Monday, November 15, 2010

jumping into motherhood

i have a deep, dark secret.
only my sister amy really knows about this secret,
and that is because i vent it to her almost daily,
and she has heard me say some really stupid things.
what's the secret one might wonder????
i have unobtainable expectations of myself as a mother.
i don't hold other mothers to the same expectations.
in fact i envy that i give them a break.
i have never given myself a break;
i'm never free from the constant inner pep talk to do better, to work harder, and to do more.
i've never really even been able to admit that being a mother is hard.
i can even recall saying to sam's pediatrician when he was a baby that i didn't see what the big deal is;
i hadn't figured out why other mothers thought the job was so hard.
he advised me to be cautious on who i said that to.
now i know why he said that;
he was helping me not make a fool of myself.

being a mother can be hard.
so, what's the problem?
i've just thought that if i was trying harder and doing it right, then it wouldn't be hard.
and on days that it is hard i don't want to admit it to another mother for fear she might think that i wasn't working hard enough.
my expectation has gotten so out of control i've even been afraid to admit to my sister how hard my days can be.
oh, and here i am freaking out that i'm even writing this!
i fear that it means i'm not a good mother if i say it's hard to have a baby who won't nap or sleep at night because she is getting teeth,
or who gets woken up by a loud brother just after she falls asleep,
or how hard it is to have a 5-year old who fights me on almost everything and demands all of my attention at most moments of the day,
or how hard it is to know if you are letting your 3-year-old get away with too much because you are trying to protect him from getting the middle child squeeze,
or how hard it is to have a messy house at any given moment of the day,
or how hard it is to not have 5 minutes of alone, uninterrupted time to myself during the day.
i know there is so much more to being a mother than the hard things.
i have tasted on so many occasions how wonderful it is to be a mother,
and that is where i like to try to keep my focus.
however, i just want the freedom to say it's hard
and not feel bad about it afterwards,
like i'm not enjoying it or wishing it away.

so, from here on out i'm jumping into a realm of motherhood that seems to exist outside of my ridiculous expectations.
i'm going to start feeding my kids cereal for breakfast,
and sometimes it might even be lucky charms or some other sugar cereal.
i think i'll eat more pb&j sandwiches for lunch,
and maybe even artic circle for dinner when i'm too tired to prepare a meal that covers all food groups with recipes containing 10+ ingredients.
i'm even going to take people up on their offers to take my kids for a few hours,
and i will admit that i needed the break and enjoy it.
i will try to work on looking at my messy house as a life that was lived and not just preserved on a shelf,
and when people stop by and see it i will welcome them into our living space with no apologies.
and i will remember that we mothers are all in this together.
none of us are perfect,
and we need each other for support
and for an understanding ear when we just want to be able to say that some days are hard.

9 comments:

katwalk said...

no one ever said it is easy,but it sure is worth it. I remember wondering when I would ever feel rested again. Then the day came everyone was in school all day. the rest came, along with long days alone, remember looking at the clock waiting for you to come home..hhmm where did the time go ??

Charity said...

You probably had no idea that I still read your blog, but I do. It's on my Google Reader. I hope that doesn't freak you out too much. I think this post is fabulous!! And I say, good for you!! I am much like you. I give others a break, but not so much myself. But, I too made the realizations you have come to in this post, several years ago. Here's my little secret- I haven't let it all go. I've been able to be the kind of mother I want to be (well, except when I screw up), and do some of the "extras" I always wanted too, but I've been kinder to myself along the way, and I've let some things go at some times for the sake of other things. It's ok. It's just called being flexible with life and motherhood. I'm still working on it.

The Nickell Family said...

It is hard and it's okay to say it. You want to keep them in a bubble so they won't get hurt, physically or emotionally. We've all been there. Give yourself a break. I love the saying, "you can't serve from an empty tray". Every once in a while you've got to fill up your tray. Even if it means feeding your kids sugar cereal or letting someone watch your kids for a couple of hours. It's amazing how you can feel after a couple of hours of doing something you've wanted to do. I know when I've done it I feel so much more accomplished and ready to take on the kids without all of the nagging feelings in my heart of what needs to get done. You're a great mom...now give yourself a break!

LutzFam said...

Thank you!! You said it all!!!

sarah jane said...

I've always thought you've been too hard on yourself. We all have in our mind what the perfect mother does or says, but the "perfect" mother does not exist. Unless this mother has a house keeper, cook, and another set of herself.

Ryan and Amy Harvey said...

This post makes me want to cry! You really have a knack for summing up complicated thoughts and feelings. You are definitely one of the most dedicated mothers that I know so I am glad that you are going to give yourself a break. And I think that admitting that it can be hard will allow you to be an even better mom. So go eat some Lucky Charms and don't forget that all of us moms are in this together!

Vanderlinden Clan said...

ahhh baby doll, you are a great mom. I think we both have this deficit. No matter what we are, we still strive to do better....because what we are currently doing is not good enough. we need to give ourselves a break. Alas, you're the best mom for our children that any man could ever ask for.

Pete

Heidi said...

Amen and amen! I agree and fully support your epiphanies. Way to embrace the reality and bloom in this state of motherhood. We ARE indeed all in it together...one big momma sorority. :) Good luck with it all!

Ashly said...

It's no secret!! Your blog gave away that secret a long time ago. We all know that you are an awesome mom and that you are always too hard on yourself! You do great - just let yourself believe it!

 
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