dear silly girl,
we’ve had a few rough days. there’s been lots of crying, lots of whining, and lots of yelling. it’s been miserable.
no one tells you how hard it’s going to be.
no one tells you that you won’t necessarily feel love every single minute of every day.
no one tells you that you will need a break from your kid(s), but that you will feel guilt for needing it.
no one tells you that this perfect, sweet, adored child that you love will be terrible, and everything you said your child would never be, some days.
no one tells you that your child will, in fact, be human.
everyone tells you that “it’s wonderful.”
everyone tells you that “it’s just a phase.”
everyone tells you, “she’s just being 3.”
in short, “everyone” makes me want to punch them in the mouth some days.
because the truth is, it is freaking hard and admitting it doesn’t make you a bad person, a bad mother, or anything else. i don’t understand why “everyone” feels the need to make other moms feel like they’re less by saying that.
the truth is that there are moments when you think, “what the heck did i do?” you love your child all day every day, but you don’t feel love all day every day. it’s super hard to feel love when it seems like your child is minding everyone, but you. when your child is screaming or crying or whining and making you feel like you can’t or don’t do anything right. you do love them, but you may just feel upset or angry or disappointed or just plain pissed off! and it’s okay to feel that way.
the truth is you will need a break. i’m not talking about the break you will definitely need after you have been in the house with your newborn for 6 weeks because you’re following your doctor’s advice about staying home and sanitizing everything and everyone in sight. i’m not talking about the break you’re going to need when you’re baby decides that he or she doesn’t want or need to sleep more than 2 hours at a time. i’m talking about the break that you are still going to need when that baby is a toddler or a preschooler or whatever, and you’re starting to feel like you’re trapped, like if you don’t leave the house right this instant, you may run away and never come back. the break you will need when you’re trying everything you can, everything that super-moms on pinterest say you should be doing with your 3-year-old, everything that your heart says you should be doing 24 hours a day. you will still need a break. it may not come for years. you may push it back or just not have time for it for months. but you will need it and dang it, you better take it. and don’t feel like a bad mom if you need a break more often that other people you know or more than the super-moms. they do not have the exact same child or situation that you have. everyone is different and it’s perfectly okay.
the truth is that some days your sweet angel is going to seem more like a demon from hell. it’s not intentional. they’re testing you. but it sucks nonetheless! there may even be moments when you don’t want to be around your child. when you want to stop teaching him or her anything and just give in to the television babysitter. and guess what? there may be moments when you need to do that. there may be moments when you need to stop giving a crap about the alphabet and just take a nap. there will be days when you will think your kid is brat and you are a failure. it’s just a part of the job. but you’re not and she or he is not. it’s just a reality that everyone likes to hide and pretend that every single stinking day is “such a blessing” on facebook and instagram. every day is not going to feel like a blessing even if you truly believe that it is. and that’s okay, too.
the truth is that your kid is a human. she’s not perfect and neither is he. they’re going to have good days and they’re going to have bad days. they’re going to decide not to listen to a dern thing you say some days. they’re going to decide to wash the dog with a bottle brush and the last of your dish soap. they are going to tear a tortilla into a bajillion pieces in your bedroom after you have vacuumed and tell you it was fun. they are going to scream, cry, bounce off the ways, giggle, be sneaky, be destructive, and be mean. and some days, they’re going to do it all in one day. they’re going to have days when they absolutely lose their freaking minds and make you wonder where you went wrong. but guess what? it’s not you, it’s them. they’re little humans. and humans are a disaster some days.
now, i’m not going to go into “what everyone says” because at this moment, to you, i am “everyone.” but i will tell you this, some days “everyone” is going to really tick you off. “everyone’s” opinions and solutions and cliches are going to make it worse. on your worst days, it may be best to avoid “everyone.” a friend or relative may have the best intentions in the world, but you don’t necessarily need to hear their advice and quick-fix solutions to your life because they have absolutely no idea what they are talking about.
and finally, the first time someone says to you “she’s only 3” to guilt you when she’s about to push you to your snapping point, wait 5 minutes.
while you’re waiting your 5 minutes, watch them interact with their own kids. in that 5 minutes, you will probably see ms. know-it-all yell, roll her eyes, fuss, nag, and harp at her own kid who is driving her nuts. and in that final minute, after that last little harp and raised eyebrow, is the perfect time to say,“he’s only 10” and walk away.
my point is this, motherhood is hard. everyone fluffs it up and then doesn’t say what they really think or feel half the time because they’re scared of what everyone else will think. it’s easier to hide their own frustrations and insecurities and stamp on a “she’s only 3” than to say, “i understand.”
some days will suck, but that doesn’t mean that what you’re feeling takes away from it being “wonderful.” it can suck and still be wonderful. i’m just giving you permission to say it out loud. no one is perfect. no one’s life is perfect. not even those people and mothers who are trying so stinking hard to make everyone believe that it is.
motherhood isn’t an easy job. as a matter of fact, it is quite possibly the hardest. just not everyone is willing to admit it.
if one day you wake up and this is you, you can call me.
i will tell you all about how terrible you were some days as a child if you need me to. 😉
but most importantly, i will tell you that i understand.
and don’t hear what i’m not saying: every day isn’t miserable and you are not a terrible child.
what i want you to understand is that when you’re a mom, some days will be rough. you may even have a period of time that will be rough. it could be a bad week, month, year, or “phase.” i don’t even know how far all of this goes because i’m still sloshing through it myself.
this is real life. and it is wonderful, and hard, and amazing, and disappointing, and fulfilling, and upsetting. real life.
you don’t have to pretend to be a perfect mom to be a great one.
no matter how you ever feel, you will be doing just fine.
and i just wanted you to know.