Full disclosure: I have completely forgotten when the last time I showered was. I want to believe it was last Thursday. It’s now Tuesday, and I have some real fears that I am in fact crossing a threshold of >7 days since my last hair-wash.
I am the youngest of four children, and my mother is keen to remind me that I am only dealing with one child, and he’s a newborn baby. In fact, she says, he’s an “easy” baby. Also, I am much older, more well equipped, and more financially well off than my mother was when she had her first and last baby.
How do these women do it… this ‘motherhood’ thing?
My Facebook feed is full of pictures of other young mothers, now on their second, third, even fourth child. These women are a mish-mash of entrepreneurs, stay at home moms, young working professionals, or any combination of the three. Some of these moms are single, others are happily married, and then there are those in mixed families. One thing they all have in common is that they all love their children, they love their lives, they love to share these things, and most of all, they seem to love motherhood.
I see pictures of their immaculate homes, they share stories of daily adventures and explorations with children at every stage of life that they partake in, and the most amazing part is the amount of time they are able to devote to sharing these happy moments and memories.
I write this blog with abated breath, every pause a cue for me to make sure that my infant son is still asleep, less than 10 feet away from me.
We’ve been going through a rough phase, where at 11 weeks old, my son is finding himself tired but unable to fall asleep without something of a battle first. My house is in shambles. It took me 3 days to wash a single load of my own laundry, and an extra 3 days to pull this load out of the dryer. Clothes have yet to be hung or folded.
My kitchen is littered with crumbs and spills that require wiping down and off, dirty dishes, as well as disposable cutlery and plates, monopolize what little counter space I do have available, and I’m pretty sure half of what’s in my fridge is expired. Every day, I find it a small miracle that I am able to prepare lunch for myself and my husband when he comes home on his breaks. Forget about dinner, I think we’ve eaten out 9 of 7 nights this last week.
I put my career on the backburner to become a stay at home mom, and I’m not sure I’m doing a very good job at it.
My sister-in-law is also a stay at home mom, with a beautiful house that looks like it came straight out of a magazine, no matter when you stop over, in spite of the fact that she is a mother to four boys. Her youngest son is 9 months older than my one baby. This woman makes it to Church every Sunday, volunteers for the school, and hosts Pinterest parties. She is not one of those mothers who posts on Facebook often, but like those mothers that do, I feel like she runs circles around me in the ‘momming’ department.
I know that I’m not supposed to be comparing myself to other moms, especially ones who’ve been doing it for ‘x’ amount of years longer than my 3 months. Can I at least compare myself to who I was before I become a mom? Before I got pregnant? No?
But I’m human.
I’m almost certain that we’re hard wired to compare, and that’s actually a method that we use to progress. At least, in the business world, it works that way. Compare, adapt, improve, progress. It’s certainly better not to do it when it comes to personal lives, or even the personal familial lives that social media has made so easily shareable and public, but it is in fact much easier said than done.
It’s hard not to miss the days when I was free to hop on my bike and be gone for hours on end. I wonder at what adventures I might be missing out on, the ones that were a little riskier, but the consequences meant nothing if I had only myself to consider.
The part of me that counts as vanity wonders if I’ll ever drop the extra weight that I gained from not eating as healthy as I should’ve during the pregnancy. I think I’ve given up on keeping my eyebrows groomed, and as I’ve already mentioned… who knows about the hair?
I really admire my sister-in-law, and all those other moms out there, that seem to be living and loving it up. I find myself liking and loving their posts about their kids, their families, their adventures and endeavors, and it’s in earnest honesty. I genuinely appreciate the little bits of positiveness that they’re putting out into the world. I often wonder if I’m ever going to get there, or if because I had other dreams outside of motherhood… maybe I’ll never get there?
My house is a mess, my body feels like a mess, and my schedule… what is a schedule? What is this ‘sleeping in’ that you speak of? Ha.
The caveat to my complaints though, is that I do love my son.
Now that he’s here? I couldn’t live my life without my son. I love his smiles, and I’ll pay the price of constant interrupted sleep for it. I’ll change a hundred poopy diapers, so I can snuggle against my son’s chubby cheeks. The exhaustion I feel at the end of, and usually the beginning, sometimes even midway through, the day is actually indeed worth it.
I might never be as cute as I was before my baby, my house is probably only going to be clean every now and again when we decide to entertain… if that. And I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to go anywhere or do anything again, without first considering how it’s going to affect his life. Honestly, that part kind of sucks. But I don’t actually mind it that much. In keeping part with honesty, I have to say that I don’t love being a mom. It’s freaking hard. But I love my son, and he deserves the best mom that I can give him.
It’s taken me almost 12 non-consecutive hours to write this… arguably not my best work, and to be perfectly honest I’m a little too dazed to even read it through to make sure it’s okay. But, my son needs to be fed, then given a bath, and my husband is giving the look as if he’d like to move from his spot where the baby has pretty much paralyzed him.
So, unto future adventures and endeavors, and maybe a couple of showers.