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?