As a mom there are a lot of struggles. A lot of moments of stress and hardship. Being a mom is tough. I got asked today, what’s the hardest part of being a parent?
I thought about it for a while. Was it the lack of privacy? The increased workload? The extra laundry, dishes, cleaning? The fact that you have to time everything perfectly to prevent tantrums or hunger screams? That going out anywhere is an hour of preparation at least? The disciplining? The lack of sleep? The ruined body, social life or finances? Gee I make it sound glamorous don’t I?
But no. The hardest part for me, is the guilt. It far outweighs everything. I’ve never actually discussed it with other moms so maybe they don’t suffer from it the way I do. Every minute of every day I feel guilty for something even if I’ve done nothing wrong. If I cook a meal without vegetables for Roarke my two year old, I feel guilty for ruining his nutrition. If I leave Nolan my 4 month old in his Fisher-Price swing too long, I feel guilty for neglecting him. If I go out alone, I should’ve taken them. If I can’t buy them something, I’m depriving them. If they watch too much television, I’m letting their brains turn to mush. Every minute I think these things. It’s exhausting.
And you wonder how a mother might get depressed or over emotional? Try feeling like the world’s worst mother all the time. I know I’m not, but I still feel like it a lot of the time. I’ve talked a bit about the pitfalls of motherhood but in all honesty, I think the reason I suffer from this guilt complex stems from a really good place.
Because I love my sons so very much.
They hold the only completely selfless spots in my heart and they occupy my mind 24/7. When you love someone so overwhelmingly and completely, you want them to have everything easy and perfect. You hope they want for naught and never falter or struggle. You never want them to suffer for even the briefest of moments. You hold yourself up to that impossible task and you feel guilt inevitably, when you fail.
It reminds me of my pregnancies. I hated it, I wanted it to be over, I was suffering so much. But seeing what it ended up giving me, I’d do it again. So in my mind, I’ll live with excruciating guilt to be able to live with my sons and remind myself the guilt serves to try and provide them with the stars and the moon and the entire world.
My two year old son Roarke has better manners than I do.
I ask him if he would like some crackers, he says. “no thank you.” He drops something, “Oh sorry mama.” He wants to watch a video, “Pweeease.” I give him a juice box, “Thank you mama!” I mean don’t get me wrong, he’s two so he is still the king of tantrums and NO when he wants to be but holy crap he’s so friggin polite! I think how it ended up getting that way is because I’ve spent the last two years correcting him on saying please and thank you and most of all I say it back to him. Just because he’s two and I’m 27 doesn’t mean that I don’t thank him for things or apologize when I’ve done something wrong.
I was doing dishes (dear lord please a dishwasher soon) the other day and out of nowhere, winning a personal quiet award, my son chucked 8 new markers in the sink. Scared the shit out of me. So my natural reaction was to scream his name in a threatening manner and clutch at my heart. I actually figured out his motivation…. when he’s done with a dish he tries to put it in the sink and says, “all done!” Well. He was done with the markers too. But I yelled at him and he looked really ashamed and said sorry to me and ran away. I felt terrible because of course I didn’t mean to chastise him so harshly when he didn’t know any better, I was just startled. So I got down on my knees and made him tear his eyes away from Bubble Guppies (damn that show with it’s catchy toddler songs) and I told him I was wrong and I was very sorry. He didn’t understand and apologized to me again and I had to insist, “no mommy is sorry.”
Every time I change the baby’s diaper I ask him to please put it in the garbage for me and thank him afterwards. And now he’s just, caught on to the idea. The idea for my kids is I want them to be better than me in every way. If I forget to say thank you, my hope is they won’t. I’m trying to raise human beings that have respect for others which is apparently something my generation and the one after mine has trouble with.
I have a really hard time breaking my bad habits to instill the values I want in them. I swear Roarke says “fucking hell” in his garbled toddler talk…. and I swear half as much as his Dada does. You really have to watch how you talk to them and around them. I’ve switched stupid to silly, pissed off to cranky and omg leave me alone and go away to, mommy just needs a minute sweet pea.
But as much work as it is to constantly be polite to my two year old and edit everything I say to him, when I switch on a Thomas the Train video on Youtube he says, “Oh yes! Thank you Mama!” Worth it.
No matter how much you try to be a cool mom. No matter how much you try to keep up with all your friends still in party mode. And no matter how much you wish all you thought about was still sex, things change.
It’s no longer all about the sex for me. I literally don’t have time. Remember the story about the time you got wasted with your friends and it was so much fun? Neither do I. It’s like a UN peacekeeping mission to run logistics on getting out of the house now.
I have two beautiful boys and for better or worse, they’ve changed my life. I had to start another blog. About kids. Holy shit. Still NOT a mommy blogger, but I realized when 9 out of 10 statuses on facebook are about my kids that maybe I should accept my fate that somethings will never change back. And I love some of it. I love talking about my kids. I love playing with them and watching them learn and grow. They are the best things I ever did. I do not like being introduced as “Shauna with the two kids”, or being the only one out of all my friends with children or the changing demographics that made 27 too young to have kids.
I go to the park and literally every mom is 40+. I have no problem being friendly or talking to them about kid stuffs but they never want to talk back. I get the new motive to achieve all your career goals and financial stability pre-kiddies but I didn’t do that. So pariah of the playground is what I am most times. How dare I have kids in my 20s…. ugh. If it was thirty, forty years ago I’d be the regular mom. Honestly I’d probably be an older mom. Can I have a conversation with the stroller moms about our respective sex lives? Ermm no.
Some moms these days have a stick up their butt. They forgot themselves somewhere along the way. They forgot Neverland. I am fighting tooth and nail so that doesn’t happen to me. I will let my kid touch dirt and fall down so he learns to be careful. I will talk to them about anything and everything when they ask. I will run around and yell with them. I will post statuses about how my baby had an explosive diaper and then about how I’m going to attend the local sex exhibit or how I could really use a drink after a rough day.
I went bowling with my husband the other night and after two rounds of sucktastic bowling I realized that I am miserable at bowling and if I was going to have any fun at all I had to start not caring about gutter balls. So at last I threw up my hands, let out a laugh and said, “Fuck it!”
Same thing with trying to be the ideal mom. “Fuck it!” I’m me and I’m here to find all the other unique moms out there. Spread love and positivity, raise my kids and stay true to who I am. Screw stroller moms, you’re just no fun.
Image courtesy of earlymama.com