Motherhood is awesome, but let’s be honest—it sucks sometimes.
My feelings about motherhood have run the gambit since welcoming our second child three months ago.
I’ve felt joy, sadness, exhilaration, frustration, wonder, anger, exhaustion, etc.; often, I’ve felt all these things on the same day. Having two or more children is no joke, but that’s a post for another day.
These feelings have lead me to examine my experience as a mother more closely, what I find joyful, and what just plain sucks.
Is there anything more genuine, or more beautiful than a child’s smile? It’s amazing how one little facial expression can turn around a supremely awful day.
Childhood, Part II
Having children affords you a second childhood. The playground, the books, the games—I suppose some parents may not enjoy this, but I sure do. Now I don’t look like a total freak when I’m swinging at the park (Swinging is awesome no matter how old you are!)
Being a (temporary) Superhero
Having the ability to fix my daughter’s biggest problems in life (e.g. the balloon that escaped her grasp, and is now up near the ceiling) gives me joy. I know I won’t be able to make everything right in her world forever, so I’m cherishing it now.
Being a mother (or father) gives you a first-row seat to your child’s imagination. I like to think I haven’t lost my childhood imagination entirely, but one thing’s for sure: my two-and-a-half-year-old’s imagination is better. There is no ceiling to her thoughts and play, and it amazes me every day.
Babies and young children don’t hold grudges. They can be furious with you one second (how dare you not let them go outside in the snow without pants (another real-life example courtesy of my two-year-old), and ask for cuddles the next. Upsets are easily forgotten, and love takes over. Again, I know it won’t always be this way with my children, so I’m soaking it in now.
Lack of Sleep
God, I miss sleep. My mouth is watering just thinking about a freshly made bed (who has time for that?) and a full eight hours. Between my three-month-old, and my two-year-old, there are at least two wake-ups each night. Parents of older children, tell me I’ll sleep again one day.
Tantrums and TRIs (Tantrum Related Injuries)
Oh, tantrums. Everyone warned me about the “terrible twos,” and I didn’t believe them. With a strong-willed, often challenging child, I thought I was prepared for what the second year would bring. I wasn’t. Yesterday, my two-year-old threw a 30-minute tantrum (complete with banshee-like screams and kicking (lots of kicking)) because she didn’t like that I sneezed. Yep.
And, the TRIs. You know what I’m talking about, don’t you? In the middle of a tantrum, your child throws herself around, smacking her head (or any other body part) on something, escalating the tantrum. Now, not only do you have a child who is upset, they are also in pain. Hey, that’s what wine is for, right?
When Plans Go South
We’ve all been there. You go out of your way to plan something fun for your kiddos, and it ends in tears (for your children and maybe for you, too). Last summer, my family and I took my daughter to the Strasburg Railroad, where there’s a replica of Thomas the Tank Engine. She loves trains and the outdoors. Sounds perfect, huh? Not so, fellow moms. The train ride was scheduled during nap time and it was hot. Like 100 degrees hot. I’m sure you can imagine how that went down with a 2-year-old.
Your Food is No Longer Your Own
The best way to make food appealing to your children is to make a plate for yourself. I can’t tell you the last time I enjoyed a meal on my own (Well, unless you count that time I hid in the closet to eat my pork fried rice.).
Oh, I remember those pre-baby sick days. Laid up on the couch, a mug of hot tea in my hands, watching hour after hour of glorious daytime television *sigh*. Those days are long gone. Now when I’m sick, you’ll find me with a tissue hanging from my nose, preparing lunch for my screaming toddler (she wants grape jelly, not strawberry!), while holding my infant son. I miss being able to just be sick, without all the responsibility of caring for two young children.
Okay, fellow moms. What’s your joy? Your suckdom?
11 thoughts on “The Joys and Suckdom of Motherhood”
I have begun referring to hitting the wall with your second child as “The Two-Child Tipping Point.” Sneaks up on you. :/
It sure does, Kristina. Tips, advice? I’m still new to this two kid thing.
The only advice I have is, “Are you sure you want two kids?” But by the time I give that advice, it’s always too late. 🙂
Latest from our family:
two toddlers who are in love with Mommy! I get such sweet smiles and ‘wuzzles’ ,as we call them, all throughout the day.
Watching my preschooler grow into such a sweet, beautiful (her face literally changed from a chubby faced three-year-old, to a stunningly gorgeous grown up version, the night she turned four!), intelligent little KID!
Our latest suckdoms:
My two-year-old has hit the terrible twos -_-.. If he doesn’t get his Nobi when he wants it, it’s tantrum time!
My preschooler….. 4 going on 16! Lord.Have.Mercy! The attitude! Some days I’m not allowed to laugh. Literally.
Currently my one year old is perfect… Ha. But that’ll change tomorrow :-p
Abi, thanks for reading! Glad I’m not the only one who sees the good and the bad. I’m so with you on the kids growing up thing. It is an amazing privilege to watch them transform from helpless little babies, to curious toddlers with attitude for days. I guess we have to have the crappy stuff to know how good the good stuff is, if that makes sense.
I’m going to have to burst your bubble about the sleep thing. My kids are now 13 and 10, and I still don’t sleep through the night. Most of the time it isn’t their fault any longer, I think it’s just that I spent so long being aware during the night that I’ve never figured out how to turn my brain off and sleep again. I always say that parenting is the most difficult, and the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. Hang in there!
Ooh I can totally relate. Biggest suckdom is sometimes getting bored and wanting to do something else. And yes, when plans are totally derided because of kids, sigh… The joys though is the feeling of being a family, or having little ones run around doing crazy things and it just feels so fun!
ohhh the lack of sick days. Mental sick days AND physical sick days!!
This is so true! I am so so exhausted, both my kids suck at sleeping… but I do love having a second childhood and the unconditional love rocks too 😉
I love your sense of humor Kristi! Although you are not making a great case for me to try for #2 anytime soon 🙂
Food is no longer your own, I laughed with a good friend the other day when she said she had to hide in the bathroom to eat a cookie because she just really wanted to rememer what it felt like to eat a whole cookie again!! I laughed so hard…but thats motherhood for ya, I love it though