I confess–it’s not that I don’t love being a mother or love my child, but as it turns out I am not a baby person. Maybe I am, or perhaps I’m somewhere in-between. I’m not sure.
I always loved babysitting when I was younger and always loved children. I always thought I’d want a household of lots of little kiddos. But, perhaps what I’ve learned with age is that happiness and personal fulfillment doesn’t come from others–it comes from ourselves. Thus I have discovered that I am totally content with life, just as it is in this moment.
There are times I wish conditions were better or times when I want nothing to change–but life is just as it should be. It’s supposed to have ups and downs. Parenting is just one element of life.
What I find most surprising is that we do not have a second child yet. I always wanted two children and four years apart. As the window starts to close on the gap between our hypothetical two children being four years apart, I am surprised to find I have no opinion.
If we have one–we have one. If we have two–we have two. At this rate our hypothetical second child will be maybe five or more years apart from our first, and you know what–I have no opinion.
Sometimes I feel so guilty for having no opinion. I think, “Maybe if I were a better mother or better person I would want another child immediately,” or “I should care more about when we have a second.” Of course, it all comes back to the underlying creation of any and all guilt–“I should be a better person [or mother or wife].”
I know this is ridiculous–that there are no set rules for when and why when it comes to kids, but sometimes I feel that the proliferation of social media makes me feel like a terrible mother all of the time.
If I have an extra glass of wine, I feel guilty. If I talk about wanting a glass of wine, I feel guilty. If I refuse to buy my child an ice cream, I feel guilty. If I buy my child a cookie, I feel guilty. If I complain about my child, I feel guilty. If I share a story about how awesome my child is, I feel guilty. The guilt never goes away. In fact, as my child grows older and more experiences come and go, with it comes more guilt.
I don’t even know why. I pride myself on ignoring what anyone has to say when it comes to my child. And in truth, I really do. I had a difficult time turning off the criticism when I was pregnant and before the birth of my child.
These days I literally just hit the “Nope, not listening!”-button in my head and go about enjoying my coffee. It’s about survival. Though it truly does take a village to raise a family, to survive it also takes the blatant disregard for any and all unwanted and unsolicited advice and criticism. #justsaying
As a mother I am my own worst enemy. I put pressure on myself to be better and more amazing and more loving and more motherly. But then I put more pressure on myself to not put pressure on myself, and then I feel guilty about the guilt, which creates more guilt. Then I pour myself a glass of wine.
Our daughter is now three and I have spent three years obsessing over whether to have more children and when that day will come–and I don’t even know if I want more children. In truth it’s because we are happy just as we are–which makes me feel guilty.
The unknown is so frustrating, which causes me to obsess. Then the guilt appears for obsessing and not just relaxing and taking in each moment. But I do, and thus here I am.
I try to take each day as it is and enjoy each moment as it comes and goes. I try to enjoy the bad moments, as much as the good. After all, it’s not so much about motherhood as it is about life. And when the bad moments really take over, I just turn them into humorous anecdotes for Instagram. Which of course, leads to more guilt.