If you’ve ever had a time where you’re unhappy as a mother or frustrated with your child, you may find that it fills you with guilt. Everything that you knew about being a mother before you became a mother said that this should be the greatest time of your life. And some days it is, but some days, it just isn’t. Some days, you wonder how you’re going to get through the day or find yourself counting down the actual seconds until bedtime.
You may take these feelings of guilt and internalize them. Maybe you start to feel like you’re a bad mom every time they creep up or that you’re missing that maternal gene that’s supposed to make you love every moment of motherhood. This does not make you a bad mom and you are not alone in the way that you feel.
Being a mom is tough and there are plenty of beautiful, blissful euphoric moments, but there are also plenty of non-euphoric moments. A crying baby who wakes up every two hours and just won’t sleep will rock even the most patient of people’s nerves. The defiant toddler who’s favorite word is no may actually be trying to break you and the teenager who has the constant smug smirk on their face that doesn’t think you know what is going on may make you wonder what happened to that adorable baby you gave birth to. As I’ve become more seasoned in motherhood and had a ton of conversations with other moms, this is what I’ve discovered.
We all have that moment where our new idea of a fantasy is imagining a peaceful vacation on a beach with a tropical drink in our hands and no kids in sight. It’s normal. We just don’t talk about it. I felt extremely self-conscious talking about it at first because I just knew everyone would judge me as being a horrible mom, but the exact opposite was true; Every mom has a different phase that drives them nuts, but we all have our phases and we all have our days where we daydream about our carefree single days.
You have to love your kids, you don’t always have to like them – This sounds harsh at first glance but it’s true. The job of a kid is to test their parents and to see what they can get away with. This means that they’re genetically wired to drive you crazy from time to time. If your kid is going through their terrible twos or trying threes, it’s okay to not like this period. If your child is exhibiting behavior that would make anybody stop and do a double take, it’s okay to fume. It’s not okay to take out your anger out on them, but it’s okay to not totally be in love with the less than desirable behavior.
It’s not always magical – As much you think it may be, when your kid throws up on you, has their umpteenth blowout of the day or has perpetual snot dripping from their nose, you will wish for the moment to pass very quickly and that’s okay. You’re supposed to enjoy every moment and not rush any of it because “time flies” but that’s not very realistic. The magical moments are magical but the yucky moments are…yucky. You don’t have to try to put a spin on them and make them out to be the best moments of your life. They can be miserable and it’s completely fine for you to not enjoy all of them.
The more you can embrace motherhood as an adventure, a wild ride with ups and down as opposed to this perfect experience in your life that you’ve always waited for, the more enjoyable motherhood will be. You’ll be able to laugh at your child throwing food at you instead of longing for that picture perfect moment you envisioned before having kids of starting solid foods and accept the moment for what it is.
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