I used to think motherhood was about watching Lifetime and drinking diet coke all day.
I was more than a little misinformed.
I thought I would have all this spare time to pursue goals like playing the piano, learning Spanish, making crafty crap, and running a perfectly organized home.
Instead, I spend my days cleaning crusty pureed sweet potatoes off the blinds because Ainsley decided that she has to grab the food off the spoon with her hands before it can make it to her mouth. Really.
I honestly didn't know motherhood was stressful.
The reality is that it has been more stressful than any job or college course AND... it has been much more time consuming. It's a 25 hours a day, 8 days a week kind of job. Somedays, while nursing Ainsley in my rocking chair, I cry while she claws my face and kicks my stomach, pulls my hair, bites me, and pushes me. Why? Because motherhood is really hard and YES, stressful. Most days I feel like I got beat up by WWF wrestler by noon. Your job never ends. No vacation. No sick days. Ainsley is, without a doubt, the toughest boss I've ever had. Aside from the physical demands, I feel like I'm running a freaking emotional/mental/spiritual marathon every.day.
Today was one of those days...where my tears mix with her bath water and I'm tempted to eat my feelings in chocolate frosting because that's THE ONLY sweet thing we have in the house. That's a tragedy if I've ever heard one. (For the record, I haven't had any frosting...HOLD ME BACK!).
There are a lot of good days and even more good moments, but there are a lot of want-to-pull-my-hair-out, I'm-running-away, get-me-out-of-here days!
Another thing that terrifies me? I only have one child. If I feel so overwhelmed now, how am I going to make it to child number two? I want more kids. Would I even be able to handle it?
Did you supermoms just faint?
Now is probably the time where you're expecting me to tell you how much I love motherhood and how worth it it is. While that's true, I'm much too tired for sugar coating. I haven't slept through the night in like a year, ya know. At least.
Instead of sugar coating, I thought it might help other moms to know that their feelings are valid. Motherhood is hard, hard work. Sometimes someone telling me that they're having a hard time too is more encouraging than hearing someone say something like, "keep your chin up."
More times than I could count I have wondered if something is wrong with me or if I'm not a good mom because I seem to have so many overwhelmingly stressful days...which contributes to me feeling more stressed and overwhelmed. I also struggle with feeling unimportant. Most of the time I feel like what my husband does all day is more important. He has a rewarding job where he uses his talents to improve the lives of others AND make money. What do I do? Change diapers and try to keep Ainsley from eating the rotten piece of cheese that slid under the stove a month ago.
I remember a quote from Elder Scott that says, "When we are building others, we are building the kingdom of God." I know that I am doing God's work. I still struggle with feeling important, but I know that this is my purpose. The consequences of my work are eternal.
I've sobbed to the tune of this video more than once today: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZE-xIPOlbKw
One of my favorite parts of this talk is: