Expectations of motherhood
When I was pregnant I had this vision in my head of what motherhood would look like. I knew it was going to be wonderful. My baby would be so cute and as she grew we would play together and have so much fun. Being a mom was going to be a breeze. I laugh at that thought now. Motherhood is definitely not easy and definitely not what I expected.
It’s alright to admit that being a mother is not what you thought it would be and sometimes it’s not fun at all. Sometimes you want to lock yourself in a closet and cry. It’s stressful and overwhelming. No one is a perfect mother but we are all just doing the best we can.
The newborn stage
I knew when I brought my daughter home that she wouldn’t sleep through the night. The stories I had heard about how tired parents are the first year of their child’s life didn’t sound real to me. I thought they were being dramatic. It’s a little baby so you have to get up to feed them every few hours. That’s not that hard. Boy was I in for a rude awakening.
My husband worked the night shift and I worked evenings when my daughter was born so we were never around to help each other. I would get home at midnight and go to bed only to have to get up an hour later to feed my daughter. Then she wouldn’t want to go back to bed. There were nights that I was up almost all night with her. Then my husband would come home in the morning but he would have to go to bed so he could get some sleep before I worked.
I remember crying on the couch holding my daughter because I just wanted to sleep. Then when she would finally fall asleep I would only get an hour or two of sleep before I had to get ready for work. It was hard and I was exhausted. My husband was too and we never got to see each other anymore.
Those first few months of my daughter’s life was hard. I now know how wrong I was about what I expected life with a newborn to be. Basically you are not in charge anymore. You have this tiny human who is calling the shots now. It’s tiring and exhausting but it does get better. Eventually your baby will sleep through the night (sometimes that takes longer than you would like).
The toddler stage
I was looking so forward to this stage. Everything is new to them and they want to now about it all. I imagined teaching my daughter all sorts of things and she would be so smart before she started preschool. Here’s the thing about toddlers though: they don’t really like to sit still.
I would try to show my daughter about letters and numbers. I would sing educational songs but she would always leave half way through. She didn’t want to color or learn her alphabet. I couldn’t get her to sit still instead she wanted to grab everything in sight and see if it broke when she threw it. She wanted to run through the house throwing everything as she went. I really think she wanted her mom to be even more exhausted chasing after her.
Toddlers like to have their own way and when they don’t get it they let you know. We were at the mall and my daughter wanted to ride the escalator so we did a few times. When it was time to go all hell broke loose. She threw herself on the floor in the middle of center court and screamed bloody murder. I was so embarrassed. I tried talking to her (I laugh at that now because what toddler is listening to anyone during a tantrum). Finally I grabbed her under one arm and walked out to the car with her screaming the whole way. I kept thinking this was not what I envisioned motherhood as.
The preschool years
I knew this was going to be a great age. My kids could understand me and we could play a lot. Little did I know that they would want to play the same thing everyday or watch the same show twenty thousand times. If I had to read “Are you my Mother?” one more time I was going to lose it.
Most days I was so exhausted after work that I didn’t want to get on the floor and play barbies. I also found playing barbies extremely boring and mind numbing. If I tried to play with something different she would say no. It always had to be barbies. It was the same thing everyday. She wanted the same dinner every night (mac and cheese), the same show, the same book and the same routine. If I threw her routine off even a little she would flip out. Th preschool years got very boring very quickly.
I know they learn by repetition but I was going crazy. I commend preschool teachers who can teach our kids everyday but I had no patience for it.
The school years
I couldn’t wait for my kids to start school and we could do homework together. I could help them and we would spend time together learning. They would sit at the table with me and really listen to what I was saying. Not what happened!
My daughter hated homework. She wanted me to do it for her and just tell her the answers. Homework ended in a fight every night. We both went to bed exhausted and mad. It would take hours to do because she would try to get out of it anyway she could. I started dreading homework every night. As she got older the homework got harder especially for me. I had no clue how to do it. I didn’t even remember learning half this stuff. We would both get frustrated then because we spend half the evening trying to learn how to actually do the homework.
The other thing I was looking so forward to was concerts that the school put on. I couldn’t wait to see her sing up on stage and videotaping it to show everyone. The thing about that was you had to watch all the other grades too. We would have to sit for 2 hours watching a concert that my daughter was in for 20 minutes. There was even one concert where my daughter refused to sing so she just stood there. I spent 2 hours there to watch her stand there.
The teen years
When I visioned the teen years I thought my daughter and I were going to be best friends. We would tell each other everything and be like the Gilmore Girls. Not quite.
My daughter was moody and locked herself in her room most days. If I asked her any questions I always got one word answers. I couldn’t get her to tell me anything. I’m still working on this as she is in the middle of her teen years but I’ve given up on us being the Gilmore Girls.
Motherhood is worth it though
Even though motherhood was definitely not what I expected. It is so worth it. I love my kids so much. Even though it’s been hard and exhausting I wouldn’t trade it for the world. It’s not how I envisioned it to be but nothing usually is. We just have to do the best we can and realize sometimes it’s alright to need a break from your kids. You are doing a great job mom!
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