Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Realities of Motherhood

Motherhood is not glamorous, I'll be the first to tell you that, but it is rewarding in ways that are indescribable. I sometimes hear new mother's say how shocked they are by the realities of motherhood, how they never could've imagined how difficult motherhood truly is. This honestly shocks me. I had worked with babies and kids for many years before becoming a mother, I knew how hard it could be. I had many expectations from motherhood but it being easy was not one of them.

I've been a mom for over 10 years now, and almost 11 years from when I found out I was pregnant. There certainly are some days when I think, "man this is hard" or "why won't my children listen to me" or "why do I even bother" but there is nothing else I have ever done in my life that has been so rewarding, so fulfilling, or brought me such joy.

I had bonded with my son while he grew in my belly. I loved him more than anything in this world before he was even born. Once he was placed in my arms, the love and adoration I felt for him was immeasurable. Those first few days at home, I certainly didn't feel duped. Sure it was hard. I was emotional and certain things were very difficult for me, like breastfeeding, but I felt so infinitely blessed to have this beautiful baby to raise.

I had B when I was young so I started adulthood as a mother. I have known nothing other than motherhood. It has defined me as a person yet I have been able to maintain myself as a person separate from being a mother. I sometimes think how different hubby and my life would be if we didn't have kids. We could travel, we could go on dates, we could spend time just with each other, focus on our marriage, but the reality of our situation is if we didn't have kids coming into our marriage we very well may have never met. I probably would've never been on and he may not have been either. I most likely would've went to law school in California and who knows if hubby would've followed the same career path or not.

Motherhood is not glamorous, it is not easy, it will change you as a person forever, but it is all worth it. Setting realistic expectations for motherhood is key to not becoming overwhelmed with all the changes. There truly is no rush to become a mother (except biologically speaking but there are plenty of first time mothers in their 40's these days). Just make sure you are ready because there is no going back. Strengthen your marriage, travel, go on dates, have fun, advance your career while you don't have your heart pulling you in another direction.

You can still be fun, and hip, and beautiful as a mother. You can still date your hubby and travel. You can still further your career. The only thing that stops you are the limits you put on yourself. I only get one chance at raising my kids, I don't get a "do over" and right now working as a nanny and having the time to spend with my children is much more important than any professional career I could have. There will be time for that in the future, or maybe not. Right now I am happy being me, mother, wife, nanny, and friend. In life people and the connections we make are the only things that matter in the end. I am happy where I am now. I hope other moms and moms-to-be can get there too, find their sense of balance, their own happiness. For all the women out there who aren't moms yet, I'm telling you now, motherhood is more difficult than you could ever imagine, consider yourself forewarned.


LoveFeast Table said...

But, the most rewarding! There are many days lately I wish I could push the pause button and stand still in the moment with my kids. It goes by so fast and time with them really is a blip on the screen in the grand scope of life.
My hubby was 19 when we married and I was 22. We had our first kid that first year. We've grown up as parents and I wouldn't do it any other way.

Brittany Ann said...

What a great post. And you are so right. You only have one chance! No do-overs in parenting! Thanks for the inspiration:)

Anonymous said...

I can't remember where I heard or read this, but it's how I feel about being a mother and a woman: "I can have it all...I just can't have it all at once." I love that I am a mom, and, yes, it is overwhelming sometimes (and sometimes more overwhelming than at other times). Sometimes my kids need 100% of me, but that doesn't mean I've necessarily lost just means this is where I am at the moment, and that my time will come. I do make sure I get some breaks, even if it's only an hour on the weekend, but I know that this time with the kids is limited, and I'm going to give it all I've got while I can.

Gina said...

Abso-freaking-lutely. SO well said.

Unknown said...

Yes! Finding the balance is such a challenge but being a mommy is the most important and amazing thing that I have done. I would never change a thing.

Jessica said...

Its werid that you write this now. Ive been struggling a lot with this topic. I keep struggling with getting a "Real job" With my oldest home for the summer, it seems like it would just be easier to get a job instead of stopping fights all day long but in the end, I agree. I will have time for that later and I am just trying TRYING to enjoy them while the are little!

Evolving Mommy Catherine said...

I agree that being a mother is wonderful. After Luke and I married I felt like he completed me. Then Maddy joined our family and I realized that I wasn't really complete until she made me a mom. She drives me crazy sometimes but I wouldn't trade it. I feel overwhelmed and under appreciated every once and a while but the love and satisfaction I get from seeing her grow and change and learn far out weighs all the "hard" stuff.

I get the feeling this post was in response to something. I don't know what but I general thought is that some people are just complainers and if they weren't complaining about being a mom or their kids then they would be complaining about something else. I guess we can hope that people will become as "enlightened" on this topic as we are. Being a mom is challenging, but rewarding.

Gina said...

One more thing...I left you something on my blog today!