Being a mother is the hardest job. It really, truly is. And as much as people can tell you that, you never really know it until you have kids of your own. I know that I was forewarned and even after having two kids, I didn’t know how much harder it would be with a third.
Yes, it is hard when you take all morning to clean a room or make a bed and find it transformed back to its original messy state in under 2 minutes. When you spend the afternoon cooking a nutritious meal and the kids won’t take a bite. When you mop the floor and someone has to run in from outside to pee and they forgot to take off their shoes. Or worse yet they don’t make even make it to the bathroom.
It is hard when you have to repeat everything you say at least three times before they hear a single word and when they finally do hear you they respond by saying “What?!” Or when your toddler decides that peanut butter makes good finger paint and paints your coffee table, floor and television for you. (Thank you Kesa!) It is so hard that some days I want to cry. And some days that is just what I do. I am only human and some days trying to convince a three year old to finish her breakfast, lunch or dinner is just too draining.
Since having Serafina I have been totally stripped of any routine and it is harder than ever to get everything done that I wish I could. When she naps I have the arduous task of choosing one (maybe two or three) things that need to get done out of a hundred and most often that has been to get out for a walk with the kids in this beautiful weather to keep my sanity, when really most days all I would really like to do is take a nap.
The other day I again had the opportunity to face my perfectionist self as I was completely exhausted and worn out from trying to do it all (as usual). I found myself in tears saying to Craig how I felt that I should be able to do it all. I told him that I should be able to cook, keep the house clean, do laundry, homeschool, exercise, eat healthy, spend time with the girls and take care of a baby. I felt like such a failure for not being able to do what in my mind I had imagined a ‘good’ mother and wife should do. I felt like a bad mother and wife for having my kids eat from a box of mini wheats for lunch some days or have my husband come home from work and have to help with the cooking and the cleaning. In that breakdown moment of mine I had to face the fact that I AM ONLY HUMAN and (as much as I have tried to convince myself that I could), I CAN’T DO IT ALL.
I guess I haven’t been writing on my blog or talking to people for the past while with having Serafina and have been pretty much cooped up inside breastfeeding most of the day and homeschooling any other time. There are dirty dishes in the sink, there is laundry in a pile, there is dirt on my floors, dust on the shelves and a general disorganization to things that just drives me crazy! Not to mention trying to get the kids or myself to eat a healthy well-balanced diet. I have been going through a real hard time the past month and it has been a major awakening for me.
I hope that in writing this today and opening up that some other perfectionist women and mothers can benefit. I know that I can’t be the only woman to ever feel this way, so why is it that we do this to ourselves? Why do we expect that we can be perfect or have a perfect life and why do we crave it so badly? All the time that I spend chasing after being the perfect wife and mother has only ever stole the precious present. When I slow down, take a deep breath and give up control of how I want my life and my kids to be, everything just falls into place. When I go about my day mindfully, I notice a peace in our home that I never knew existed. I notice all of the little things that are all around me that I am most days blind to while I spend all my time in my mind stressing or worrying about how I am going to do it all. When I relax and accept life just as it is things just take care of themselves and I find that I don’t even need to worry.
Being a mother is hard! Definitely the most trying years of a woman’s life, but it is also rewarding. When out of the blue you hear that little voice say “I love you” or your child wraps their little arms around your neck. When they draw you a picture of your family or write you a love letter. When they teach you lessons from their innocent wisdom or help you to take a good look at yourself and let go of who you think that you should be to become the person that you need to be.
When you hear them laugh, see them smile or hear them ask for another goodnight kiss, those moments are the most rewarding moments of a mothers life.
I wanted to end this post with a video of Serafina. I took this video on a difficult day as I was trying to smile through my sadness. I decided that I wanted to take out the camera and capture the precious moments of my life rather than sit around another day feeling sorry for all that I can’t do while having a new baby. I know that it is passing by and that I will miss it (she is already 7 weeks old!). This moment melted my heart and I hope it will melt yours too and help you mothers out there to realize that nothing lasts forever and each moment is precious and to be savored.