Much like the black eye that Gage got at My Gym this week, being a mother also comes with some bruising. I am a relatively cheerful person and like I said in yesterday’s post I don’t like airing dirty laundry. I think putting a positive face on most anything will make you happier. But, as I started reading the very funny book, I was a Really Good Mom Before I Had Kids, I felt such a release and lightening of my mothering load. See, mothering is hard. And the dirty little secret of the book is that we are not always happy, fulfilled or holding it all together. And if I say this it doesn’t mean that I don’t love my son.
The first year of being a mother was the hardest thing I’ve ever done (as a friend told me at lunch on Friday, Gage put me through the ringer) and I wouldn’t trade it. It stretched me further than I thought possible and I didn’t break. I’m stronger and tougher for it. But, in all honesty, I didn’t always love it. I always loved Gage, but not my life.
But with distance comes perspective and with time comes competence and here we are at 14 months and life is pretty good. But the thing that I’m starting to realize is that being a mother (at least for me) isn’t the whole picture, it’s a large piece of the puzzle. I had grand expectations before giving birth, like all mothers do I’m sure, and the reality to this point has been nowhere close to my vision. So, with distance also comes a reassessing of expectations as reality hits me in the face.
I’m sure that I will gush about this book after I’m done, but it already makes me feel freer to accept that feeling overwhelmed and having less than positive thoughts does not make me a bad mother. I mentioned it was funny, right? If you have a friend (or it’s you) who needs to feel like there are other less than perfect moms out there I think this would be a great recommendation (keep in mind I’m only 30 or so pages in). I Was a Really Good Mom Before I had Kids by Ashworth & Nobile.
Next week I’ll be back to my regularly scheduled lovefest with Gage :)