Monday, January 10, 2011

Being honest

I just ate 4 Eggo waffles, a huge bowl of Trix cereal and a movie-theater-size box of Nerds for supper.  And despite all the criticism I'm receiving from my husband, I don't feel bad one bit.  

The title of this blog post is NOT "Disciplined Eating Habits".

This week was a doozy (doozie? doozee?). Daniel was gone for almost a week to a conference in Chicago, leaving me here to take care of Jonah by myself.  Normally when he travels it's no big deal, but I am enormously pregnant and chasing a toddler around proved to be difficult.  I second the notion Jonah had a couple days ago when he looked at my belly and said, "Cay-wub, come out!".  We are all ready for this baby to be here.  T-minus 17 days.  

I think this blog post will serve as a kind of confessional for me today.  I'm a stay-at-home mom and the last few months I have been wrestling with this lifestyle that I've chosen.  There are so many times when I think, "what the heck am I doing with my days?"  8 pm rolls around and I am still in yoga pants, with the Sesame Street theme song stuck in my head, desperate to just sit on the couch and have a conversation with someone that can pronounce their L's and doesn't invite me to look at their boogies.  And I'm laughing as I write that, because any mother is nodding along as they read this thinking, yep, I hear ya sister.  We all have those days, when we just want to be in grown-up world and not be so needed 24 hours a day.  Wouldn't it be nice to somehow have been prepared for how demanding it is to be a parent?  There's no way to prepare for this gig.  And it's a good thing, because how many of us would be brave enough to go through with it if we knew how hard it was going to be?  Thank goodness for our ignorance!  

Of course I love being a mom; it's the best job in the world.  But at the end of the day, sometimes I feel like I'm not very good at this.  I think, maybe parenting should be a little more enjoyable and a little less overwhelming, exhausting, and scream-into-a-pillow-inducing.  You know what makes me feel this way?  The fact that hardly anyone describes mommyhood like that.  Why don't more of us admit to these low points of self-doubt and desperation?  I have my fair share.  For example, on Saturday morning, Daniel had been gone for 5 days and Jonah had decided that every day Daddy was gone was going to be one day he didn't sleep.  So I was exhausted and had almost reached the point of desperation.  And at 5:00 in the morning, after already getting out of his bed ALL NIGHT LONG, he came into my room and declared that he wanted Life cereal.  And I burst into tears.  I literally begged my 2-year old son to leave me alone and let me sleep.  He giggled and said, "Mommy crying.  My want orange juice."  I cried harder and put my pillow over my head.  A wave of despair came over me and I had one of those moments where I thought about how many years it would be before I had the freedom again to get out of bed on a Saturday when I wanted to.  

This is what I'm talking about.  These are the moments I have powered through lately, and I confess that I have ugly thoughts sometimes about this stage of life.  And you know what?  That's all there is to it.  Parenting is just really hard.  There's no nice, fluffy way to end that thought.  Yes, I could talk about how it's so worth it (which it is) and how this too shall pass (which it will) and how much I adore my boy (which I do).  But sometimes it just feels good to just admit how hard it is and leave it at that.  So there's my confession.  I'm a mama who is struggling through this parenting thing and some days feel like it might cause me to lose my mind.  And I hope somebody else just needed to hear that you're not alone today.  Hopefully someone besides me feels like she is, by grace, just keeping her head above water sometimes.  Let's just say that more often, can we?  Then maybe we'll stop feeling so much mom-guilt and feel encouraged by the fact that our child-induced craziness is just normal.

Now that I've said that, I can actually laugh at the fact that Jonah had a Life cereal craving at 5:00 in the morning.  Hey, at least he wasn't asking for a giant box of Nerds.




  1. Thanks for sharing. I often wonder also, am I the only one who feels like this? Mommy guilt is toxic. Will be praying for your new little one's journey.

  2. This made me smile, not because this is a funny subject matter, but because I have been there, done that. And now that I have adult children, I can certainly laugh at the times when I was less than a "perfect" mother. Being proud of the girls and the women they have become makes every moment of pain and suffering worth it! You are a wonderful mother Katie, never doubt that.