Sometimes I just want a vacation from being a mom. That is a sentence I never thought I would say just two years ago. I yearned for a child for the first five years of our marriage, and couldn’t wait to be a stay at home mom. While I found it somewhat isolating, I enjoyed most of the first year. I was breastfeeding around the clock and my daughter rarely slept, but at least I could meet her needs with relative ease. But when she began the road to toddlerdome I realized that I was in over my head.
Near constant whining, food and clothing preferences; some how I didn’t seem to have the emotional coping mechanisms to deal with these. Now, I could blame it on my pregnancy or the emotional turmoil of recovering from a miscarriage. But in usual form, I began to blame myself and think I was a “bad mommy.” You know that little voice we all have from time to time that tells us we are bad mommies because we (Fill in the blank). We feel guilty for letting our kids watch too much TV, not feeding them enough healthy foods, etc. We allow ourselves to feel inadequate when we read articles and blog posts about women who seem to be able to do it all; home school, organic meals, constant healthy mental stimulation. There’s nothing wrong with moms who do these things, and also nothing wrong with wanting to provide these things for your own children. But sometimes you have to cut yourself some slack. It’s ok not to love every moment of mothering. There I said it. There are times when I wish that being a mom was a job I could take a day off from. But it’s not. There are always things to do and a little person demanding my attention.
I try to tell myself that perhaps it will get easier as she gets older but my guess is that parenting, particularly stay-at-home parenting, is always difficult. How it’s difficult simply changes. So for now I focus are getting through the tough days one hour at a time, knowing that tomorrow could be completely different (or more of the same). I try to remind myself of how grateful I am for my daughter and try to fully enjoy the wonderful moments.