This post was originally titled Mommy Insomnia- but it took a bit of a different turn… I love when that happens 🙂
I don’t think there is anything that can really prepare you for being a mommy… the lack of sleep, the mountain of poopy diapers that never seems to end, the cracked nipples, the stitches, the soreness. I had a friend tell me recently, “no one ever told me it would be like this”. You expect to be tired, but the sheer exhaustion and level at which you can function is actually shocking!
In early pregnancy the hormones keep waking you up all night to pee every two hours. You get a tease of a break in the second trimester when you actually get to enjoy sleep, until the third trimester comes along and again the two hour mark brings another slew of issues. You have to pee, you have heartburn and need to down 14 tums, you’re thirsty or hungry, you arm/hip/leg has fallen asleep, you get a leg cramp that wakes you out of the sleep you just fell into, you’ve found yourself too comfortable and realize you are on your back and need to roll onto a side… did I miss any?
For a couple of nights, if your lucky like me, you’re actually in labor, which puts you extra far behind in sleep. Then baby arrives and you have two sleepless nights in the hospital. Then the insomnia starts… Oh ya, that was all restful compared to the nights ahead! But no one tells you about this part, it easy to gloss over it with a simple- “we’re tired” or “you’ll be tired, but sleep when baby sleeps”… which never really happens.
When you have a newborn you wake up every two hours to feed, change, rock and bounce baby. When baby is a couple months old you wake up every couple of hours to put paci back in or rock back to sleep. When baby is old enough to stand, you wake up because although they can stand when they wake up, they can’t sit back down. When baby is teething, you don’t sleep at all.
Among all of that is the worry- the fear that your heart could be broken. Kelle Hampton said it best.
“But here’s the thing: once you become a parent… once you start feeling a little funny and you buy that pregnancy test… once you see a pink plus sign… once you know it’s not just you anymore… well, you automatically carry around, for the rest of your life, an increased likelihood of having your heart broken. And it’s a constant fear that we struggle to put to rest.”
And in between all of that you see mom’s posting hours and hours of crafting with their perfectly dressed children, their make-up done, their clothing impeccable (no 4-day old spit-up on their shoulders).. they are thin, they have dinner on the table and dessert for later, they make a special drink every night of the week, their house doesn’t have a spec of dust much less a slew of bunnies hopping around…their garden is tailored, the laundry is done and put away and they have time to blog about all of it! Exaggeration? Maybe, or maybe not. And the whole time some of us are sitting here thinking- “What the hell! Are you kidding me!? Where am I going wrong?”
There are days where we all feel on top of the world- it may be the whole day, it maybe two whole days, and it may only be an hour. But we all have moments where we pat ourselves on the back and say, “well done”. We go through our days, the good and the trying. The bruises heal, you learn to cope with little sleep, you drink a lot of Starbucks (Oh, is that just me?) and you do it because it’s worth it. Because while being a mom can be one of the most difficult things, it is also the most rewarding.
Because this sweet face…
and this smile are often all I need to get me through the day…to keep me going…
Does that make it easy- no. Does that mean we don’t feel alone, frustrated, tired, frazzled and take a shower just so we can cry our eyes out every once in a while, no.
We do feel all these things, and I think that in the blogging world it’s easy to act like we have it all together. We post about the best of days and don’t often post about the worst, either because we don’t think anyone wants to hear about it, or because we don’t want anyone to know about it. There are times that we as moms are desperate for a little help or just for a little recognition that being a mom isn’t always easy, and may not always be what we expected.
Confession- I don’t do crafts with my kid every day, I let her watch tv and sometimes eat goldfish for lunch, I often don’t take a shower, and makeup? Ya right. I have spitup on my shoulder from last night that I don’t really care about. And all of that is ok.
I started reading the book Desperate recently at the recommendation of Venessa at Unexpected Dreams. It’s a great book of encouragement so mommy’s don’t have to feel alone, don’t have to feel like we have it all together all the time. Check it out. Mommyhood is not always easy but it is so worth it. I hope to post more as I read and learn through this book.
Kelle completes her quote with this,
“We can choose to be afraid or we can choose to live. And I choose to live. Because an increased likelihood of having your heart broken also carries with it an increased likelihood of finding yourself the happiest you’ve ever been in life.