I know lots of girls grow up dreaming of being a mom. I’m not one of them. In fact, until I was married, I wasn’t sure I even wanted to have children at all. Then four months after our wedding I got pregnant and figured I better get on board with God’s plan for me.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my children immensely. Besides meeting my husband, they’re the best thing that ever happened to me. I’m happy to be a mom.
But it’s not easy.
I’ve met women for whom bearing and raising children seems to come as second nature. My little sister is one of them.
She had four kids in four years and while her house is loud and crazy sometimes, she is a great mother. She’s raising sweet, gregarious, respectful, charming kids. She seems to have found the right balance of laid-back parenting and teaching and enforcing healthy boundaries. On top of it all, she genuinely enjoys being a mom.
Then there’s me.
Pretty much everything that parenting entails is a challenge for me.
It’s hard for me to get up at 5:30 every morning (weekends included) just to get some time to myself.
It’s hard to change diapers for two kids. All. The. Time.
It’s hard to not ever eat my food hot because it gets cold while I feed the kids first.
It’s hard to have to schedule my days around nap time.
It’s hard to never spend money on myself because there’s always something the kids need more.
It’s hard to be constant and consistent in my parenting, making sure that I’m not missing opportunities to teach and guide and love and demonstrate grace and mercy.
It’s hard knowing that I’m being watched every second of every day by two little ones and that the behavior that I model will speak louder to them than anything I say.
It’s hard to know what’s worth making a big deal of and what I should let go.
It’s hard to not compare myself or my kids to others.
It’s hard not to feel insecure about everything.
I’m not complaining. No, really. I’m venting. There’s a difference, you know. One is motivated by dissatisfaction with current circumstances and the other is just a way to release some pressure.
I know how quickly time will pass and that I will look back on these years with fondness and maybe even nostalgia. I know what a precious gift my children are. But none of that changes the fact that being a mom is hard – by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done.
“Simply having children does not make one a mother.”
~John A. Shedd
Never doubt that you are a great mom, Becky! I am quite surprised that you were cautiously prepared for motherhood. You do really seem to be a natural at it. From the day I met you and Cara, I have been struck by how calm, cool and collected you are with your parenting role. I remember thinking to myself, as an old hen, “wow! If all new moms would be so calm!!!” Trust me, your children’s teachers and other care providers will appreciate your steady-eddy demeanor. Your kiddos are very blessed to have YOU as their mommy. God is good!
Thank you, Su-Su. Your words me a lot to me this morning. 🙂
I feel this way a lot too.
Oh my goodness! It is almost as if we are living parallel parenting lives. I entered into parenting life rather hesitantly, myself. Parent IS hard. Toughest job I’ve ever loved? Sure. But really, really hard. After my first was born, I felt guilty when I went back to work and breathed a sigh of relief as I opened the doors to the building. Staying at home, now that I have two, has been a steep learning curve. Thanks for sharing your experience. It is so nice to feel like there are other moms out there with similar challenges (and similar insecurities). I like to think that our awareness and thoughtfulness about the process of parenting will serve our children well.
Tiffany, I can so relate to your struggle with the transition from working to staying home. It’s certainly tougher than I expected. It does help, though, to know we’re not alone in our struggles.
I’m reading your reply as I eat my cold lunch, poorly timed with my antibiotics for mastitis, and butterfly antennae on my head, as that was deemed the best holding place for them during nap time. No. You aren’t alone. 🙂
Thanks for being so honest and open about the struggles of motherhood. I am embarking on that chapter this summer (when our first is due) and I struggle with anxiety and excitement constantly. I always wanted to grow up to be a mom, but I know that doesn’t mean it’ll be easy. Thanks for bringing balance to the, too often, just black & white view of whether being a mother is easy or hard. 🙂
I love following your FB updates, Katie Beth! I’m very happy for you. You will be a great mother. I’ll probably come to you for advice. 🙂
Amen! I relate to this totally. I’ve decided that while God has called me to be a mom and I am SO grateful for the blessing, the actual day-to-day skill set involved is not my forte! I think some women find mothering and homemaking very fulfilling; for me, they are difficult … at least at this stage. Not sure if you saw this link on my wall, but encouraged me immensely yesterday! http://powerofmoms.com/2012/05/joy-or-just-wait/
I hadn’t seen it, Suzanne, but that post is SO encouraging. And I love the two photos.