Today was one of those days when it all just hit me. Being a mom is hard, and sometimes it feels like you’re failing. Like maybe you’re just not a good mom. But it’s not you. It’s just that hard.
A few months ago I was chatting with a new mom who on the outside seemed to have it all together. She was barely past the fourth trimester and already not just doing yoga, but teaching yoga classes.
She went on hikes with her baby and boyfriend. It all seemed picture-perfect… at least on Facebook. Motherhood seemed to just suit her, and she was thriving as a mom.
But then as we got a little deeper into talking she said she was struggling. A lot. Really struggling.
Even now that I am not a “new” mom since I’ve been at this gig for five years with three kids in total, I still sometimes lose sight of the fact that I’m not the only one going through motherhood right now.
I’m not the only one who knows the defeats and triumphs of being a mom. I’m not the only one who knows being a mom is hard. We all do, and we have all had our struggles.
Do you ever think back on all those times before you had kids when you complained about being bored, that you didn’t have anything to do?
All those hours you spent procrastinating studying for finals? All the weekends spent lazily going to brunch and a farmer’s market after being up all hours of the night dancing?
Do you ever want to go back to that girl/woman you were and just… bitch slap her?
I mean… damn… she had it so easy didn’t she?
And even as I type that I know that when I was that 20something woman who had it so easy with disposable income and time to spare, all I really wanted was what I have now.
The house, the kids, the husband, and a 14-year-old teensy blind dog that looks like a little toy. I have all that I was searching for all those years.
But unfortunately, life isn’t all cupcakes and rainbows.
It’s more like yogurt sticks and debating on whether that brown mark on the carpet is chocolate, old banana, or poop.
Or sticking with the poop for a sec… finding rogue turds in your living room that can’t be linked to a specific child.
The thing is that a lot of the things we joke about being so hard in motherhood are in fact hard, but they aren’t the hardest part.
For me, the hardest part is never feeling good enough.
The thing about becoming a mom is that it has a tendency to heighten a lot of things. Those PMS emotions or even the teenage hormones of puberty were nothing compared to the postpartum emotions and that giant tsunami of feels that creates.
It also heightens the feeling in me that I am not and never will be enough.
Because when I was just a single gal out on the town worrying about whether to get black or red for my manicure, the stakes were low.
I felt like I had the entire world at my feet and a lifetime ahead of me, which I did for the most part. But at that time, I didn’t have one tiny bit of respect for what responsibility was.
That lack of responsibility that I sometimes crave now is what simultaneously made my life less meaningful and so much easier.
Now? As a mom?
This is high-risk and high-reward living at its finest.
The reason being a mom is hard is because we care so damn much.
If being a mom didn’t matter to us, if we didn’t love our kids infinitely, if we didn’t want to be perfect at this job, then it would be easy.
Yes, there’s the exhaustion, the physical exertion, and the tasks that need to get done that add to why being a mom is hard. But really the hardest part is mental and emotional.
It’s heart-breaking when you realize your baby has the legs of a little and not a toddler anymore.
It’s gut-wrenching when in the middle of a tough day you lose your cool and yell at your kids, then have to figure out how to apologize in a way they understand.
It’s terrifying to have to make big decisions for your children that could impact the rest of their lives.
There is only ONE part of motherhood that is easy. Loving them.
But is it? Is it really easy loving your children?
Sure, you love them unconditionally, and it’s not hard to just fall in love with those teeny squishes that grow into toddlers and kids that melt your heart.
That love though? It’s so intense it literally hurts you.
Again. The caring so much makes it hurt. The loving so much makes being a mom hard.
We could talk about all the tips and tricks to help motherhood be a little easier, and I find those to be extremely valuable. However, we also have to admit that no matter what we do, it will never be is.
It will always be hard.
The best thing for me is to accept that and try my best to just live in the moment with my kids as often as I can. Enjoying it.
It does, after all, go by so quickly.
So I embrace the mess and the chaos, and I’m also learning to embrace myself and give myself some love and grace because being a mom is hard… so hard.
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