Monday, March 9, 2015

In The Trenches

Mama Brain is real, folks. It started when I was pregnant and I (foolishly) thought I'd regain a functioning brain when Punkito popped out. Nope. That placenta? Made of 100% mama brain cells. So I often find myself trying to say something and stopping mid-sentence to look at Hans, scrunch my face, and ask "Word?" until we figure out which one I'm grasping for.

Why am I telling you this. Right. Get to the point, Erika. I've had a blog post itching in my brain for a while now. But I don't know how to do it. Or what it really is, for that matter. Just some thoughts I need to get out. For myself, if nothing else.

I love being a mom. It's the best thing I've ever done and I didn't know I could love anything so much. But I get a little ruffled when I hear people saying "Enjoy every minute of it, it goes so fast!"

Enjoy every minute? Seriously? Who enjoys sharing the bathroom with a toddler poking you while you try to do your business before they start playing with the plunger? Who enjoys being unable to identify the blob on your shirt as dried food, snot (not your own), or goodness knows what else? 

I'll just say it. Some days being a mom is really, really, hard. Heck, sometimes it downright sucks. Unfortunately, I feel like we have had a lot of those days lately.
What do you see in this photo? How sweet. My baby is sleeping in my arms. What you don't see is that it took her almost four hours to fall asleep. Or that there was screaming, crying, hitting, and frustration to get to this state. Or that she only slept for 30 minutes. Or that we do this twice a day. Every day. Almost without fail. And have for several months now. My child refuses to go to sleep. She is never tired. She never falls asleep anywhere, nor can she fall asleep on her own. We have tried pretty much every trick in the book (many books!), talked to our doctor, our friends, searched the internet. It's bad, guys. I think we were getting more sleep when she was a newborn. And it seems to get worse every day.
Another rare glimpse. Also, not long. But I had to document that it actually happened.
I'm not looking for pity. Or advice. Or to complain. I don't know why, really, I am putting this out there for people to pick apart or judge or whatever you may take from it. But I know that a friend recently saw a photo I posted on Instagram and remarked, "Wow, you guys do everything! And you're always having so much fun." And that raised a flag for me.

We have a lot of fun. We do. Our lives are full and wonderful. But that doesn't mean we don't have our challenges. And I wouldn't want anyone to look at what I post on Instagram or write on my blog and think that our lives are perfect and that it's nothing but smiles over here.

Still in pajamas, with my glasses, and our hair
makes us look homeless, but I live for these cuddles.
We are trying. We are in the trenches, trying to get through each day. We fight the fights and while we may not enjoy every moment, we try to enjoy as many as we can. For every tear at bedtime, there are a hundred sweet little baby kisses on my cheeks and lips and eyes throughout the day. For every pea and carrot thrown on the floor, there are sweet cuddles while we read book after book together. For every time she swats at me because she's angry, there are many times where she hears me stub my toe or snag my nail and say "ouch!" and she pokes her head around the corner to ask "Mama, o-tay?"

I'm working on perspective. A lot. That's another battle in my trench. Trying to focus on the hundreds of sweet, wonderful moments each day instead of the bigger, hard moments. It's hard and I'm not particularly good at it. But I'm trying.

I'm working on pushing through, even when I feel like I'm in a fog. I put on the smile, I go to the play dates, heck, I even put on real clothes (once in a while, I swear it happens) and go out in public. I'm trying.

So please be kind. Not just to me, but to all moms who are fighting these daily battles in the trenches. To all the mamas who sometimes feel like they are not people anymore, just moms. To all the mamas who didn't accomplish anything today except keeping themselves and their kids alive, and hopefully, fed. We may not be enjoying every moment, but we are trying. We keep trying because some day, we won't be in this place anymore. We will sleep through the night and shower every day and won't find random spots of peanut butter on our necks. I'm sure I'll miss it. But it's hard to think of that now, when it's so hard. But I keep trying. Because it's also, strangely, wonderful. And absolutely worth it.
But seriously... the kissy face helps a lot.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for writing this! This is exactly how I feel right now and it's tough and difficult to have perspective. It's nice to have a reminder that other moms out there are going thru similar things and that you're not alone! Love all your posts! You are an amazing mother!❤️