submitted by Guest Blogger, Tabitha
“I don’t think I’m cut out to do this whole ‘mom’ gig,” I mutter to myself one mid-fall morning. The kids aren’t even ready to go out the door to drop my oldest off at school, and I think maybe today is just going to be one of those days. The baby is in a cranky mood, my toddler is moving slower than molasses in January, and my oldest has ruined her shirt. I want a glass of wine, I want a valium, I want something to just set my nerves at ease.
Before I get jumped on, saying that if I feel that way, then I shouldn’t have children, let me make one thing clear. I love my children. Being a mother is the greatest thing I have ever done in my entire 29 years on this planet. But I’m not going to sit here and say it’s all peaches and cream, because parenthood, like life, is a series of wonderful ups and downs. Some days I have the unending patience of a saint, and those are wonderful mommy days, in which my children are immaculate, my house is tidy, and dinner is simmering perfectly on the stove.
And then there are those days. Days in which I am constantly chasing my kids with a wipe and yelling for them to just stop right where they are for one minute. My voice escalates to banshee levels and I find myself ripping my hair out. Dinner is either not prepared because I didn’t remember to take meat out in time, or it’s not getting done all at the same time (i.e., my mashed potatoes are done 30 minutes before the roast). The children are nonstop balls of energy and I can’t keep up because the baby had a bad night and I just want to crash and sleep.
The stigma attached to admitting that some days our unicorns of parenthood don’t poop out shiny rainbows of perfect happiness annoys me. I have seen women force a smile on their face when asked how everything is as they somehow manage to grit out “It’s great. It’s just peachy. I’m fine”. I have been one of those women. But I have also heard women say “I love my kids, but I just really don’t like them much today”. I have also said that.
I’ve recently learned to celebrate my imperfection as a mother. I’m not perfect, and like many others, there are days when I want to run away from my children. Women who can admit to their imperfections and limitations as a mother shouldn’t be looked down upon. They should be praised for having the courage to say “I need a break from my children. I love being a mom but today I hate it”.
I admit to my bad days. Days when I long for the selfish freedoms that being childless afforded me. Being a parent requires a lot of selflessness, and sometimes I think it would be nice to just have a selfish day where the focus can be me. Just me and what I want. I’m not busting on the women who can take even the worst day and handle it with grace and patience. I’m not saying they’re any less of a mother for having a perfect day, every day. I honestly think that’s great.
But I’m not that amazing. I’m pretty amazing, there’s not question about that (haha, kidding…I’m not that egotistical), but I am not perfect. I get frustrated. I have limits. I know how to deal with them. I know how to demand that my Mister take care of the children while I take some time for myself. It’s the judging of others that I have a problem with. The bias that, if I admit to having a day where I don’t want to be around my children, that I’m going to end up doing something bad. That’s ridiculous. As a whole, we women need to stop judging other moms for saying there are days that they just can’t stand being a mom.
Women who voice their doubts, fears, misgivings, and frustrations have got cajones, that for the longest time I didn’t have. Since I have learned to “stick up for myself”, I have felt healthier, happier, and more patient. Call me selfish, call me a bad mom…but demanding that I get some time now and then to focus on myself keeps me sane, which enables me to be a better mommy to my beloved children, with less banshee imitating and more of the patience and grace I admire so much in the mommies who have no “last nerve” for their children to get on.