I stopped reading how to be a better mom books right after I had my first child, Selah.
Before having children I imagined myself an endless supplier of love. I imagined what it would feel like cuddle my baby to sleep, breathing in her baby scent and nuzzling her peach fuzzy head against my chest. I determined I would speak to her tenderly, and discipline her in love always. I daydreamed about the day she would be old enough to go on planned adventures. We were going to have so.much.fun.
And then she was born. And then my romanticized view on motherhood came toppling down around me.
Since having my second child, my perspective on motherhood is a bit more realistic. I DO believe motherhood is a skill that can be learned and developed, which made me rethink my ban on being a better mom books. So I made it a goal to set some time aside to read up on the topic again.
But I didn’t feel like a good mother at all. A good mother doesn’t wake up with a feeling of dread or anxiety about being left alone all day with her baby and toddler. A good mother doesn’t go to bed with the house in shambles, let her children watch TV so she can have a minute to herself, serve frozen pizza for dinner, or any of the other myriad offenses I committed on more than one occasion. And I admit it: I didn’t always like being the mom. I mean, I loved my children, but I didn’t always like the work associated with being their mother. And don’t good mothers love what they do? //Allyson Reynolds, Deliberate Motherhood
Okay. There is a ton of helpful, practical advice from over 60 mothers in this book, Deliberate Motherhood. I especially enjoyed the sections on how to foster individuality, waking up with intention for each day, finding balance, organization, and cultivating optimism. I was super encouraged and I plan on implementing some of these things in my life. But you know what? I found myself drawn to stories like the one above. Because it confirms that:
1. I’m not crazy for feeling like this sometimes, and
2. I’m not the only one who feels this way. I mean, there is at LEAST one other person who feels this way and she decided to put it in a book.
I’m always careful about the stories I post on my blog. I never want my children one day read a post about them and walk away feeling anything but loved and cherished. That is truly how I feel about them and I hope they feel it every single day. That being said, I feel I would be doing them a disservice if I wasn’t honest about my struggles. (I mean, I’ll share with them when they are older and have families of their own.)
So Selah and Duke if you ever happen to read this down the road, please know that Mama loves you with all her heart. But man on man, there are days when I feel I’m treading water. There are days when I don’t have joy or fulfillment in motherhood. But Honeylamb, Duke-boy, I love you more than I can adequately express! I’m honored I was chosen to be your mama.