Sunday, February 6, 2011

Motherhood is HARD

I have a few friends who are great examples of the quintessential mother.

They LOVE being a mom.

It fulfills them like nothing else ever has.

They weren't complete until they were mothers.

I am not one of those mothers. I'm here to tell you, Motherhood is HARD.

No one ever warned me how hard it would be. And you know, that's not easy to admit. There's a certain pressure to be that quintessential mother. To selflessly give up whomever you used to be to become simply "Mom". This has not been an easy transition for me.

Maybe it's because I was 36 by the time I had Angie. This wasn't on purpose mind you, fate just determined that she wasn't going to make an appearance before then. And it's not to suggest that I don't love my daughter - far from it. But by 36 I was selfish - selfish about my time, selfish about what I want to do, selfish about life in general.

Selfish, selfish, selfish!

Couple that with the fact that I've never really been around kids my entire life, and sometimes I'm just not sure what I'm doing.

At the end of one particularly rough evening, I told my husband "If I felt like this much of a failure at anything else I was trying to do, I would have given up by now." I cried myself to sleep that night, and many others before and after it.

But you can't give up, all you can do is pray you're not screwing your kid up, realize that tomorrow is a new day and keep pushing forward.

Don't get me wrong, I don't regret being a mom, I just struggle with it sometimes. Slowly I've come to realize that I shouldn't be ashamed about it and that perhaps I'm not alone. Occasionally I catch a glimpse of my struggle in another mother's eyes and it brings me some small comfort.

Sorry, my Super Mom friends, but sometimes your superness is a bit daunting for us mere mortal moms. Oh we smile and nod when you wax poetically about how motherhood has completed you, but give us some credit for not pinning you to the floor until you admit that sometimes, sometimes you miss being just you for even a few minutes.

But there's hope! Over the past few weeks we've been slowly growing out of the terrible threes and Angie has been showing a much calmer side. We actually almost have conversations now. I'm certain she's brilliant and probably has a sarcastic wit she's just now testing out.

Take the ride into school/work on Friday for instance. From the backseat Angie asks "Mom, are we here yet"?

"No, we're not... uh..."

"We're not here?"

"Yes... we're here."


She also cheats at Candy Land if you're not paying attention. Plays games like Angry Birds, Cut the Rope, The Moron Test and (of all things) Monopoly on my iPad, better than many of the adults I know. Did I mention that she's just three and a half?

I am looking increasingly forward to the future with her. The last half of the twos and the first half of the threes have been particularly hard, but things are definitely looking up. She asks me almost daily "Mommy, are you my friend?"

"Yes, sweetheart. I am your friend. I am your best friend."

Until she gets mad at me, and then it's "You're not my friend!"

That's when I look Angie straight in the eye and say "remember, you picked me."

So, if you're a new mother, or contemplating motherhood, all I can tell you is that Motherhood is HARD. Someone should admit that to you. When they say that motherhood is the toughest job you'll ever love, that's not just a cute saying, it's true. And while I don't love motherhood 100% of the time, I love her 1,000% of the time. It's what keeps me pushing forward each day as Angie and I try to figure this thing out together. Sure, I'm selfish, but I can't imagine my life without her in it.

Look at that smile. I wouldn't have missed it for the world.


  1. So true!! Parenting is so many things that people fail to tell you/warn you about. Oh, how deep the love lives! I am not a super-mom either. I love my kids too, but must have adult life as well. My husband and I have maintained a promise "not to get lost" in our crazy life. When child #4 arrived and we were up to our ears in diapers and mayhem we always found time to do our own thing. Our kids have changed everything in our lives, but we still have our own selves too. He golfs, I go out with friends or hide away to write/read. We don't always get to do things alone together outside of the house, but we have done a good job of keeping our life intact and fitting the kids into our lives as much as we have gladly altered it for them. Hang in there... I think 3 is the worst, and it gets a lot better after that!

  2. Thanks Corinne, it's been a bit rough for about a year now, Angie was super laid back until about 2 1/2 and then WOW! :)