Cupcakes and Counseling

Last night I got together with a group of girlfriends (the volleyball/Hawaii group) for one of our “potlucks”. I’ve explained what one of these nights entail, but to recap: It’s a group of awesome women who get together, bring ridiculously yummy food, eat, talk, and most importantly, laugh. There have, occasionally, been tears (both happy and sad), but last night there were definitely only happy tears. I’ve missed my girls, and it was so nice to be able to get together with every one and catch up.

At one point during the evening, there was a conversation where one of my friends was telling another, “… I know I’m supposed to love it, but I don’t. And THAT’S why I shouldn’t have another”. Right away I knew she was talking about children and motherhood. Which THEN sent her into a tailspin of guilt and feelings of inadequacy.

As moms, we are supposed to LOVE our job. Right? We are supposed to embrace the laundry, tornado of mess, endless breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks, crying, fighting, sleepless nights, etc. But just like my friend, there have been times during my mommy career when I’ve had similar feelings.

The group got in on the discussion, and I noticed that the original two (who are also the youngest of us) moms had some serious feelings of guilt about not absolutely always loving motherhood. I remembered feeling that same way, especially when my kids were younger. I remember being up in the middle of the night with babies, telling myself to just keep going for one more day, but also thinking that this motherhood thing was A LOT harder than I thought it would be. I remember nights when I was literally counting the minutes until my (then) husband would get home to relieve me of my duties so that maybe, just maybe, I might have 10 minutes by myself to, oh, I dunno, go to the bathroom and maybe brush my hair and teeth?

I’m not sure when it happened, but at some point, I evolved. As I’ve gotten older, those feeling of guilt have definitely ebbed. I stopped feeling bad about what I didn’t do but should have, what I did but shouldn’t have, and everything in between. At some point, I started forgiving myself for the seemingly inexcusable sin of being human and therefore, imperfect. I didn’t beat myself up for letting my kids watch 45 minutes of t.v. instead of 30, or eating a frozen pizza instead of a fresh cooked meal.

When I finally cut myself some slack and gave myself permission to not love every second of it is when, ironically, I started to love MORE seconds of it. There are some days when my kids are a pure joy and I want to spend all of my free time hanging out and playing with them. Then there are days when at some point I turn on a movie, put myself in a “time out”, and tell everyone that unless there is blood or fire, to not bother me for a few minutes. And instead of feeling bad about myself, I just take it for what it is, take my break, and emerge from my room calmer and hopefully with a better sense of humor.

Obviously I don’t have all of the answers when it comes to parenthood. But in my personal experience (doesn’t 5 kids make me an expert or something? I should at least get an honorary PhD), taking this whole motherhood thing with a grain of salt AND being able to laugh at myself and life in general all while cutting myself some slack has really helped me be the mother I want to be instead of the one I thought I should be.

So moms, give yourself a break… your kids will thank you for it.

Explore posts in the same categories: Babble, Family, Friends, Good Times, Kids, Life, Motherhood

3 Comments on “Cupcakes and Counseling”

  1. erica Says:

    You said it perfectly – stop feeling bad about what I didn’t do but should have and what I did but shouldn’t have. I am imperfect. I know it, my kids know it. And there is NOTHING wrong with a good time out, for them or myself. 🙂

  2. Matt Says:

    I dub you Dr. Mom.

  3. meggypoo Says:

    What’s not to dub?

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