So I wrote this post forever ago while I was going through a rough patch as a momma.
So while I am so thankful not to be in this place anymore, I decided to post it up anyway. Maybe some of you mommas can relate?
The last couple weeks. Months maybe? I’ve just been a little off as a mama. As a wife. Just a general sense of feeling uninspired. Unfulfilled. Moments that should be huge felt small. Moments that usually fuel me — fill my cup — just kind of passed me by. I guess I lost myself in the motions. And as my passion for being a mom, a wife, a human started to slip, so did my confidence. And I got that feeling that every mom knows all too well (I hope). That feeling that you’re a bad mom. Well, not bad. But just that you’re not doing enough. Not doing what you should be. And my familiar mama-style began to shift and change.
Now bare with me as I painfully remind you of what sucks about this journey called motherhood. I’ll get to the good stuff in a sec.
The pressures of motherhood are brutal. The milestones, the responsibilities, the exhaustion, the opinions, the general lack of compassion from fellow human beings — I am talking to you deep-sigh-lady behind me in the grocery store. And those pressures rain down with unrelenting force. And the silver lining for me is that sometimes — most times really — I simply dance in that rain. Because well… #humblebrag. I am an amazing mama. It’s something I do extraordinarily well. With love and patience and passion. And that day in and day out of motherhood — the part most mama’s hate. It fulfills me. It builds me up. It gives me confidence unlike anything else in this world. At the end of most days I drag my tired self to the couch, curl up next to Dave, and tell him all the magic that that happened that day. All the funny things Brooks said. All the milestones Lucas crushed. All the cuteness Roman exploded. And it’s in that moment — that reflection — that I am reminded just how truly blessed I am. Each and every day.
But then there are the other days. Days I’ve been seeing far too much of lately. The days where I just question everything I am doing. Days that end in crying next to Dave on the couch instead of joyfully reflecting. These nights end in doubt, frustration, and failure. The culmination of all those little moments that you fell short. The kids falling asleep to you yelling at them to stay in their beds. Mindlessly scrolling through your phone instead of giving them the attention they deserve. A battery drained stopwatch from all the timeouts. A healthy meal traded for frozen nuggets and chips. A diaper left unworn and the rug pee stain to prove it. You get the point.
It’s just one of those days. Where you find yourself not even wanting to look at those little assholes. Where you slowly lose yourself along the course of the day. Where you were pushed to every breaking point you have. It’s those days that turn into the nights where I walk up the stairs and that rain (the rain I used to dance in) is drowning me. And inevitably you realize every moment that almost broke you wasn’t even their fault. It was yours.
Ain’t no pain like a mama off her game.
So when I feel like a failure. When I want to quit. Give up entirely. I have to fight. Fight like hell.
Now listen, Dave is like any other guy and can sometimes offer me nothing. Don’t get me wrong, he’ll try. But solving the puzzle of
“what’s wrong with wifey”
is like exploratory surgery — you may or may not find the problem. But Dave is consistently amazing at building up my confidence. And on these nights, that’s usually his M.O. And it usually sends me to bed with the mantra of
“tomorrow is a new day. I’ve got this.”
But not lately. No, lately all my nights were ending this way. And as the days turned into weeks. I sort of stopped believing that “tomorrow is a new day” thing. I started to expect the meltdown. The fall. And this heart of mine started to feel like someone else’s. A beat I didn’t recognize. A way of loving and an attitude that just wasn’t me.
And I can pinpoint the moment I broke,
I yelled downstairs.
“Brooks? Dude, Answer me or I’m taking your WiiU away.”
I went downstairs stomping extra loud. Partly out of frustration and partly to make my point. But he wasn’t in his room. Or Roman’s room. Or downstairs at all for that matter. And as the minutes passed it got scary. I mean, this is a little house. As Dave and I were frantically running around our house screaming his name at the top of our lungs. My heart stopped beating.
But then Dave found him. Hiding behind the door of his office. And Brooks came around the corner with the biggest smile on his little face. Those curls in his eyes.
He had thought he was hiding. That this was a game. And I did something I NEVER do. I started yelling at him.
“BROOKS YOU ARE IN SO MUCH TROUBLE. I WAS YELLING FOR YOU. WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! THIS IS NOT FUNNY!”
And in an instant that smile was gone. Replaced with a quivering lip and broken spirit.
I don’t yell. Ever. I never really have. Well, of course, I have but NOT LIKE THIS. And before I knew it Dave had dropped to his knees and, using soft spoken words, he began to clean up my mess,
“Bud. Mommy was scared. Hide and seek is fun but you have to answer when we yell for you. You have to know when we’re not playing anymore. We were scared because we couldn’t find you. But that was an awesome hiding place!”
Proceeded by a high five.
I looked in the mirror that night. To a face I didn’t recognize. And I realized what was missing. It wasn’t that I could just dust my hands off and try again tomorrow. It was deeper than that. It was my passion for this. My inspiration. And passion is a funny thing. It can be strong and steady. It can be all encompassing. It can drive change. And happiness. It can feel so good. And so fulfilling. It literally has the power to make a life worth living. Make that sunrise in the morning not feel so early. Or those darkened streets not feel so quiet. It builds confidence. And hope. And best of all, dreams of what lies ahead.
But that passion. It is fickle. And temperamental. And can be gone in an instant. It has to be nurtured. cultivated. And most of all, protected. Because when that passion of the heart is lost. It starts to beat differently.
And I finally realized that the rain I once danced in had me dodging for cover. I was questioning myself. I had started to change who I was. The “way others are doing it” started to matter to me. The pressures came and my foundation was cracked. I am regularly an extremely Type B person. Laid back maybe to a fault. But it’s something that works so well for my littles because it’s something that works so well for me. But summer had just arrived. I felt the pressures of activities. And sun. And Kindergarten prep. And I made up my mind to be Type A. I can do this. Plan more. Be more rigid in my expectations for myself and my kids.
But man, you Type A people. That shit is stressful. And this idea to be more “perfect” as a mom this summer? It started to change the way I do motherhood. And as I changed, so did my kids. And all of our happiness shifted. Our ability to do what we do had been replaced by a pressure to conform.
And in the darkness of the night. That night I’d exploded on Brooks. Dave laid in bed. Played with my hair. And whispered over our sleeping daughter,
“You do you.”
“Stop trying to be someone else. I love the way we do things. I love who you are. I love every ounce of this life. I love every ounce of who you are.”
“You do you.”
I laid awake most of the night thinking about that. I had lost my voice. I had stopped doing what came naturally to me. And in that wandering my passion was left somewhere along the way. So I took it to heart. “You do you.” It was simple. It was to the point. And holy shit was it what I needed to hear.
And there I found myself — in an instant. Completely re-inspired. Inspired to drown out the noise. To let the deafening sound of pressures, expectations, and opinions be overcome by my own rhythm.
YOU DO YOU.