Motherhood is weird. It doesn’t look like what I thought it would most of the time. I didn’t expect perfection of my children. I’m too much of a free range parent for that. I knew they’d be a little weird and sometimes look a mess. I knew my house would be a wreck because I’m just not a person who’s good at keeping all of their ducks in a row. What I didn’t expect was the toll that becoming a Mother would take on my mental health. For God knows what reason I thought that I’d be Super Mom. Not in the “Pinterest your entire Birthday party” way, but in the “always calm and loving way.” I was so wrong.
I fail time and time again. These kids get under my skin in ways I thought no human could. I never knew that I could be completely broken down by someone that relied on me for survival. I had no clue. They magically know how to push every button. They are constant reminders that patience and understanding are things that I need to work on.
It’s so easy to fall into the trap of believing that you have to be perfect. I don’t remember my Mom losing her mind because I had a great childhood and the bad days don’t seem to be memorable. She assures me often that she wasn’t perfect and that we drove her insane. Movies and Books make motherhood seem like either pure bliss or hellish torture. Why doesn’t anyone seem to talk about the middle? The parts where you don’t like your kids even though you’d die for them. So here are some truths that I wish I knew before I had kids. Things I still have to be reminded of frequently.
There will be times when you question your sanity. Times when you wonder why the hell having children sounded like a good idea. Where you feel like if you are touched one more time or hear one more whine your head may literally burst right off on your shoulders. You’re still a good Mom.
There will be times that you’ll say things or do things out of anger or frustration that you immediately. Just take a deep breath. Calm down, hug your baby, apologize, and move on. As long as no one is hurt you’re okay. You’re still a good Mom.
There will be times when you are so exhausted that you absolutely resent your children for it. You want to snap and tell them to leave you alone and sleep in their own damn beds. Do your best to enjoy the snuggles. It’s okay to be grouchy though. You’re still a good Mom.
There will be times when walking away and taking a break from them while someone else handles their crazy feels like you’re failing or giving up. That’s okay. That’s what needs to be done for you and your kids to survive in that moment. You may need to do it several times in one day. You’re still a good Mom.
There may be times when you hate your Mom body. When you wish you’d been able to keep it the way it was. When you mourn for the sexy body you had. You’ll tell your kids to love their bodies while guiltily thinking about how much you dislike yours. You’re still a good Mom.
Sometimes you will start a project with them and things will be awesome then they’ll suddenly go completely off the rails. They may have complete meat downs. They may ignore every single instruction. You may get mad. You may get discouraged. You may feel like you’ve failed. You haven’t. Try to find a way to make it fun. If you can’t find a way to make it fun, don’t worry. You’re still a good Mom.
There will be times when your child walks out of the house wearing some crazy shit and you won’t realize it until it’s too late. (Like his sister’s pants or his pants on backwards or pants that don’t fit. Sensing a tend?) You’ll worry about people judging you and thinking that you neglect your children. You’re not neglecting them. You’re trying to teach them how to take care of themselves so that they can be productive, free thinking adults. Screw the haters. You’re a good Mom.
There will be times when your children eat peanut butter for dinner instead of that fancy nutritious meal that you spent precious time cooking and planning. They will tell you to your face that it is gross. You’ll want to sell them to the nearest gypsy, yell at them for hurting your feelings, and cry all at the same time. Don’t sell your kids, try not to yell, and cry if you need to. You’re still a good Mom.
There may be times when you cry in the morning because you’ve had to drop them off at the daycare and later that same evening wish they were back at daycare. Then later, once they’re asleep, you’ll cry again and wish they were snuggling with you. That’s okay. Kids know how to endear themselves while driving us insane. You’re still a good Mom.
There will be times when all you want is to take a bath without interruption. Lots of times. You will want it considerably more times than it happens. There will be times when you yell and scream and they’ll still stay. Then you’ll feel bad because you yelled. You’re still a good Mom.
Bonus Moms, there may be times when your child cries for their Mom when they are scared and not you. There may be times when they without malice or rudeness remind you that you aren’t their real Mom. That’s okay. It hurts and it’s difficult but remember that they are just kids. Kids who love their Mom and are sometimes painfully honest. They’ll come around. You’re still a good Mom.
At the end of the day if you can honestly say that you kept your kids alive, fed, and loved then you did your job. Motherhood is the world’s hardest job but you can do it. You were made for it. You are the prefect Mother for your child even if that looks a bit insane some days. The days are long but the years are short Momma. You’re a good Mom.