Friday, November 6, 2015

The Reality of Motherhood

I am not the mother I always thought I would be.

Before I had Ryder, I completely idealized motherhood.

I dreamed of sitting in his perfect nursery, rocking my sweet little baby as his eyes gently closed while I sang a lullaby. I imagined sitting on a blanket in the backyard, reading magazines and sipping lemonade while he cooed beside me and I soaked up the sunshine of my extended summer maternity leave. I pictured dressing him in adorable little outfits with matching hats, socks and shoes and taking him around for visits to show him off while he smiled sleepily and then drifted off to sleep while I enjoyed coffee with friends. I thought getting up a few times each night for the first few months of his life would be no big deal, because at least I'd get stretches of sleep in between, and we would cherish those special nighttime cuddles together.

Then I actually became a mother. And realized I was delusional.
Every parent knows what it's really like.

You come home from work excited to spend a few hours of quality time with your family, and instead your child spends the evening whining and throwing epic, writhing, screaming fits for apparently no reason.

You plan a perfectly orchestrated evening with a healthy dinner, bath, stories and bedtime, followed by a lovely glass of wine. But, apparently determined to ruin the night, your child poops in the tub.

You finally make some progress on everyone sleeping through the night, and then your child gets croup and ends up in the hospital, putting you back to square one with sleep training.

After a rare decent night's sleep, you're feeling confident and professional at work, only to discover that you've been walking around with a giant booger smooshed into the collar of your dress shirt all morning.

There's definitely nothing glamorous about this life.

And yet, I still find myself idealizing motherhood. Mostly it's in those quiet moments at the end of the day, when I'm rocking my sweet little angel baby to sleep. And I think later, as I lie in bed, that tomorrow I'll be more cheerful, and less frustrated.

Tomorrow I'll be a better mom.

Parenthood is made up of hard work. But we idealize it anyway. It's what keeps us going, day after day. And sometimes, for sweet, brief moments, everything is perfect.

But some days, the reality of motherhood is so hard and suffocating that I can barely breathe. I don't know how I'm going to make it through the next hour, let alone the next 18 years.

Still, I hold onto that idealized version of motherhood.

And once again, I promise myself that tomorrow I'll be a better mom.

Because I do love my sweet baby boy, more than anything or anyone else on the face of the earth.

And for today, love will have to be enough.

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  1. Rider and I could be BFF. I also have pooped in the tub.

  2. Beautifully written my friend!!♥

  3. Love is always enough. Such a sweet reflection. As a mama with a 17 year old, I remember counting down the hours to bath time because after bath time was story time and then bed time and then I could clock out for a bit at least. Now, those long hard hours have paid off and we have a fun kid that we are proud of and enjoy spending time with. This mom thing is hard, but it's so worth it. Keep doing what you are doing!

  4. What's lovely also is that our children ALWAYS give us another chance to be a better mom. They don't hold grudges and they love unconditionally. Sometimes I don't deserve to a mom to such wonderful little humans. Carry on, girl! You're doing great.

  5. So beautifully written! I don't have kids yet, but I even apply this to my daily life as a teacher. I am never satisfied with myself, and I know that no matter what happens today, I have a chance to be better tomorrow.

  6. Yes the reality is so much different but also so much better!!


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