the one where I talk about being a mom.

Last week I had to go to Lifeway to pick up a Beth Moore book for my bible study. Sounds like an easy enough trip, right? I thought so. After Grayson woke up from his long nap, I packed him a snack & we headed to the store. As soon as we walk in he begins flailing in my arms, arching his back, and trying to jump out of my arms. I put him down and he immediately goes to a stand of Christmas books on sale. He wants them all in typical toddler fashion. I grab one to keep him occupied & head to the back of the store. The screeching starts. {Cue mama panic mode...it's like a sixth sense knowing when our child is about to erupt in an epic meltdown.} I quickly find my book, put him back down, and he races over to the kid section with Veggietales stuff. What does he immediately want? Well, everything. They had xylophones, Little People Noah's Ark, books, stuffed animals...you name it, he was grabbing it. After a few minutes of him running around & me chasing him, I headed up to the register. The arching/flailing/kicking begins again and down he goes. While I paid, he dumped out a cup of highlighters, was taking tops off of pens, and generally wreaking havoc on this poor Christian bookstore.

By the time we left, my face was red and I was sweating. Those are the moments I never thought about when my sweet newborn was snuggling in my arms. I never imagined those moments of pure parenting frustration & chaos. But, they happen.

I was talking to my friend Jen a few nights ago & we were discussing this whole mama gig. She was saying that it drives her crazy that nobody every really says, in general, that being a mom is hard. She's right. There is always a discussion/debate it seems about being a stay at home mom or a working mom & which is harder. 

Y'all, I'm going to let you in on a little secret. I am here to say that being a mom is hard. It's the most challenging, yet rewarding, thing I have ever done. It's not all rainbows & butterflies like I thought it would be when I was a little girl playing with my dolls. 

I've been on both sides of the fence; I've been a working mom & I'm currently a stay at home mom. Guess what? They are both hard. 

I went back to my 1st grade classroom when G was 12 weeks old.

Leaving him in a daycare when he was teeny? It sucked. The mama guilt I felt for leaving him? That was hard. Pouring myself into a class full of 6 year olds & then going home to my other job as wife/mama? That was hard. Spending time each night making sure a daycare bag was packed and ready to go? That got old. Dealing with that horrible 4 month sleep regression and then getting up to go to work? That was awful, hard, AND exhausting. Running around like a chicken with my head cut off every morning trying to get myself and a baby ready? That was hard. Feeling like I had to jam pack my weekends with family time since I didn't have much of that during the week? That made me sad.

When Grayson was 8 months old, I quit my teaching job to stay home.

Having to be ON all day in order to entertain a busy boy? It is exhausting. Not having sick days? Well, that's no fun. Not having adult interaction at all until Ben gets home some days? It can make me crazy. The days that G tests me over & over & over again? They are so challenging. The nights that Ben works late and I literally don't get a break until 8pm? holy cow, that is exhausting. Guess what? Sometimes I still feel mama guilt, only this kind is different. Grayson was in a great daycare/preschool program. It had real teachers & a legit curriculum. Sometimes I feel guilty about taking him away from a place that I know he would learn from. It's hard to feel guilty when it is something having to do with your child.

Nobody ever told me that being a parent was going to be easy. I didn't expect it to be easy.  I just never imagined how challenging it really is to raise a child. I don't want this post to come across like I don't enjoy my newish role as a mama. I love it. It's the greatest thing that I have ever done. It is worth every single sleepless night, early morning, and temper tantrum. What is that quote? Nothing worthwhile is ever easy. Or something like that. So very true. I just wanted to throw it out there that being a mom can be hard & will challenge you in more ways than you thought possible & to hopefully realize that I am not alone in feeling this way. :)


The Anderson Family said...

You are definitely not alone! I have been on both sides too and agree they are equally hard. These little guys just like to test us - every.single.second! I will see you soon at our play date!

Lindsey said...

You are not alone! It is so hard! The tantrums drive me crazy and I want to hide out at home until my Grayson gets older because it is exhausting to take him out in public. He is worth it though! Great post!

Alyssa said...

You are absolutely right- being a mom is HARD no matter what! I just wrote a post about this exact topic last week on my blog, except it was about my daughter about to turn 13 in April. I'd give anything right now to have her be a toddler again! People are much more forgiving when a toddler throws a fit in a store than they are with a teenager with a snotty attitude!

Keep up the good work!!

Melissa said...

I feel the exact same way! Sometimes I feel like I'm too boring and not teaching Isabelle enough. Always guilt! No one ever said that by being a mom you would feel guilty about every move you make! Yikes! I think we should ask for a raise:)

The Gould's said...

Girl you SAID IT!!!!! Love your blog - and love what you had to say - its the TRUTH!! :)

Marci said...

You hit the nail on the head with this post! Couldn't have said it better! I'm not a SAHM (yet) -- but I know my sister used to tell me the same things! And though I look forward to stayiing home with my boy (and any future kiddos), I know it will be difficult in its own way! Thanks for sharing.

Sadie said...

Just found your blog and I have to say this post is so very true. Thanks for sharing. I have been meaning to write one similar, but about marriage and just how hard it is and how much work it is.