If you’re a mother of young children, it probably won’t surprise you that one of the most common fantasies of mothers with kids in the home is an extended hospital stay. We literally fantasize about a week (heck- even a weekend!) in a quiet room where there is no bickering, no toys to pick up, and no one dictating how they want their PB&J prepared. (Of course we all dread the thought of what the house would look like when we got back from the hospital….but oh! that week of beautiful silence.)
Motherhood is loud and messy. It’s 24/7 responsibility that is expected to be carried out with the joy and vigor of Mary Poppins.
And even though most of us find ourselves exhausted, depleted, and frazzled on more evenings than we care to admit, there are some that believe we are NEVER to admit it – certainly not out loud. We’re supposed to do things like “savor every moment.” Well – let’s get real here. Not every moment is savory – and I don’t know any women capable of 24/7 joy and vigor. (Most of us haven’t slept in years after all.)
And yet, we’re supposed to “suck it up”, slap on a smile, and continually up our game to meet expectations (both real and imaginary.) And don’t even think about being honest when someone asks you, “How are you doing?” “Good” moms don’t get tired, crave alone time, feel like a screw-up, lose their temper, or plot out what they’d like to do to Caillou. Right? 😉
I recently had a friend and fellow mother tell me how much she hates it when moms mention wanting a “break” or “complain” about motherhood being hard. She’s not alone. Many people believe that becoming a mom means laying aside yourself – completely.
And yes, becoming a mother does mean re-prioritizing our lives. We meet their needs first. We willingly sacrifice our time, careers, sleep, the “best” cookie…..and do those things out of a genuine selfless love. But, we’re still human. Still women. Still individuals. Still people with needs. And admitting that your needs aren’t being met doesn’t make you a bad mom.
Let me be clear. Motherhood is a gift- and not one I take for granted. I am constantly humbled and amazed that God entrusted me with these four precious kids. As I watch them learn and grow, there are days where I can’t believe I get to be their mom – or that I ever had a hand in making or raising someone so incredible. I love my kids and I love them unconditionally. BUT – there are moments….days…..seasons….where I don’t cherish every moment or feel like I have anything left to give.
Ladies, let’s all get comfortable admitting out loud that this motherhood gig is tough. Let’s agree to stop judging the moms who are brave enough to struggle in front of you. It takes an insane amount of courage to be REAL when everyone else is working so hard to maintain the “I have it all together” act. Admitting that you’re tired, frustrated, afraid, or overwhelmed doesn’t make you weak – it makes you authentic. It’s hard enough to do what we do – and keeping up that “Supermom” act just makes it tougher. So make like Elsa and just let it go.
Supermom does NOT exist….you’ll always just be chasing her. And wouldn’t the world be a better place if we all just quit the chase and just got REAL with each other?
Man, Caillou. That kid sucks. Yeah, I so hear you on the grateful — throw in special needs and a kid who survived cancer (same kid! he’s so lucky!) and people expect you to just ooze gratefulness ALL THE TIME. And, like, I am grateful, but also STOP KICKING THE SOFA, and also just because I’m glad you lived doesn’t mean you can eat my chocolate. I mean, we have standards.