Oh, hey Tuesday! | Being a Mom is HARD!
Oh, hey Tuesday! How are ya - how have you been?
So, if you follow my blogs regularly, you may have noticed I missed blogging in the month of March. Oops! Life, am I right? Truth be told, I did not make blogging a priority last month, so I just didn’t make the time. But, onward and upward we go! I rearranged some of my planned content and I am going to work really hard to keep up for the rest of the year.
Speaking of working hard - MOTHERS (and fathers - I don’t wanna leave anyone out.). THAT is a hard job. And before everyone marches over to my house or place of work with fire and pitchforks, sit down and listen. I know being a parent is not a job, but the responsibility a parent - ESPECIALLY mothers - feel with their children supersedes any feeling of responsibility of an actual job. SO, it IS a job. The most IMPORTANT job. Ever.
It is also the HARDEST job.
For the sake of the blog, I am going to back it up about 12 years. I can remember sitting in the lounge on the 11th or 13th floor in Mae Smith (the dorm building my husband and I lived on) shortly after we started dating. We would sit and just have long talks about anything and everything, like how he was super flirty with girls and needed to cool it, why I never wore skirts and dresses, our classes, if we were eating dinner at the Trueblood or Grinnell. Occasionally, we would talk about the future. Hot button topic - kids. Growing up, I never saw myself having kids. I didn't care much for kids even though they always loved me. They were too loud, too messy, and I just never thought I would allow time for that. Yes, I said allow. I always found myself to be selfish and very self centered, and if I didn't want to give any time to anyone else I didn’t. However, my husband (then boyfriend) wanted kids. Very much. I loved watching him interact with kids because he was so fun and just perfect dad material. I had a huge internal struggle because I knew I wanted to marry him, but I really wasn’t sure if I wanted to have children at all. I convinced myself I could do it, but I had to be “ready”. I laugh at that concept now, because I think a person can be fully “ready” for kids and be completely unprepared. Now fast forward past me saying “yes I will marry you!”, past “I do” and onto celebrating our 4th anniversary. People were really surprised that we had not started to have kids yet, and honestly the thought never crossed my mind. We were young when we got married - 21 & 22 - and even still in college. My husband was getting started on his career, and I was just working to supplement income. We finally did start to talk about it once we moved back in Decatur and were living in a house. And when we finally decided we were going to make it happen, we tried to plan it. Because I wanted a plan and so did he.
Again, let’s all laugh at that concept. And moving on…
Skipping the details, we moved back to Decatur in July 2011, and in February 2012 we found out we were expecting… and our precious boy arrived in October 2012. And that’s where everything got REALLY hard. (But before I go into that - HE WAS SO PRECIOUS JUST LOOK!!!! * not my photo *)
Our son was not an easy baby. He was very colicky. VERY. A lot of nights driving around in the middle of the night, passing back and forth, hair dryer noises, white noises. We were desperate and tried everything. We did find some relief once we discovered chiropractic care when he was 6 weeks old. He was still fussy at times but the relief we got was incredible. Now, let’s fast forward to the present day. We are now in the school-aged area which has presented its own set of challenges and parental stresses. It never ends, right?
So, the title of this blog is being a mom is hard. That seems like an obvious statement, but why is it hard? Do you think it’s hard? Why do I think it’s hard? Let me explain my stance. We raised our son to be very independent from a young age. And his independence has created a very strong willed, never wrong, handle it himself young man. Because he did not go to a traditional daycare, he was primarily around adults until he was almost 5. So he speaks like an adult, acts like an adult, and tries to just be a grown man. Which doesn’t work. And that is where we get difficult.
I struggle because I do want him to know he has a voice in this world, but I need him to understand respect and boundaries. I struggle because he is quite intelligent for his age and knows a lot, but I need him to help others around him instead of being the kid who acts like he’s better. I struggle because his social skills are a little off, especially when it comes to other kids, but I can’t make friends for him. I can’t ensure he is one of the kids who is friends with everyone and never gets bullied or made fun of. I CAN be home waiting for him if he had a bad day, and I need him to know he can talk to me about the bad days. I struggle because when he argues with me and makes a good point, my instinct is to punish him but internally I’m impressed with his ability to speak his mind and speak the truth. I struggle because when I correct him because he's being disrespectful, I know sometimes deep down he’s really just finding his voice and I don’t want to squash that. I just struggle.
Now let’s also quickly address the other struggle: SOCIAL MEDIA. The comparison game.
Did I gut punch some of you? I thought so.
There is SO MUCH PRESSURE we face that our parents did not have to worry about because social media and technology was not literally at their fingertips. They didn’t have to scroll for hours and see everyone else sharing their “perfect” life, while their physical life right in front of them was messy, disorganized, and seemingly falling apart. They didn’t feel the pressures of being a “Pinterest mom”, which let’s just be totally real - WHO has time?!?!?!?! But like most of you reading this, I have felt that pressure. It has messed with my mind, upped my anxiety and just made me feel inferior as a mother. Recently, a close friend of mine encouraged me in her loving way ;) to unfollow people on Facebook who aren’t close friends and family. She reminded me that most people share what they think people want to see, what makes them look perfect. Why? Because admitting your home is in a constant state of category 4 tornados is completely taboo. Admitting that you don’t spend every minute entertaining and playing with your kids would cause relentless commenting about how you’re not being a good mom. So, I listened. And my quality of life has significantly increased thank goodness! I highly recommend taking off the pressure and unfollowing people who can’t be real with the world if they are going to share “their life”.
So this blog has been very stream of consciousness vs. well thought out and planned, so if you’ve made it this far congratulations and sorry for the winding road! :). Overall, I just have to say: being a mom IS HARD, but being a mom is REWARDING. I love my son more than I could ever put into words, no matter what.
Alright, until next time - toodles!
***Photo cred to my great friend Jacoby of Jacoby Andrick Photography, who took our 2018 family photos!***