I said it. I said what (probably) every mom ever has thought at least once in her lifetime – being a mom is hard. And, if I’m right, and every mom ever has thought this at least once, then WHY doesn’t anyone tell you about it? Are we afraid we’ll scare away young women from wanting to be moms? Are we afraid to admit our fears or shortcomings in case other people judge us?
Well, judge away world because I’m about to admit many shortcomings and fears of mine with the hope that it doesn’t scare someone off from being a mom but rather it makes them realize – I’m not alone in this weird, hard mom journey. There’s at least one other person who feels the same way I do.
I need to admit I’m writing this blog on very little sleep (total of about 4 hours…18 month sleep regression is real in our house) so if it sounds like a woman who is sleep deprived (and not really allowed caffeine) it’s because I am.
Last night around 4:00 am, after doing just about everything my toddler could possibly need to go back to sleep and NOTHING was working, I started having a mini meltdown. Husband was at work, so all I could do was text him, Z was sleeping soundly in his room (thank goodness his brother didn’t wake him up) and I’m over here crying. Why? Because I don’t know what else to do. My last resort always when Vinny is not sleeping is to give Tylenol because most of the time his issue can be fixed some other way, but when all of the other ways didn’t work from 1:00 – 4:00 last night/this morning I ended up giving him some medicine thinking that he might be cutting some more molars. So he finally calmed down and fell asleep, and that’s when my brain went into overdrive…
What if I shouldn’t have given him medicine? Is he still breathing? I should go in and check on him. But that might wake him up. But I’m never going to go back to sleep if I don’t check on him. (Goes into his room and he’s breathing just fine, so I lay back down.) But what if he’s not breathing NOW? And the cycle begins again…
I don’t keep it a secret that I have an anxiety disorder and depression. It’s well controlled, and (when I’m not pregnant) I take medicine for it, but since I found out I was pregnant I haven’t been taking the medicine because it’s on the “it might be ok, but it might not be ok” list, and I don’t want to risk it. But it’s been hard, especially with the increased hormones and anxiety that comes along with being pregnant in addition to my own anxiety, and I’ve had to use lots and lots and LOTS of coping strategies to stop myself from spiraling out of control.
But how do you not worry about every little thing that happens with your kids, especially when they’re so little? Basically, right now, my main goal is to keep him alive and relatively unharmed, however, Vinny’s (and most toddler’s) main goal is to do as many dangerous things as they possibly can during the span of a day. It’s impossible not to worry!
And I know, I know, I KNOW worrying doesn’t change anything, it just ruins my happiness. I understand this fundamentally, but it’s still something I do. During my breakdown last night one of the things I texted my husband was about my fears of doing this all over again…the little baby stuff, the ‘toddy’ stuff, the toddler stuff, the not knowing what they need, the wishing they could just tell me what was going on with them. I’m much better when it comes to kids aged 4 and up. Maybe it’s the teacher in me, but I just know how to work with schoolaged kids better than babies and toddlers. I like when kids can tell me what’s wrong and we can reason together how to fix it. I’m good at that. I’m good at diffusing the tension that sometimes occurs between Husband and Z (because they have such similar personalities.) I’m good at having conversations with kids.
Not that I haven’t been enjoying all of Vinny’s stages, but I just know that, as a parent, my strong suit hasn’t come yet. And that kind of makes me feel like a failure. No, not really a failure, just not as confident as I’d like to be during the beginning years. But really, is anyone?
Being a mom is hard. It’s all I’ve ever wanted, but it’s hard. It’s 100% worth it, but, my goodness, it is hard.