Sometimes I hesitate writing posts of this nature, because…well, things often can be misunderstood or interpreted in ways that are not the way they were intended to be delivered. And in this post, I’m addressing the fact that I am a mother, and yet, I still have feelings of my own. Sure, I know we are all aware of this. But ARE WE, REALLY aware of this fact? Because geez, the amount of guilt that I have to fight off for feeling stuff sometimes makes me think that this is not common knowledge.
Last week it was my birthday. And besides a day trip over the weekend with a couple of my (awesome) friends, my actual birthday and birthday week, was, how shall I saw this…HUGELY DISAPPOINTING. Now I need to get this out of the way. I have absolutely NOTHING to complain about in the grand scheme of things. I have an amazing family and friends and a lot of things to be thankful for. But you guys, I think most of us have expectations that our birthday will be special, right?
Here’s what happened. Our babysitting situation fell through on my actual birthday due to a miscommunication. The previous weekend had been hectic, so I spent the actual day of my birthday power cleaning and trying to recover the house…because just because it was my birthday, doesn’t mean that stuff could really wait. Plus, since our plans fell through, we decided to celebrate on a different day. But then…the kids got sick. So…I think you can imagine how the week went. We cancelled all of our usual plans as well as my birthday plans. I spent the week waking up in the middle of the night helping coughing kids. I spent the days dragging my butt around, eating and drinking as many superfoods as I could humanly consume and washing endless amounts of laundry. Begging and cajoling kids who didn’t feel like eating to eat and drink something. Don’t hear me wrong on this…this is not meant as a complaint. Obviously, I adore my kids and all I wanted was for them to feel better. I felt badly for their poor little runny noses and I do enjoy taking care of them. BUT YOU GUYS, NO ONE WANTS TO SPEND THEIR BIRTHDAY WEEK LIKE THAT!
I’m for reals NOT looking for sympathy here. I’m just trying to bring up the whole “mom guilt” issue that just relentlessly plagues moms everywhere. Propagated even further by social media, where it appears that all moms on there love EVERY FREAKING MINUTE of motherhood (how is that even possible, I mean, do YOU like wiping poop daily??), this is just a real live thing when you’ve got kids. From the moment I had my first baby, I changed a lot. I began caring about both my kids more than myself in a lot of ways. The things that I worry about and think about center around them more often than they do around myself now. BUT. I’m still human. I still feel disappointment when my fun plans that I’ve been looking forward to for weeks, or maybe even a whole year (since that’s how often your birthday comes up!), get cancelled. And yeah, I had a few pity party moments. Because no matter how much you love your kids, you’re so thankful for them, and you would pretty much do anything for them…you still want to have fun. And my husband reminds me often (he’s a great guy!) that my feelings are still valid. That it’s okay that I still want to do things for myself. That it’s not selfish to be disappointed when I don’t get to do what I was planning and hoping to do.
One of the things I’ve found makes it better for me, is to allow myself some time to feel how I feel. I feel disappointed? Okay, I acknowledge and validate why I feel that way. I let myself cry a little, I feel it…and then I remind myself how much I love my kids, how lucky I am to have them, and how they’re only young for a period of time. That someday, they will wipe their own noses, and I may even miss wiping snot. Or poop. (Yikes, being a mom is WEIRD!) I try hard to not berate myself for being well, myself. I love to do fun things. I love to spend time with my husband and have all his attention for a change. I’m a mom. And yes, I’m still a human.
For the days I just don’t want to get out of bed, there’s ugly chic couture! Pajama pants (are the best!) that don’t look like pjs, and an “ugly” tee. Pair these with a kick ass pair of shoes, and you can “roll outta bed” in style, whether you feel like it or not.
And to all you moms out there feeling guilty for having feelings, stop being so hard on yourselves. The very fact that you feel so bad about all this stuff means you’re a great mom. So just be YOU and remember that your kids will notice that and follow suit. Being a mom is challenging enough without being so dang hard on yourself!