I’m going to be straight with you. Today, I’m not feeling all that blessed. Today is hard as hell. I feel overwhelmed and under-supported. Overworked and exhausted. Sort of like I’m trying to herd baby hamsters or something just as futile. I don’t know where we got the idea as mothers that we should enjoy every single minute of our motherhood journey, but I’ve got to call the bluff on this notion.
I can guarantee that every single perfectly imperfect mother has at least one moment per day when she closes her eyes and wishes she were anywhere but in the same room with her tantruming toddler. Our social media accounts are chock-full of images of us living our best lives, but y’all, it’s a highlight reel. I know I’m guilty. Sometimes I subject my kids to 65 retakes of a selfie just so I can post one that doesn’t highlight my double chins. Bless.
Confessing you’re struggling with parenting or not enjoying every minute brings in all the raised eyebrows and whispered words. But are we doing our future generation of mothers a huge disservice by not being honest about how truly difficult motherhood can be? It’s not all sunshine and roses. Censoring our reality to make others feel more comfortable might be one of those mom hacks we need to ditch. There is great benefit in honesty.
Beauty in Honesty
It’s okay to have a day when you don’t particularly enjoy your child’s company.
It’s okay to loathe the bedtime routine.
It’s okay to want to get away from your spouse so desparately that you suddenly remember you forgot a critical ingredient at Target, and it needs to be purchased RIGHT NOW.
It’s okay to literally NEVER completely clear your counters.
It’s just as acceptable to entertain these thoughts as it is to feel grateful and blessed and happy. And while there are days when I am overwhelmed with gratitude for this life and these beautiful children, there are also days when I wake up and take my seat in the front of the struggle bus and park my sorry self there the entire day. It’s okay.
Because honestly. Name me a mother who loves being covered in spit-up? Being vomited on at 3:15 a.m. while strategizing childcare for yet another sick day? Who loves preparing a meal and then listening to her family howl in dissatisfaction 354 days a year? Who relishes in refereeing sibling battles? Who giggles with glee when it’s time to scrub toilets?
Real Does Not Equal Wrong
Being a mother is exhausting in all the ways — physically and emotionally. We increase the emotional weight of this journey when we find ourselves doubting our worth for not loving every second of the day.
So remember this: Feeling frustrated with your children does not mean that you don’t love them. Needing a break from your children does not mean you don’t love them. Finding your children’s annoying habits intolerable at the end of the day does not make you a bad mother. You know it makes you? A human.
Let’s make a deal; I’ll show you mine if you show me yours. I’ll show you my cluttered counters, my laundry couch, and the perpetual trail of muddy paw prints through my kitchen. I’ll offer you a glimpse of the mealtime challenges, the raised voices, the relentless bickering that grates on my every last nerve.
The next time I feel the urge to post on Instagram, I solemnly swear NOT to move my children to the only clean corner of house for the sake of a Pinterest-worthy backdrop. I’ll catch the moment right in the heart of the disassembled couch covered in dog hair. I’ll be honest about how hard it is to have little people clinging to me all day, how desperate I am to have a few minutes with no one touching me by the end of the day.
Don’t get me wrong; I love your beautiful photos, your uplifting status updates. But I’d also love you in your moments of heartache, of restlessness, of disarray. I’ll accept your authenticity with open arms and hope you’ll welcome my truth.
So go ahead and feel all the feels. The good and the bad. It’s okay to feel your heart burst with love when you see your little one at the end of the day. It’s okay to feel a desperate sense of loss and grieving for the days when you used to be able to wipe your butt in private. It’s okay not to love refereeing sibling fight after sibling fight. It’s okay to maintain a sense of chaos and clutter in your home.
And it’s okay to be honest about how you feel with the people in your life. Because if they’re the right people . . . they won’t judge you.