Sometimes It Ain't Pretty....

It’s 11am and I’ve officially cried all of my make up off. It’s just one of those days. I guess I had them before I became a parent, but somehow they didn’t feel this bad. Nothing is that bad when no one is looking, right? These days, there is always someone looking. She’s little now, but she sees me nonetheless and sometimes I am painfully aware of it.

Maybe it’s a mixture of breastfeeding hormones, the bad night’s sleep I had, or the fact that some days I wake up and I just don’t feel like it. And how can I explain it… not to you, dear reader, but to my husband who has, this entire last year and a half, not experienced a hormonal roller coaster of epic proportions? He, who gets trot off to whatever normalcy sustains him. Away from me who sometimes feels resentful.

It’s not that I’m complaining. Sometimes it comes off as complaining when I just have to cry. And I don’t know why. I’m overwhelmed at times. It’s not my kid, really. I love her so much and in so many ways she’s a breeze. Being a mother is just… So. Emotional. And apparently, emotion doesn’t come as easy to me as I would have hoped. Over the years of my adulthood, I learned to keep things light and pleasant—this doesn’t serve me as a postpartum parent.

I never realized that, at times, it would seem as though everyone (including the dogs) wants a piece of me. I never thought I would wonder who was there to take care of me; certainly it can’t be ME when I’m clearly so busy taking care of everyone else! I never thought it would be easy. I wasn’t under any illusions when people gave me their dreamy versions of what parenthood was like for them…

I cry while I unload the dishwasher, while I put dinner in the crockpot, and while my child naps (strapped to my chest in her baby carrier.) I don’t know why I cry, exactly. When my husband asks me, I tell him I’m frustrated. I give the usual list of reasons, and we fight and I continue to cry. It’s not pretty, but sometimes this is parenthood. We make up, sort of. Tonight we’ll put it all away and tomorrow we’ll start anew.

God save you if you are a non parent reading this. It’s nothing that would scare or even phase a mom. Not that we’re so different, mind you. In fact, us moms are just like you gals who haven’t had kids except that now our emotions are severely heightened and our kids are constantly watching us. If you’re a dad, I am sure you are nodding your head and thinking back on the time your wife told you that you weren’t present enough, or that she needed a break through tears that just would not stop coming.

This is my experience: being a parent is the vacillation between sheer joy and terror. There is rarely an in between moment where you think, “eh, this is just neutral.” Neutrality is for Sweden; parents have no such luxury. In today’s world of the Internet, it’s easy to look at Facebook or Instagram (or even someone’s blog) and see all the beauty. Of course, it’s  easier to share your happiness than it is to admit to the world that you’ve cried off all your make up before 11:00am. But it also isn’t real.

Sometimes life is fucking rough. Or emotional. And I want you to know that I know that. So I wrote this post as an offering because sometimes we all need one. Has parenting been pretty easy for me? Yes, for the most part it has been. Even still, there are days when I don’t even recognize myself. Tomorrow might be different (in fact, sometimes I count on it), but there is no shame in admitting that the truth is imperfect, and that’s okay too. 

7 comments:

  1. Let the truth set you free. I think every mom has these moments. The older they get many things get easier, the frustration is not one of them! I love my 3 little ones to death, but I dread the weekly trip to the grocery store. A 4 year old, 2 year old and infant are hard to handle at home, let alone a place where they have every type of cookie imaginable. There has been many a day where I would cry after getting them in their seats but I wouldn't change it for anything. As crazy as it sounds I know there will be a day I will miss them being so young and full of life. I just take a deep breath and say this will pass. Then turn up the radio sing my jams all the way home :-)

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    1. I loved this comment. Spot on!

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    2. YES! Totally true. I get frustrated and then I look at her and think, "there will be a day when my only wish will be to do it all again."

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  2. Let the truth set you free. I think every mom has these moments. The older they get many things get easier, the frustration is not one of them! I love my 3 little ones to death, but I dread the weekly trip to the grocery store. A 4 year old, 2 year old and infant are hard to handle at home, let alone a place where they have every type of cookie imaginable. There has been many a day where I would cry after getting them in their seats but I wouldn't change it for anything. As crazy as it sounds I know there will be a day I will miss them being so young and full of life. I just take a deep breath and say this will pass. Then turn up the radio sing my jams all the way home :-)

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  3. Let the truth set you free. I think every mom has these moments. The older they get many things get easier, the frustration is not one of them! I love my 3 little ones to death, but I dread the weekly trip to the grocery store. A 4 year old, 2 year old and infant are hard to handle at home, let alone a place where they have every type of cookie imaginable. There has been many a day where I would cry after getting them in their seats but I wouldn't change it for anything. As crazy as it sounds I know there will be a day I will miss them being so young and full of life. I just take a deep breath and say this will pass. Then turn up the radio sing my jams all the way home :-)

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