it out loud: this isn’t fair.
Cause being a mom isn’t fair. But it’s so worth it.