Monday means the hubby is back to work, another week begins and I’m alone with the tiny human.
I’m pretty sure I never heard being a stay at home mom was “easy”, and if anyone has ever said that then they have never been a stay at home mom. Clearly.
I knew it would be work. I knew my boss would run me ragged and keep me busy at all hours of the day and night. I’m just not sure I knew how hard this would be when I decided to pursue this full time gig.
Years of wanting to be a mom, years of tears, so much heartbreak and loneliness on the path to get here. Well, here I am and let me tell you, it.is.hard.
There are moments I remember how easy life was before mom hood. Go ahead and judge if you will, but it’s the truth and I know most mom’s know what I’m talking about. It doesn’t mean I don’t love being a mom, but some days are so hard that your old life can flash before you and remind you how clueless you were about what it meant to be selfless.
I know some of you who are reading this may be struggling with infertility or just in the fog of a miscarriage and you’re thinking “how can she say this, I’d give anything to be a mom”. How do I know you’re thinking that? Because, I’ve been you. I’ve been you when a mom is complaining about the hard moments and thinking to myself, “ugh. it doesn’t matter how hard it is, I would give anything to be in her shoes. She should just be grateful she has a child.” My heart goes out to you. I am not ungrateful, I’m thankful for the tiny human who has caused me to be sleep deprived and exhausted. I know how blessed I am to be doing this mom thing, and I wouldn’t trade it for a second. The reality is that going through infertility and miscarriage doesn’t make you numb to the difficulties that being a mom is.
I thought once we had a baby after how long and hard we struggled that it would be that much more amazing, that much more easy, after all, I wanted it so bad I shouldn’t complain about any of it, right? I naively thought that because of how badly I wanted to be a mom, I would never struggle to find joy in every moment of it. But if I’m being real, honest, and letting my guard down (cue the judgers), it is sometimes a struggle for me to find joy in every moment of motherhood.
My son brings a joy to my life that I can’t even describe. His two teeth grin, his giggle, the way he wants to jump into my arms whenever he sees me, his open mouth kisses, and his excitement to explore, all of him makes my heart want to burst. But, there are times that this “mom job” is the hardest thing in the world, and finding joy in each moment is a daily struggle. It’s reminding myself that everything is a phase, this is a season I will miss, it’s snuggles and middle of the night cuddles that I will someday long to have back, it’s him only wanting me to hold him because a tooth is hurting and there’s nothing more I can do to help him, it’s the wordless babbles, and laughter, reaching out for me in a crowd of people, walking into his room and seeing his smile warm my heart. These moments I will cherish. There are days I am just making it through the day because I’m exhausted from being up for 3 hours in the middle of the night and waking up way before the sun. Some days are just plain hard.
Today is one of those days. My teething boy kept me up all night and we are both running on little sleep. He doesn’t want to be put down and when he is he cries and cries. He’s clingy, but at the same time wiggly in my arms. All day long trying to entertain a fussy baby, trying to help a baby who doesn’t want to sleep, sleep. I haven’t had time to get anything else done besides fight sleep with the little one, feed him, change him, hold him, and play with him. There are dishes in the sink, laundry to be put away and more to be done, I need to vacuum, and go to the store. I’m still in my pajamas. Dinner will probably be take out or leftovers because I’m just not feelin it today.
Even though James has brought immense joy to our lives, he has brought so much change. Change you can’t prepare for just as everyone tells you but you don’t quite expect. And when you’ve wanted it so bad for so long you set these expectations for yourself that you’ll be a super mom and have twice the amount of joy of any other mom because of how long you waited for that sweet human. I’ve learned that just because we had a long road to get here, doesn’t make me any more super human than any other mom. Just because we went through incredible obstacles to get him here, doesn’t mean it’s not still the hardest thing I’ve ever done. There are moments I want to check out, and shut my brain off because I’m exhausted or overwhelmed and want a moment for me. But all that “me” goes out the door when you become a mom. There are times I wish I didn’t have to think of anyone else but myself, and a tenth of a second later I feel guilty for feeling that way because I am blessed beyond measure to have this tiny human fill my thoughts and keep me busy every minute of the day.
Today was hard. I wanted to pull the covers over my head when he woke up for the bazillionth time by 5:30am and decided he was up for the day. I was so tired I wanted him to just go back to bed with me but that was a no go, I wanted him to sit still with me so I didn’t have to chase him around and so I admit, I bribed him with food and tv to sit still so I could have a few moments of laziness. It lasted a hot minute by the way. He hardly napped and when he finally did I tried to and not but a few moments after falling into a deep sleep I heard him wake up (and not happily I should add).
Despite it all I found joy on his face each time I walked into his room and he was peeking over the crib. I found joy when he looks me in the eye and smiles. I found joy when he put his hand on my face and carefully studied it with his tiny fingers. I found joy knowing that I am the one he relies on for every single thing. There is nothing that he can do alone. That means each and every thing I do for him no matter how big or how small, is actually a really huge deal. Changing a diaper, giving him food, changing his clothes, wiping his face, washing his hands, playing with him…all of these things separately seem so minor and somewhat insignificant but together they’re everything for him. I find joy knowing that I am the one he relies on and knows he can depend on to complete each little task, which at the end of the day aren’t insignificant at all. He’s my tiny human and I find so much joy in knowing I provide these things for him and he takes comfort in knowing that I will. Some days all these tasks seem so repetitive (because they are) and it’s not always easy to find joy in each one of them until you look at them as a whole.
This is for all you moms out there who like me, aren’t perfect. All the moms who admit this mom thing is way harder than you thought it would be. For all you moms who some days feel like you’re making it to nap time and bed time. All the moms who admit you don’t have a CLUE what you’re doing.
All of you moms out there are doing a fabulous job even on the days you feel your worst. You’re super human and you’re rocking it, so keep on mama.
I’ve learned to cut myself some slack on days like today. It’s ok the house is a hot mess, and I am too. It’s ok I don’t feel like cooking dinner or putting real clothes on. I’ve learned it’s ok, because I know we all have hard days. But, there are really good days too. Days where I feel like I’m totally owning it.
Maybe I’ll have one of those tomorrow…