We all need to be told that we are not alone. It’s always so uplifting to hear stories and experiences from those that have walked in our shoes. Today’s guest post in the Confessions of an Imperfect Mother series is from a sweet gal named AJ (find her on facebook), writing to herself 8 years ago. I hope it encourages your heart, just like it did mine!
You are not alone. Even as you sit in the living room with your two-year old son and 5 month old daughter, you are not alone. You struggle as you breast feed the baby while your 2 year old tugs on your arm and asks you to play and you feel guilty.
You feel guilty because you don’t want to. It’s not just that you are busy, literally giving your life to the hungry baby sucking nutrients out of you, you actually don’t want to. You love your babies, you delight in their little giggles and small voices and perfect faces, but you are tired and you just want to sit for a few minutes before you HAVE to take care of their needs.
It’s okay that you don’t enjoy your job every minute of every day. It’s okay if some days you are tired and weary and worn out and you just want to hide in the closet. Because you know that you love them with every fiber of your being. You know that you look at them and your heart swells within you with pride and love and some other unnamed emotion that sometimes threatens to overwhelm you until you squish their little cheeks and squeeze them until they ask you to let go.
Don’t worry about if you are trying too hard or not hard enough, just allow your love to guide you. If you are motivated by love for your babies, it doesn’t matter if no one else is parenting in the same way as you. If it seems right to you, ignore the other mommies who criticize (in a joking way) and say you are being too “uptight” or “too much of a new mom”. You won’t stop being that way, even when they are older.
You will still care about germs and will still make them wash their hands, you will still feel that it is your #1 job to keep them safe (even when he is 10 and is a crossing guard and wants to walk to school by himself – you will let him but will question the decision every day).
They are telling the truth. It goes really fast. What they don’t remember, or are choosing to forget, is that you are in the doldrums of motherhood. This is the time that seems to go on forever. Every day is the same exhausting schedule and you can’t remember when you last took more than a 5-10 minute shower and you haven’t slept for more than 6 hours in a stretch.
It does go really fast… it just starts really slow.
I won’t tell you to enjoy every minute. Just hold on. The hard parts are over quickly. Enjoy what you can and endure the rest. Enjoy those quiet moments when you are cuddling your baby or your toddler is telling you in his tiny little voice about his next great idea.