Motherhood is not for everybody.
Many of us simply weren’t born with the predisposition ideal for raising children- patience, selfless-ness and the ability to completely overlook peanut butter finger smudges adorning the sofa- just to name a few.
Motherhood requires the endurance of a marathon runner, and I have always been more of a sprinter.
I am impatient, OCD, moody AF (perhaps even bipolar), and value my freedom above all else.
Vaguely aware of this premise, I avoided conception as best as I could. That is… until I was told by an ER doctor that the appendix I suspected to be bursting was actually an embryo implanting into my uterus.
Knocked up at 27, I decided to repress all of my fears and preconceived notions about being a mom. I was going to commit to motherhood and I was going to be hopeful about it all. Fantasies of being a stay-at-home mother began to entertain my imagination.
Fearing the dead-end reality of my mediocre marketing career, I postulated that traditional, domesticated motherhood would fill some sort of void. Acknowledging , deep down, that I hadn’t found my calling in the business world, perhaps homemaker could be “my thing”.
Still needing to maintain the cash flow however, I was able to negotiate a re-structuring of my Marketing Manager position. Leaving my employee status for contractor status, I could work from home with my little bundle of joy.
I felt so damn lucky . I got to have the best of both worlds!
When you realize motherhood is making you miserable..
Once the sleep-deprivation of the newborn phase had somewhat subsided, stay-at-home motherhood was proving to be pretty freakin’ awesome.
All of that being said, I was blessed with a super chill baby. In fact, he didn’t cramp my style too much at all. Taking him shopping with me or to nice restaurants, I was still able to maintain some semblance of a social life. This motherhood thing was a piece of cake!
I was so smug with my parenting experience that my husband and I actually decided to have another shortly after (in addition to purchasing our first fixer upper home to renovate). Life was good, and I felt fully in control and expansive.
AND THEN CAME THE TERRIBLE TWOS…..
I am not sure if it was the hormones from my second pregnancy (talk about major depression) or the fact that my two-year-old truly had it out for me, but as soon as my son started walking (and talking , and throwing major tantrums), all of my old fears regarding parenthood, began to surface.
Increasingly isolated from long-time friends and unable to make mom friends, all I could do was stew in my misery..alone.
Scrolling through social media to numb the boredom and loneliness only compounded the pain. With my Facebook feed full of happy mommies with their happy children, doing all sorts of things I couldn’t muster up the energy for, I felt like a worthless failure.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my children so freaking much it hurts, but I began dreading each waking day.
From dressing my child to feeding him (or even putting him in his car-seat), every simple task was an overwhelming battle. I was f*cking miserable, and I knew something had to give. But how do you alleviate or solve the overwhelm of motherhood-a job you can’t simply quit?
Going back to a corporate job was out of the question. With now two daycare tuition fees required, I couldn’t afford to have an office job (not with my mediocre career accolades).
Giving Yourself Grace
I’ve often heard “encouraging” stories of mothers who decide stay-at-home parenting is not for them, so they simply make peace with this realization and return to their career. But what about those of us who didn’t have much of a career to begin with? What about those of us who haven’t yet found ourselves or our divine gifts?
To emerge from the hole I had dug for myself, I first had to forgive myself. I had to give myself grace- releasing my expectations of what I thought motherhood (or life in general) should look like.
I had to accept that I wasn’t helping anybody by being a martyr – allowing myself to stay in a situation where I was utterly miserable. Remember? If mama ain’t happy, aint nobody happy.
I also had to accept that working and staying at home with my children 24/7 was becoming detrimental to my mental health (which could easily pose as a threat to my family).
By releasing unrealistic expectations and shame, I was able to see my life from a more objective stance.
From a more loving, less self-condemning perspective, I was able to think “outside of the box” for solutions and was ultimately inspired to start this blog.
Through prayer and meditation, I was guided to take a leap of faith and invest in part-time childcare (even when finances were painfully tight).
Looking back over four years later, I can say that investing in childcare and starting this blog (as a means to pay for said childcare), was the best decision for my family and I. It was a risk that proved to be a great investment. Even better, my blog generates more income than my lackluster marketing career ever did (yes…i eventually got to quit my main gig for my “side hustle”).
Not only am I a happier, more-fulfilled individual and more compassionate mother, I have finally found a career I am truly obsessed with.
While I do still occasionally yell at my children (I did plenty of that on Christmas break), and I am still susceptible to depression, I wake up every day thankful for my miraculous transformation.
My life is now better than I ever could have f*king imagined.
Moral of the Story
Whether you are a stay-at-home mother in desperate need of this message, or someone who is simply feeling “stuck” in a miserable situation, just know that everything is “figure-out-able”.
Self condemnation or martyrdom is not doing anyone any favors.
Remaining in an unhealthy predicament because your preconceived notions led you to believe your life is supposed to look or be a certain way, is a slow death.
Get honest with yourself, release unrealistic expectations (or fear of judgement) and step out in faith!
There are so many blessings waiting for you on the other side of fear and uncertainty.
And if you like mantras, here ya go…
I love myself.
I forgive myself.
I release myself of unrealistic expectations.
I know I am doing the best I can.
Through small steps of faith and action, I will be guided to my solution.
Sending you all my love. You deserve to be happy!
And if you found this post helpful, please do me a big favor by sharing with friends or on social media. Thank you so much!