When you’re overwhelmed with the dark side of motherhood
I wanted to scream.
I felt like pulling my hair out.
All I wanted to do was make a nice dinner.
Why had I agreed to this? People must be crazy to agree to this, I thought. Surely, it’s unnatural to sign up for years of mental gymnastics in exchange for the small hope that maybe one day your life will be back to normal.
I was talking about my kids.
The girls who are the very heart and soul of me. You’re probably thinking how I could so heinously view my life with daughters, even for a moment. Hell, it’s what I said to myself after experiencing a series of doubtful thoughts in the throes of motherhood.
And to me, that’s OK.
I love my girls with every bone in my body. I love life with my daughters. I love going to the library and checking out Little Blue Truck and Pete the Cat as many times as they’ll allow it.
I love sitting in swim class watching my daughter excel each week.
I love how my newborn stares enamored at the blades on the ceiling fan or the colorful poster of the world map on our wall — or me.
I’m a girl mom, and it means everything to me.
But motherhood isn’t always flowers and sunshine.
That shit gets tough. Being a parent will try every last nerve in you. It’ll bring you to challenges and tests you never thought possible.
There are days (well, everyday) when my newborn cries the very second I put her down, greatly limiting my production. Like damn, can I just use the bathroom one time?
There are days when my toddler wakes up on the wrong side of the bed, and there’s not much you can do to appease a now-unreasonable little person.
There are nights when both the kids are crying and screaming and screaming and crying during bath time. Shit, I wish someone would bathe me every night.
But we give them what they deserve. They deserve our service, they deserve our patience and understanding and they deserve our compassion.
We started a family with the utmost clarity. We grew our family with identical cognizance. We’re blessed to have gotten what we wanted out of a family.
This was the life we deliberately chose. It’s a life we can smile at, even after the hard days, when we lay down every night with our daughters. Everything we cherish is in one room at the end of the day (yes, we co-sleep like a mofo). That it won’t always be so simple is another hard truth we face. It’s a fact that lights my path on the days I want to lock myself in a dark closet and hide from the beautiful life we built.
I pour a lot of me into parenting and avoiding the mistakes of my parents, and that’s gutsy. It takes an immense amount of accountability and work that never ends.
The bad days are few and far between. They don’t overwhelm me nearly as much as having two young children. That’s real work. So the fleeting thoughts are just that: short-lived.
Because when they look at you and laugh for the first time or tell you how much they enjoyed spending the day at the park with you, suddenly, you’re grounded. You’re tenderly reminded why you chose this life.
Not only do your tiny humans mean the world to you, but you mean the world to them, too.
The thought life without my girls scares me, because I can’t image me without them.
Yes, I was a whole ass person before becoming a mom. And honestly, yes, there were times I felt like I was drowning in motherhood. I then realized that the person I was before has now been enhanced by these two little people. I’m a person who pours into motherhood, and that’s OK with me.
It’s OK for motherhood to be a passion. It’s OK to be family oriented. It’s OK if your weekends include more bounce houses than brunches. It’s OK if you check out Little Lion Shares from the library a gazillion times or warp your schedule around sharing experiences with your kids. It’s OK to be happy with a life of love, marriage, children and all the ups and downs that tag along.
It was kind of scary for me to put this out there. Imagine my trepidation in writing about locking myself in a closet because my kids are driving me nuts.
It’s an important topic that I don’t think we’re always honest or vocal about. Perhaps it’s normal to be overwhelmed when your life changes forever (for the better in my case, but still a mighty change).
If I can acknowledge my feelings, express them and push them away because I’m above all else grateful for all I’ve been given, then it’s OK to talk about the darker side of raising children.
Family life is my new normal, and, including its difficulties, I cherish every bit of it.