To the struggling mom who finds herself thinking, “this mom thing is way harder than I thought,” I’m right there with you.
I am having way more bad days than good ones lately and to be completely honest, I have some days where I wish I could just stop being a mom for a while.
This is not a post where I share all the answers about how to get through the bad days. (Although I do share some reminders at the end of this post that help me a little on those days.)
I wish I had those answers and I do believe they will come to me over time, but for now, I’m right smack in the middle of learning how to be a mom to a toddler and a baby and some days are just plain messy (in every sense of the word).
Nothing can prepare you for the complete rollercoaster ride of emotions that parenthood is.
I find myself praying for bedtime to come and then, when I realize how bad that sounds, I feel an overwhelming sense of guilt. I feel bad for not enjoying more of the time I did have with them that day.
I knew that two kids would be harder than one, but I underestimated it. Personally, I’m still struggling to find a good balance to all of this.
Before you become a parent, you hear other moms and dads talk about things like not being able to go to the bathroom alone or always having a third party in their bed or having to constantly answer questions for a curious, growing mind.
It all sounds kind of funny – until you have kids yourself. Then, all those things can be incredibly overwhelming, and you can begin to lose your sense of self.
Before our second daughter was born, I thought I had the mom thing down perfectly. Me and my then two year old daughter had an awesome routine and we just clicked. She was easy, took long naps and wasn’t the kind of two year old that got into things. I was able to walk out of the room to get something done without having to worry about her getting into trouble.
Life was good. I had found the perfect balance of being a mom and still being me.
Now, I am not only in charge of her but also this little baby that needs a lot of my attention as well.
My days start early and then it all begins – a constant battle of trying to balance playing with them both, keeping up with everything in the house, cooking, washing bottles, making bottles, changing diapers and trying to time the baby and the toddler’s naps to be at the same time because that is the only time I get a small break.
Most of the time I am completely exhausted. I never thought my days would be full of telling someone to get their finger out of their nose (about a thousand times) or having the same fight at every meal about staying in their seat and eating their food, or by teaching another person how to go to the bathroom and how to wipe them self. By being asked over and over “What are you doing?” and “Can you play with me?” By cleaning up spills on floors I just cleaned. The list goes on…
Some days, just the noise alone can make me want to run and hide.
What I am realizing is that, for me, one of the hardest parts about motherhood is just how much everyone depends on me. As a mom, we have to be there for everyone all the time. There’s no days off and some of this just isn’t fun.
As hard and as tiring as it is, I also realize the day is full of a million other things that are amazing.
I love hearing my baby laugh and when she sticks those chubby little feet in her mouth. My heart feels like it’s going to burst when I see my toddler “read” a book to her baby sister. I love watching my toddler get excited and proud when she figures something out on her own. And absolutely nothing is better than when my older one says “I love you Mommy” for no apparent reason or gives me a huge hug out of nowhere.
I know that it isn’t healthy for me to continue the way I’ve been thinking. I need to stop getting stuck in the negativity and the frustration. I find myself wishing for the day when I don’t have to change diapers anymore, or the day that my toddler can dress herself, or the day where they just don’t need me 100% of the time. However, I know I can’t focus on what I am not getting done in the day or what my girls can’t do yet.
I have to make a change. I know it won’t be easy but I don’t want to look back on these days and be reminded of how angry and frustrated I always was. I don’t want to regret appreciating all the things that are also extremely awesome about this part of motherhood.
I want my girls to have memories of a mom who is positive and encouraging. I am FAR from perfect and I know that I will have bad days (lots of them, I’m sure) but it’s how I learn to handle those bad days that will make me a stronger person and a better mom and wife.
Going forward, these are the things that I want to try to practice daily:
THIS TOO SHALL PASS
I’ve heard these words a lot and read about how this simple phrase has helped other moms get through some of the bad times and I get why. At a time when I want to break down because I’ve had too much, I want to remember these words because I know it’s true. Everything eventually will pass and us mom’s are much stronger than we give ourselves credit for.
I WILL BE OKAY
There have been many times where I wonder if I can do this; if I can really get through all the hurdles of motherhood. In those early weeks after we had just brought our second baby home, I kept wondering if I had made a mistake. Maybe I shouldn’t have had a second baby? Maybe I wasn’t cut out to handle everything that having two kids throws at you? Deep down though, I know I am. I know that I will be okay.
CONSTANTLY PRACTICE GRATITUDE
This is something I used to consider myself pretty good at. I pray every morning when I wake up and every night before I go to bed and the first thing I pray about is how thankful I am for the people and the things I have in my life. I noticed, though, that I’ve been praying more out of habit instead of genuinely feeling that gratitude.
I know I have a lot to be grateful for, I really do. I don’t mean to sound incredibly negative here but I thought it was important to share how frustrated and overwhelmed we can feel as moms too. I’ve just been so caught up in the stress and the chaos of life with a baby and a toddler, that I’ve forgotten how much I really should appreciate what I have.
That’s why I vow to make these changes ASAP. I want nothing more than to give my girls all the love and positivity that they give me.
What helps you get through the bad days?
For another post with amazing advice and encouragement for those tough days, head over to this one from Clever Girl Finance. She has lots of great tips for what to do when you’re really struggling. <3