I Don't Love Every Moment
It was one of those days. The kind of day that starts off bad and, as it picks up momentum, the negative start continues to carry through and permeate almost every moment. This time, I was awoken in the dead of night to the sound of Linden crying. I say I and not we because Daniel was away on business (as usual) and let's be real, he can sleep through a tornado. I reached for my phone to check the time - 4:06 am. Linden is sleep trained but today he decided that he was going to put up a fight. So at 4:15 am, when he was still screaming on and off, I went into his room to give him a cuddle and calm him down. He was having none of it. He didn't need calming; he wanted milk and only milk. He kept pointing at the door insinuating that I forgot the goods upon entry. I laid him back in his crib with high hopes that he would be too tired to keep the charade alive. Unfortunately, determination and persistence are two of Linden's strongest personality traits and the early morning hours have nothing on him. It was a battle of wills. Him versus me in a standoff and, at exactly 4:45 am, I caved. I went downstairs, got him milk, and the instant he received the white gold he quieted down. He won.
Needless to say, my 7:15 am wake-up call from Maelle was very unwelcome. The whole day seemed to be hanging in the balance of my already tired and impatient attitude. There was absolutely no turning the day around. We were running late for Maelle's camp. She forgot her backpack and when we arrived I had to turn back and pick it up and bring it to her. Linden decided that spitting oatmeal on me would be a fun breakfast activity. And, while I scrubbed the mess out of my dress, he proceeded to empty out the contents of our garbage can. Maelle was whiny and tired for the rest of the day and decided to draw on our playroom walls. She was crying, I was yelling, and the stress levels were on the rise. Of course, Linden had a diaper blowout and spilled his milk all over Maelle's bed. Nothing about the day was easy. It was a day where I didn't love motherhood. That's right, I don't love every second of being a mom. In fact, there are many seconds of motherhood that I don't love.
Even as I typed that I feel the silent judgements being made as people read those very words. I know it's shocking and, although moms sometimes seem superhuman, we are actually just human. Pretending that being a mom doesn't come with its share of bad days perpetuates an unhealthy stigma that so many moms feel they need to live up to. Not loving every moment of motherhood doesn't mean I don't love my kids every moment. Not loving every moment of motherhood doesn't mean I don't want to be a mom. Not loving every moment of motherhood doesn't mean I'm not thankful for my children. Not loving every moment of motherhood doesn't make me a bad a mom. It makes me real because motherhood is hard.
We need to stop telling other moms to "enjoy every moment of motherhood because it will be over before you know it". Do you mean I should enjoy the moment where Linden pooped in my parent's bathtub, I pulled him out and he proceeded to poop on the bath mat, then the bathroom floor, and for his grand finale he pooped right there on their cream coloured carpet? You best believe not one single part of that was enjoyable. Instead, we should be telling new moms to breathe through the tough times. We should tell them to give themselves grace when they let their emotions boil over and get the better of them. We should advise them to rise up to the challenges that will inevitably be thrown their way. We should tell new moms that it's okay to cry, to scream, and to not love every moment. We should let them know that we will support them when the burdens of motherhood become too much to hold alone. But we should also tell them that even the toughest times will be worth it; that hard times pass and your fight will prove it's value when the good times arise. Happiness is buoyant and always finds a way to float to the surface.
The fact that motherhood isn't perfect is what makes it so glorious. The tough days make the job worth doing. I question almost every mom decision I make; should I go back to work? Should Linden start preschool next year? Was I too hard on Maelle earlier? Are my kids learning enough? Are my kids having enough fun? And, as if my children can sense my need for validation, they do something that tells me I am in fact doing a great job as their mother. In the end, motherhood is the greatest privilege I have ever had. The fact that these two tiny humans depend on me from the moment they wake up (yes, even if it's 4:06 am) is bliss and I don't take that for granted. Not every person is so lucky as to get to live their dreams and I am one of the fortunate few who are doing just that. So, in spite of the fact that every day doesn't go exactly as I hope, I also wouldn't trade this life for anything else. I would redo all of the bad days a hundred times over just for the chance to be exactly where I am today.