Being a mom is hard, and it’s okay if you don’t enjoy every moment of motherhood. A great read for any mom who’s ever felt overwhelmed, exhausted, stuck, alone, or drained!
Well I finally got my 7-week-old to sleep. After trying two different swaddles, a pacifier, patting his back until my new mom tendinitis kicked in, rocking him, and trying to nurse him three separate times, he is finally in his crib sound asleep. At least until he wakes up in two hours and we get to go through it all again.
Being a mom is hard. From the second you find out you’re pregnant and have to spend the next eight months feeling nervous, uncomfortable, and tired all the time, being a mom is hard.
Then you have to push a 7 or 8 pound watermelon-sized baby out of a teeny, tiny hole, and even with an epidural that’s still no walk in the park.
Then you go through the newborn stage where you are more tired than you’ve ever been before, sleep only in two-hour increments, and constantly have some kind of bodily fluid on your shirt. You change endless diapers and feel like you’re an on-demand milk factory, not to mention that if you have older kids who also need taking care of, you’ll feel stretched very thin because they’ll need feeding and care and attention, too.
We recently had a day that started at 5am with the 4-year-old and 2-year-old waking up before the sun and getting out toys to play with. That night my 7-week-old had only gotten a few hours of sleep, and the rest of the time he spent crying and eating, which meant that I had only gotten a few hours of sleep, and the rest of the time I spent trying to calm him and feeding him. We decided to go to Target to bolster our moods and get a few groceries and of course, my daughter dropped half a bag of popcorn all over the floor. Later in the day while I was feeding baby boy, my older two were playing in the backyard. When I finished, I went out to tell them to come inside and found that they had been playing with the water tap on the side of the house and were both soaking wet and covered in mud. I gave them both baths while our colicky newborn cried in his bouncer the whole time. Not to mention that on this particular day, my husband was working from 7am-10pm. I was asleep with the TV and lights on when he came home.
Sometimes I have moments where I feel completely overwhelmed and I’m just in survival mode trying to make sure everyone is fed and has clean diapers or undies on. Sometimes I don’t enjoy being a mom. It’s hard having to wake up every two hours every night to take care of a baby with colic, and sometimes, I feel like I’ve lost a big part of myself. Life is very loud and very wet these days. There are times when I don’t know how I’m going to make it without a few more hours of sleep.
And that’s okay. It’s okay if you don’t enjoy every moment of motherhood. Nobody said you had to enjoy being covered in spit-up and running on 3 hours of sleep while cleaning up a bowl of cereal your toddler spilled at breakfast.
There are times when everybody is crying and I feel like I’m about to lose it, too. Sometimes, I do lose it. Sometimes I have to lock myself in the bathroom so I can have a break from being touched by one of the tiny human beings I made. Sometimes it’s all I can do to regain my composure and gather the strength I need to go back out again.
There is nothing else in the world that has brought me the spectrum of emotions that I have gone through having and raising my kids, and I’ve only been a mom for four years. It’s physically exhausting, often maddening, and sometimes it hurts my heart, but oddly, I have never been so happy.
I wouldn’t want anyone else to have my job of raising these three perfect, albeit messy and wild, children. I love being the one who does things for my kids. I love that I am the one they come to if they scrape their knees or get their feelings hurt. That’s my job, and I don’t want anybody else to have it.
Yes, this is just another blog post about how being a mom is hard but worth it, but can we ever really read enough of those kind of posts? I say no. We can always benefit from encouragement and support and from knowing that we aren’t going through this alone. It takes a village to raise a mother. We’re never alone, and it’s okay if you don’t enjoy every moment of motherhood.
Being a mom is hard. But part of the job description is that we never stop trying. Eventually, we figure it out and before you know it, the part we thought was hard is over. I may be in the trenches right now, but I know that one day, I’ll look back and remember the good moments along with the bad.
And so will you. You’ve got this, mama.
This post was originally published March 27, 2017.