The TRUTH About Being A Mother
confessions I think every mom needs.
cover photo: Me and My Daughter taken by Matthew Sanderson.
When you find out you are going to be a mom, you are horrified. And thrilled. And mortified. And excited. And worried. And immediately aware that life as you know it is over. You begin to understand that the term, “Worry Wart” is no longer a silly slogan but a simple fact of life. And that whole idea that you can be “selfish”? HA! Well, it’s over. Those days are a thing of the past. Seriously. The minute you see that “Positive” sign on that home pregnancy test? You give up any selfish desires. And if you’re lucky, you don’t miss being selfish more than ten times a day.
I recently read an article that Motherhood is all about giving until you give up and then — still give whatever is left and then some. Motherhood is about giving. Giving until you seriously feel like you don’t even recognize yourself anymore without that beautiful extension of chaos and errands and responsibilities and endless love. Being a mom is not all glory days and fun. Sometimes, you want to give yourself a time out. And if you’re like me? Well, you do it. Because sometimes a single moment of “Forced Quiet Time” is the only way to maintain sanity. Not because your child is a handful or because you feel lost. It’s because when you’re in the middle of trying to send an email or a text and you need one solid minute of singular thought – You can’t manage it because there is always someone telling you something and somehow you manage to listen – and graciously ignore – but still listen and totally screw up the message you were sending with words like, “Mom”, “Need”, “Listen” and the random overuse of the word, “the”.
Being a mom is the single greatest accomplishment in my life. I try every day to be better at it and even when I crave a little “me” time, I realize that “me” time will only ever be a “little while” time and honestly, I’m good with that. Most of the time. You are a normal mom if you make it through the day and at the end, when the kids are asleep, think to yourself:
“HA! Now I can watch my show.”
OR – “I really need a glass of wine.”
OR – “I should probably try having sex with him tonight so he doesn’t feel neglected.”
Only to then think, “Wine. Definitely wine.”
We want to be everything. The wife, the partner, the sex goddess, the mom, the chef, the entrepreneur, the good friend, the great listener, the superhuman woman that can accomplish all things with plenty of time for monthly facials and brunch with friends. But that’s not likely. At least for me. I strive for balance and I am working on it. Heck, it’s a good day if I actually get to bed without waking up a few times to check on my daughter or check email (yes, I know the emails can wait – for the most part). I try being accessible to everyone at all times which mostly means I have no idea what doing something for “me” actually looks like. I don’t have family nearby that give me breaks when I need it or a nanny or an assistant. I literally muscle through the day taking it all on. Sometimes I rock at it but if I’m being honest, most days I forget to do something. And I agonize over it. I even feel bad when I realize being a mom isn’t like the pictures where we’re painting our nails together and laughing over tea time, mainly because my daughter is 8, and a Tomboy and would much rather build Lego’s, be a ninja, or play endless rounds of Rummikub. And it’s ok. We do paint our nails once in a while and we do laugh at least once every day. We hug all the time and say I love you and when the world crashes down or I feel like I’m failing, that’s my reminder. But this brings me back to the concept of doing “something for me”. I just accepted I didn’t have enough time.
Until recently, when someone sat down with me that I was planning to start working out with and he said, very seriously, that he would not start training with me until I found some time for myself. His words exactly: If you can find time to work out with me then you can find time to do something just for you.
I held back tears because in truth I really don’t know what that’s like anymore. I’m trying to do it all. And admittedly, as proud as I am, I just can’t. I’m only one person. And until that cloning device becomes available, I’m stuck with just me. And I put a lot of pressure on myself to make it all work.
I love knowing that my baby girl needs me. It’s nice being needed even when you’re going on days of no sleep and way too much work and hope you can actually find time to saute some zucchini and make a meal that isn’t from a box. Being a mom is just like that moment when you’re filled with every emotion possible the minute you realize you’re pregnant. Those feelings don’t go away. It’s exciting and wonderful and scary and trying and exhausting and perfect. The point is, being a mom is pretty great. And pretty horrifying but that just means you’re doing something right.
This year, no matter what gifts you get or if someone forgets to do something special, do something for yourself. You aren’t a horrible mom for wanting something just for you. Take a day or even a few hours. Breathe. You’re allowed.
Happy Mother’s Day …