I Give You Permission: You Don’t Have to Love It
I’m going to go ahead and say it….although, many a person might shame me for doing so…However, I think once said, you may just breathe a sigh of relief. Today, I am giving you permission to not love being a mom every single second. Yep, I really just said that, and frankly, it needed to be said.
I can’t even begin to count how many times I’ve been told, “Being a mom is such a blessing.” or “Your children are the greatest and most precious thing imaginable,” and other such saccharine pith. Don’t get me wrong..both of those statements are absolutely true..without a doubt. My children are a blessing, and are four of the best things to ever happen to me..However, when that is ALL people tell you, you can sure end up feeling like a louse for ever feeling tired, stressed, or..gasp..like you need a break from your kids..Good heavens, did someone just say that?? Here’s the thing…No one tells you just how hard being a mom will be. We’re all so darn worried about what everyone else thinks of us, that most often,we won’t even let on to our friends that we’re stressed, tired, frustrated, and well, feeling like we just want to lock ourselves in the bathroom sometimes. Wouldn’t it feel better to just admit that being a mom is TOUGH, and not have to keep wearing our “I heart motherhood” sandwich boards?
Here are some facts…..Moms don’t EVER get a day off. We work around the clock for no pay, and little recognition. It doesn’t matter if we are sick or exhausted, we have to keep going. We come last. We give and give and give (and give some more), until there is nothing left for ourselves. Most moms can’t remember the last time they had any time to themselves. We struggle with losing our own identity. (I know I struggle with feeling like I’m not “Bekki” anymore, but simply “Mommy.”) Motherhood is a HUGE sacrifice.
Now, here’s where we all feel like we need to say, ‘yes, but oh so worth it” and then profess our undying love to our kids, our vacuum, and our laundry pile in order to be “good” mom. (Because certainly, a “good mom” can’t possibly ever feel like she wants a break from her kids..right?) WRONG! It is NOT wrong for you to want/need a break. It is not wrong for you to not be in love with being a mom. (This is not the same thing as not loving your kids! You can still adore your children and not love being a mom.)
I love being a mom…most of the time. However, there are days where it is the last thing in the world I want to be doing. I get tired of playing with blocks. Laundry eats me alive. I am not a fan of having a person on my lap, attached to me, or touching some part of my body every second of every day. I think the creators of Yo Gabba Gabba are on acid. I know far more about what’s in Dora’s backpack than I care to. I do not love making four different lunches every day to have them end up in the sink or on the floor. (I could keep going….so could you.)
Kids are LOUD. Kids are MESSY. Kids are DEMANDING. Motherhood is HARD! This is not the pie in the sky, I’ll dress up my baby and take a walk through the park and come home and make sugar cookies as we laugh and talk about rainbows and fairies. (Once in awhile, we are blessed with those days, and they are a gift…those days can keep us sane.) However, I think it’s unreasonable to ask a woman to be in love with having no sleep, no personal space, limited freedom, and no time, money, or energy left for herself. Being at home with my four children is WAY harder than when I was a teacher. This is hands down the toughest job on the planet, and certainly the most demanding. Is it worth it? Absolutely. Do we have to love every minute of the ride? No. It’s okay. You can repeat that to yourself if you need to…It really is okay not to love it all the time. If we’re all being honest, I don’t think any of us love it every second of every day…because life happens, and we all have children not scripted by Hollywood.
So, stop worrying about keeping up the pretenses that you are having the time of your life. Having kids, especially young kids is really hard. I think if more of us are able to openly admit that we struggle…that we get stressed…that we so desperately long to put ourselves in time-out (what I wouldn’t do to get thirty minutes in the hall…)….we just might be able to relax a bit…We need each other’s support. We need the ears of other mothers to vent to. We need the empathy that only another mother going through it all can give. Turn to a friend. Let yourself be vulnerable. I’ll bet ya she’s secretly wishing for a great set of earplugs and a laser that will melt all toys that make sounds too. Let’s remember that if a mother comes to us, with that deer caught in the headlights look, the bags under her eyes, the “you’re lucky I even have these sweatpants on” look about her….be gracious…be understanding…let her know you get it.
So again, you have my permission to not love it all the time. Having a rough time or thinking that being a mom isn’t the greatest thing does not mean you don’t love your children, and it doesn’t mean you’re not an amazing mom. Breathe easier, and know you’re not alone. Let go of the pressure to skip through your house with the bottle of Windex, as you happily liken the screaming sounds of your baby to the cooing of doves, all while cross-stitching I heart mommyhood on a throw pillow. (You can just be real…I promise.) Maybe you love it, maybe you don’t. Either way, you have my permission.