Recently I’ve read several articles written by mothers who, for one reason or another, feel suppressed by their current situation. For the most part the issue comes down to four things: feeling overwhelmed by housework, putting others’ needs before their own, not feeling acknowledged for all that they do, and lastly, not having enough time for themselves. I’m here to say, I get you. I get you 100%.
But I’m also here to explain why I’m glad that being a mom was especially difficult today.
My 15-month-old is in the middle of getting 6 teeth. At. The. Same. Time. The term “growing pains” has never rung more true for my little guy and I can only imagine how he’s feeling. As long as I keep the Tylenol coming he’s a pretty happy kid but he’s also discovering a tantrum phase which any mother can tell you, isn’t fun.
After a rough night, and yet a decent morning, Calvin wouldn’t go down for a nap this morning. He cried for 30 minutes and when I went in to soothe him he wouldn’t cuddle with me like he usually will. I let him stay up and I turned on a movie while we had some lunch. When I suggested a nap (an hour later) he melted down and I decided that one way or another – this kid had to sleep. After wrestling with me for a bit he did eventually go to sleep and as I quietly walked out of his room I felt like I could finally breathe.
With some time to myself I took stock of what needed to be done. Piles of dishes on the counter, clothes needing to be washed, emails to be sent and a home to be tidied…but with all of that I decided to make the bed and take a shower. When the bed is made and I’m clean I feel like I handle things much better. As I waited for the water to warm up I thought about how stressful the last 12 hours had been and felt really glad to have a minute to take care of myself. But as the cold water splashed on my toes I realized that it wasn’t going to warm up (still have no idea why – it was 2 in the afternoon?!) and choked back tears. Nothing was going right and while I realized this was definitely a first world problem – they’re still hard to deal with when you’re in them.
I turned off the water and felt like my only option was to move on with my day when I was reminded of the freezing cold showers I would take in the MTC when my companion and I would go running and only make it back just in time to get ready for the day. I thought to myself how the water coming out of my shower today wasn’t that cold and that if I really wanted to be clean then I could deal with it. I tried to avoid getting completely wet as I took a shower and I thought about my mission and other hard times of my life. I also thought about being single and how care-free life is when it’s just you.
And that’s why I’m glad being a mom was hard today. We might have loads of laundry to do but we have clothes on our backs and loved ones to serve. We might have piles of dishes to get through (I hope that unlike us, you have a dishwasher) but we have food to eat and people to eat with. We have children to nourish and love. And when we only have 10 minutes alone to shower or sneak our favorite snack or get some work done it’s because we have little souls who look to us for love and guidance and a wonderful life.
If you’re not living the life you want then do something about it.
If you work from home like I do and things aren’t going your way, take an honest account of how you spend your time and look at what can be done. You might need to suck it up and realize you’re wasting time. But if you’re not, outsource what you can — have your groceries delivered, have your laundry picked up, or hire a nanny or a friend to watch your baby so you can work. If you’re not making enough to have those expenses then do what you can to get more clients — if that’s most important to you. And if you’re having issues with your husband (not spending enough time with you, or not helping out, or not picking up after himself or whatever) then TALK TO HIM.
We only get this one life! And at one time this is exactly what we wanted. So let’s all buck up and look for the blessings in the mess. Women are tough. Women are strong. Women can do really hard things and it’s ok to have difficult days. After feeling sorry for yourself that your shower water isn’t warming up – let’s realize that it’s really not that bad and get back to being *awesome*!
You got this momma!