The Plight of Parenthood | Confessions of a Stay-At-Home Mom

July 10, 2012

The Plight of Parenthood







I'm going to say something revolutionary, people.


So take a seat.


Are you ready?


I don't have it all together.

Gasp! Shock!


But seriously, I am the last person on the face of this earth who could possibly qualify "having it together."



Isn't it curious, though, that we believe the lie that everyone else around us has everything together, living life on a perfect stage while you are the lone person losing your mind in the corner?


Part of my goal in starting this blog was to open conversations and engage in discussions about parenting. Sometimes, parenting is a breeze and full of a ton of joy.  There are a lot of valleys, though. Difficult times that we don't feel we can share with others. Rough patches that we feel embarrassed by, because we believe that we are the only one who feels like they are drowning. 


Friends, can I just take a moment and tell you? You are not the only one.


Sometimes we just need to hear that, don't we?


This morning, I saw a post by my wonderful, awesome and dearest cousin-in-law in a parenting Facebook group that we are both apart of.  Her post caught my eye the moment I brought the group page up on the screen.  She asked if anyone else struggled with guilt.  Guilt because it seems like everyone else is living life while you, despite trying your hardest, seem to be barely managing.


At that very moment I wanted to reach through my laptop, across the ocean to wear she lives, hug her and devour an entire gallon of ice cream with her while watching every episode of Dawson's Creek.


Because yes.


YES.


Yes I feel the guilt. Yes I feel like I am the only dang person in the world who can't get her act together. Yes I feel like at many moments of the day I am failing someone: my kids, my husband, my family, my friends, my self.


This parenting stuff? So not for the faint of heart.


Don't get me wrong. I love my children deeply. I find amazing joy, enlightenment and challenge by being a mother. But I also find struggle. My experience of parenthood is shaped by being a stay-at-home Mom. But I believe all mother's can relate to The Struggle. 


I struggle with the monotony. For me, days often look the same. I wake at the same time (or earlier. But always too early), faced with the multitude of responsibilities of tending children, maintaining the house, running errands, making sure my family is fed, while also trying to be a social and intelligent 30-year old woman with friends, dreams and desires. Sometimes I forget what day it is because Mondaytuesdaywednesdaythursdayfridaysaturdaysunday sometimes look eerily similar. 


I struggle with identity. Oh do I struggle with this! Going from independent working woman to a homemaker is quite a transition. And while this is another post all together, I embrace the word homemaker. While some may find it belittling, I find it empowering. It all depends on how you choose to make home. That said, I am much more than a homemaker. And I resist the notion of being a housewife. I do more than mother.  I am good for more than "this."  I contribute to society. I have thoughts, feelings, beliefs and opinions. Yet, I find myself wondering, "What am I doing with my life?" 


And I struggle that somehow, after 4 years of motherhood, I still don't have it all together.  


You'd think by now I would have figured out how to unload the dishwasher without children climbing on the open door and taking sharp knives from the utensil holder.  


Nope.


You'd think after four years, I'd have worked out a system shower on a regular (i.e.: every other day) basis.


Ha.


One might imagine that after four years, I could manage to find time to grocery shop sans kids so that there are not two children and one adult crying in the supermarket from the stress of it all.


Uh uh.




Nope. After four years, I still struggle. And yet, I manage. Because I take it a day at a time and try to learn.  I overcome some struggles only to be introduced with new ones. I try to find the humor in situations. I've learned to make time for nurturing my needs, intellectually and socially (and stopped believing the lie that making time for myself was selfish. Spoiler alert: it's not). 


Such is parenthood. 


So today? Today I don't not have it all together.


Tomorrow isn't looking good either.


But who knows? Maybe Thursday will be my lucky day.


Friends? You are not alone. 


I hope I'm not either.


28 comments :

  1. Nope, definitely don't have it all together here either. I just had a very humbling experience this weekend which I'm processing. I just love how God reminds us of what we need to work on, even if he needs to whack us on the back of the head, really hard.

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  2. Oh boy. I certainly do not have it all together. In fact, with more experience I find I unravel a bit more everyday...but in a good way because that usually means I'm stepping out of my comfort zone and trying something a little different for us. But you know what? I am (we're) doing just fine.
    oh, and I make sure my "me" time is a shower nearly every day... Or weeks might go by!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We ARE doing just fine - well said! :)

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  3. I most definetly do not have it all together. Far from it. I only have one boy whos 3 1/2 but theres days that with the laundry, the cooking, the playing, and the entertaining, it feels like I have multiple kids. I felt like I was a failure for feeling like this but I have come to the realization that you do your best and that is more than enough.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely - your best is more than enough!

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  4. Love this post!! Totally relate!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you - and I'm glad you can relate (in that....it makes us all less alone - not that it's fun to struggle! hehe)

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  5. You're not alone Steph! I like to think of myself as a professional mother. It's by far the hardest job with the longest hours I know of and the pay sucks, but the rewards are also the best. I try to remind myself on a daily basis that I made a choice to stay home with my kids and that some day I will be longing for these days again. It's always overwhelming in the moment but if we take a step back and look at the big picture we will see any sacrifices we make right now will create the memories our children will remember forever.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Perspective is key, for sure! Thanks for sharing :)

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  6. Love it! I totally needed this, especially with Matt not here right now. I feel your pain :)

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  7. Inspiring, Steph. Thanks for posting this. Makes me feel better!

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  8. When I found this blog this morning and read this post I felt like I could finally breath. I have a 9 month old AMAZING daughter and I've been staying home with her for about 2 1/2 months now and I'm exhausted and feeling horrible about myself. I know I'm a good mom, but when you mentioned guilt all I could think of was all of the "mom guilt" I feel lately. I feel guilty that I don't feel like I'm doing enough for the educational growth of my daughter. I feel guilty because I'm not taking care of myself. I feel guilty because even with all that I do my husband is still the one that cooks everyday and I can't even manage to keep the house clean. I am upset because I don't feel like myself anymore. I don't feel like the hardcore independent woman who contributes to society anymore. This is the hardest thing i've ever done and some days I feel like the biggest failure and that I have to keep waking up the next day to push that rock back up that hill.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know the "mom guilt" all too well. and i found the first year to be a big adjustment - not just the first few weeks or months. it's hard to take care of yourself as well as everyone else in your family! you sound a lot like me - so make sure to give yourself a break - and know you are doing the best you can do! :) We ALL struggle, and we're all in this together!

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  9. This post really helps me today. Sometimes I do feel like I'm the only mom who's struggling with everything. I mean, the other mom brought VEGETABLES to the play date! I'm a failure!! But I am really trying to see the successes (my daughter ate today! Several times!). Staying home isn't easy, and it's so nice to hear that it's not easy for others too.

    ReplyDelete
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