A New Leaf
The other day I had a rather interesting conversation with my mom. She asked me why my generation of moms seem to have such a hard time, have so many complaints. Every week there is some article about how moms are unhappy, how motherhood is a hard job, how stay at home moms are isolated and miserable, etc, etc.
I have to be honest, I have my complaints too. I have days where I just feel like a sh*ty failure. It happens, that's life, and I don't think it's exclusive to motherhood. But perhaps one of the problems modern moms face is that we forget we are people. People have bad days. People screw things up. People have days when they only do their job half assed.
Since I've been working on my blog, I have a Google alert for "motherhood," and a couple of weeks ago (before the talk with my mom) I did feel rather annoyed at all the negative articles about motherhood constantly clogging my inbox. Honestly, I've been overrun with articles of celebrities saying its hard (seriously, you have hired help), of Ann Romney saying its hard (seriously, you have hired help), of articles discussing how miserable and lazy the lives of a stay-at-home-moms (lovingly known as SAHMs) are, of articles about the frazzled and soul less lives of working moms.
I've had my fill. Why? Because it feeds into my own insecurities about motherhood. And guess what, I actually like being a stay at home mom. No, I love it. Some days it gets to feel a bit crazy, but then I think, hey if I had a job, that would have crazy days too. So what's the big deal? I love it so much that I actually miss him when I put him down for bed at night. So that's the upside. The downside: tantrums, cleaning up crap all day, for-going additional income that we could ACTUALLY use, limited adult stimulation, cooking 3 healthy meals a day, the loss of a singular and selfish purpose (career, hobbies, etc). Yes, those things exist, and they can make a day difficult, and I'm glad that in our modern society mom's have a REAL voice to discuss the difficulty of motherhood, but I really feel like we're stewing in it a bit. Lets also discuss how absolutely fantastic it is. Not because we're bragging, but honestly because we all need a little pick me up and reminder now and again that the days with our babies are precious and go by quickly. We all know instinctively, but occasionally it's really hard to remember when you haven't slept, your house is a mess, the mirror is reminding that your body doesn't look like what it used to, and then you just read an article telling you that motherhood is hard and difficult. Yes, thank you for that useful information.
So, I've decided to make sure my blog and my life is a place of positivity. Like I've said before, I think it is important that women have the freedom to discuss what is important to them and can find camaraderie in venting about the perils of motherhood. But I want to try an experiment. There are enough blogs and media outlets discussing the scary parts of motherhood, so do I really need to add myself into the mix? What if I spent more time discussing the great stuff. Will that make me feel more empowered or more stifled? Will I stop stewing in the perceived drudgery of SAHMhood and instead laugh off the craziness of the day? Yes, I may occasionally vent about a bad day or a bad moment, but I don't want to dwell on the tough stuff and forget how lucky I am. My life isn't perfect and I struggle every day to make it work, but that's okay. I'm going to cut myself some slack, and just enjoy the struggle and the light. Maybe that's all any of us can really do. Smile more, stress less.
Here are a couple of blogs I've read recently that speak more to the strength of motherhood:
Motherhood. Stop Talking About How HARD it is (this article came across as a bit harsh to me, but there were some interesting points nonetheless) Motherhood Defies Logic (I loved this one! There were some beautiful sentiments i think we can all relate to. Favorite Quote: "How I feel about myself, as a mother, impacts these children on a very personal level.Because how society defines motherhood often shapes how mothers define themselves. And how we, as mothers, perceive our identity affects our children and our households at the most intimate level.").
We Want Perfection But Also Need Sleep (Favorite Quote: "Does progressive modern motherhood destroy women’s freedom? Is the young, ecologically savvy mother the enemy of her own advancement? Let’s first agree that there is no such thing as perfection in motherhood -- or in any human activity.").