Where’s the good stuff? What IS the good stuff?
I’ll be the first to tell you that I am happy, and grateful for my blessed life. I am. But in the last few weeks, with my return to work, and conversations with other moms, I’ve been pondering motherhood, the challenges, and the triumphs. A lot of moms I know have felt particularly challenged as of late. I’ve heard stories of frazzled nerves, endless second-guessing, exhaustion, work-life balance problems, losing oneself to this kiddo-endeavor, and attempting to find oneself after such a loss.
Recently, while discussing our new babies, my sister said, “I love her, but when will I like her?”
Nail. On. Head.
Kids are a lot of work. And they aren’t really all that fun, especially at the beginning. So why do we do this? And does it ever get easier? Will I ever feel like I’m doing more than just getting by?
I have been pondering those dark mommy days, and what we can turn to in the tough times to get us through (besides wine, “Fifty Shades of Grey”, and crying, that is). Are there tangible returns to mommyhood besides someone to care for us in old age (because they have to, right?)? Some days, a smile from a new little human is enough. But, and I know this is mommy-heresy to say this, sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes I just don’t want to do it. Any of it. But I guess that’s the point after all…
My kiddos are here to make me a better person. The potholes in my character – the good personality traits that I am missing, or that have been worn away – my kiddos are there to help me learn to patch them.
- Three days of two-year-old tantrums? Time for me to work on kindness and patience (and homicidal tendencies. I joke, I joke).
- Mr. Pickle wants my hard-earned last cookie? Let’s work on generosity.
- Plum needs some new clothes, but I’ve been wearing the same two ratty old bras for the last 3 years? Plum’s needs trump; I’m working on selflessness.
- Kiddos are running me ragged and I’m at my wit’s end? I need to work on balance and asking for help.
Some days I want to stomp my foot like an impetuous toddler and whine that I just don’t want to. I don’t want the self-improvement, the mirror held up to my behaviors. I don’t want to participate in this kiddo-led quest for mommy betterment. But I try to remind myself, that in my little corner of the world, we are working very hard to help make good, kind human beings. I’m starting from scratch with my little doodlebugs, and my doodlebugs are working on the betterment of their imperfect-but-working-on-it, 34-year-old Mom and Dad.