I’ve had a rough mommy week.
You know those periods of time when you feel like you just can’t handle it all as a mother?
Because, dear God if she dumps her entire breakfast on the floor again I’ll just scream.
Those long days of constant fit throwing and chaos that you hope and pray are a side effect of teething, and will soon be over?
But, if we’re being honest, it’s because she’s 18 months and that’s what toddlers do… FOR YEARS AND YEARS.
Those mornings where you already have your kid in time out before 9 a.m., and you wonder if you could get away with a glass of wine at the same time?
Don’t worry. I think it, but don’t actually do it… normally.
That’s been me these last few days.
I had an actual meltdown last week when my husband casually said, “You need to really think before you decide you want another baby,” after another hellacious day in Toddler World. It wasn’t that he was being mean or critical, but in that moment I felt like my husband was telling me that I am failing. As if I can’t handle a second child someday, because I’m doing so miserably with the first.
That, maybe, motherhood isn’t my forte.
And, let’s be real, it’s not.
When I became a mother, I had this vision of what I wanted my future to be. I viewed parenting with the standards of Pinterest, and through the filters of Instagram. Compared to my day job, staying home was going to be cake, I thought. It never crossed my mind that I was unprepared for this mommy thing. But, as this article says, “You think you know what motherhood is, but you have no idea until you are in the trenches and it is too late to turn back.”
Some women are naturally maternal, and other women have to really work at it.
I happen to fall into the latter category.
I struggle with motherhood.
I’m not nearly as patient as I could be. My daughter is, after all, only one. I’m bored every single day. I’m a terrible playmate. I give her too much screen time, not enough vegetables, and still let her take a sippy cup of milk with her to bed each night. I’m plagued by mom guilt. I yearn for a vacation without my toddler just to repair my sanity, yet I worry about leaving her at the church nursery for a mere 60 minutes. The only word in my vocabulary appears to be, “no,” and I’m constantly annoyed with the state of disaster my house has become. But most of all, I’m constantly feeling that I’m doing something wrong.
I told my husband all of this, through tears. I am failing. I’m a terrible mother. Even though I have sacrificed again and again for my daughter, I’m not doing enough. I’m not getting this right, I just know it.
He listened to me. And what he said in response made something in the far part of my exhausted mommy brain click.
“From what you just told me, you sound like an excellent mother.”
Mommas, it turns out that the feelings of failure and lack are just that – feelings. I know deep in my heart that I’m not a bad mom, yet I sometimes let the thoughts and pressure consume me. Our worry means we care. Our faults give evidence to the reality of motherhood, but our sacrifice and dedication prove our love.
Our messy homes just mean we have a toddler causing destruction in our wake… or so I claim…
No, I’m not perfect as a mother. And no, maybe I’m not a natural 50’s housewife. I hate bath time, my kid says “Elsa” more than “Mama”, and bedtime is sometimes the highlight of my day , but that’s okay.
And that’s what good mommas do.