It will probably come as no shock to you parents out there that I absolutely love my daughter and that I am completely in love with my daughter. She and I are attached at the hip most days. She’s my buddy, my angel, my heart, my breath. I love her so much that there truly are no words to describe the feeling I have…
…And yet, there are still some days when I find the tasks associated with being a mom, well, burdensome. Oh, I really hate using that word. I mean, I am literally choking back the tears by writing that! I know how blessed I am to have a child, to have a healthy, smart, active, beautiful child who basically tells me to go screw myself every single minute of every single day. And I am incredibly grateful for being her mother, that includes the good and the bad stuff. But, I also feel the pains of parenthood at times. Like being vomited on. Like getting kicked in the back all night because she won’t sleep in her own bed. Or like asking ten times before we leave the house if she has to go potty, and after we get everything in the car and her buckled into her car seat that I’m pretty sure would protect her if we launched her into orbit, then she tells me she has to go pee. And if we don’t get to the toilet immediately then we basically start the whole day over—bath, get dressed, find a pair of dry shoes—and that’s just for me because she peed down my leg.
Everything is fine until I hit a deadline and then she spikes a random fever in the middle of July. But after she comes home from daycare, the fever has magically disappeared. She wedges toys in places we shall not mention, she wipes her spaghetti-sauced face on the sofa, she wipes boogers on everything but a tissue and her favorite place is my hair. She has this need still at 3 years old to pull the collar of my shirt down in public. She refuses to eat anything that doesn’t squish out of a tube of some sort and lately she greets random people at the door naked. I mean she had clothes on when I went to open the door, and by the time we open the door, her clothes have vanished.
She locks me out of the house. She freaks out when I run the vacuum cleaner. She jumps into the air off of every piece of furniture and expects me to catch her no matter what. My shoulder is completely torn up right now to the point that I can’t turn the steering wheel in my car with one arm.
And typically, despite all this. I love most of it. Some of it, as a mother, I even find endearing. She is crazy and active and out of control and I want nothing more than to cheer her on. But, where it gets hard is when I am tired. Or when I am sick. Or when I have a mountain of work that needs completing and no time to do it in. Or when family offers to help but really just adds work on. Or when I’m super stressed out about paying the bills AND being mom at the same time. Then, during those times, I tend to lose my patience.
I don’t want to lose my patience. I try to remain cognizant of the fact that she is a little girl and cannot control her emotions. I likewise try to remember that I am a grown woman and should have control over my emotions. But inevitable, sometimes, it all gets the better of me and I yell. Sometimes it is deserved a little and sometimes not, but nevertheless, I always feel like a pile of mom crap after I do it. Mommy guilty hits deep and it hits hard. Those mommy hormones invade when you get pregnant and they never retreat. I blame them for the reason I feel tears well up now during Disney princess movies. But I digress.
The trick, for me, like every mom out there, is finding balance. But, I think it is more than just juggling a multitude of tasks at any given time. One thing I have been teaching about a lot lately is attitude, and I think this is exactly the kind of place where attitude means everything. Being a parent is hard. It’s hard work. It plays on your emotions. But, if I am focused on the negative I described above, then that is how I will my experience with motherhood—as a negative experience. And my daughter will see her childhood in exactly the same light. Because, when I am focused on negative thoughts, I create more of the same. So, in essence, I am self-creating a crappy mommy situation for myself and by myself.
I’m not gonna lie. Lately, I am tired. My thought processes and problem-solving skills aren’t much better right now than that of my toddler. I am losing things. The house is a mess. I forget what day it is sometimes. I can’t find my phone when it is literally in my left hand. I have the sniffles during summer, my shoulder hurts and my quads are sore and I really don’t know why. And I could use all of this as excuses to be in a bad mood. But, I won’t do that. Yes, I get impatient and lose it sometimes. But I quickly try to rebound after. Because I do not want to perpetuate that bad mood cycle. I want to enjoy the things that make my little girl a little girl, because before I know it, she will be off living her own life and I will be home by myself crying at Disney movies and wiping my snot on the sofa and I won’t have anyone else to blame it on.