Wednesday, August 11, 2010

PYHO: What I like least about being a mom ...

I have been a mom for exactly 258 days (if you don’t count the pregnancy). These days have been filled with many new and wonderful experiences, things I never could have anticipated before actually becoming a parent. But last night, as I was rocking Baby to sleep, I started thinking about some of the things I don’t like about being a mom. No, I’m not talking about changing 5 dirty diapers in one morning or missing out on the social events that used to define my life. In all honesty, that’s the easy stuff.

Please don’t misunderstand. I am not complaining about these things. Rather, it’s more like these are the things that I lament the most, things that make me sad or yes, even a little upset. These are the things that strike me as being the most unbalanced experiences of parenthood at the same time they’re innate, expected, and necessary.

So, in no particular order (except that the first one is what got this ball rolling for me last night) …

I hate that I don’t have a photographic memory. There are sweet moments—like rocking Baby to sleep, and fun times—like hysterical-non-stop-giggles, and even some instances that don’t exactly catch us at our best—like when Baby literally had a blowout up to her elbows. (I would have loved to have seen the look on my face!) I can easily recall these memories, but the details are already slipping away. Even the baby giggles I get today look and sound different than the ones we had just a few weeks ago. Sure we have a video camera, but I’ve learned that you can end up missing out on a lot while you’re trying to catch those special little moments on film. It’s doesn’t seem fair that a parent should have to choose between capturing a moment and fully experiencing it.

I really don’t like how time passes for mothers, how 45 seconds of heart wrenching baby sobs can feel like 45 minutes (or more) of complete and utter failure. On the other hand, I hate how 4 months can feel like it has flown by in 4 minutes. I’m sure the same is true for mothers with older children, how years can seem to pass in an instant.

I think it stinks that I ‘know better’. And that I not only have to do it, but be the one to enforce it. Whether it is naps, schedules, or the many other issues that we’ll be faced with in the coming years, I don’t like the idea that I’ll have to make choices because they’re smart or right, especially when those choices don’t *feel* like the best. For example, I know that my working outside the home is the right choice for my family, but it doesn’t exactly feel great knowing that I’m missing precious moments of my child’s life.

To that end, I absolutely loathe the notion that babies are deceptive. I fought this idea for weeks, maybe even months. I denied that my child could be trying to trick me. But it’s true. It happens. And I don’t like it. Specifically, I hate having to avoid Baby’s smiles and giggles while I am rocking her at night. Otherwise, she will continue to fight sleep, possibly for hours. I basically have to avoid eye contact or risk starting the entire winding down process all over again. I know better. It’s my job to make sure my child is not over-stimulated. It’s my responsibility to get her to sleep even when she’d rather play. But, I don’t like it one bit. Of course, I do indulge those little laughs from time to time … okay, okay, I probably do it at least once every night!

I hate always feeling exhausted. Isn’t this the time in my life when I should have the most energy? Isn’t now the time for stamina, endurance, and zest? Shouldn’t new parents, who are suddenly saddled with being fully responsible for an entirely new and basically helpless person, be granted some level of super-human powers? It sounds reasonable to me. I’m not asking for x-ray vision or the ability to fly, but perhaps a little staying power without the assistance of a caffeine drip? Or the ability to shake the zombie-mode despite having only slept for a total of 8 hours over a 3-day period? I love my lukewarm coffee in the morning, but this is one in particular that I just don’t think is fair at all! Not to my child. Not to myself. Parents shouldn’t need to fill up on external fuel. It should be included in the basic package.

Another thing that drives me crazy is the uncertainty, the fear of the unknown, the lack of control, and simply not having all the answers. Not being given straightforward information from doctors (or whoever is supposed to ‘know’). Even my BFF (Google) has been known to let me down from time to time. I hate not knowing exactly what to do, what is wrong, or how to fix any of it. And, I’m sure this will only get worse as Baby gets older. Not only will I not have answers to my own questions, but I’ll be answerless for her too. I have a feeling that the “because-I-said-sos” and the “because-that’s-the-way-God-made-its” will only go so far.

I’m sure the list could go on. Even as I try to conclude my thoughts now, there are other ideas popping into my head (like how ridiculous it is that baby’s fingernails grow so dang fast. Really? I’m supposed to find a way to cut those teeeeeny-tiiiiiiny little nails practically every other day while my child, who still does not yet have full control of those flailing arms or even the grip in her hands, would rather pull my hair or rip the picture off the wall. Um, definitely not fair.).

But the fact of the matter is that these are really fantastic problems to have. I mean, each of these issues has arisen from one single source: my child, and more specifically, my love for her. Short of installing constantly-recording cameras throughout our house (which strikes me as a little creepy) or finding some untapped resource for super-hero powers, I think these are just the things that come with the territory of being a parent. I might not like it sometimes, but I think I can learn to accept it … most of it, anyway.

What are your least favorite aspects of parenthood? Feel free to share only a thought or two, or Pour Your Heart Out ...

13 comments:

  1. I think you mailed on the head for most mothers.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I can't wait to have all these inconveniences in about 6 months! :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am not a mother, but as my husband and I are trying for a baby, I have worries like "what if my kid gets addicted to something?" I know that it is something that I absolutely have no control over right now in my life. Maybe I should stop watching Intervention....

    ReplyDelete
  4. I agree with all of those too! Especially the can't look them in the eye when they are smiling at 2 am LOL

    The next one you'll find is that when they something totally wrong, but totally hysterical - try not to crack a smile...

    ReplyDelete
  5. I feel you. I hate having so much love, and at times, such little control. I hate that feeling of having to fight your natural instincts for their own good. Totally get it.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I think being a mother is exactly like your title, it is baby steps in high heels! You have to be patient and go slow with the kid.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Welcome to parenthood! The days are long, the years and short.... and somewhere inbetween there we become basket cases. Ok... maybe that's just me LOL.

    You definitely nailed it for us all!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I can only say you have much more to come. My Lexi turned 15 this summer, and she started high school on Monday...HIGH SCHOOL! Where has the past 15 years gone? I haven't got a clue. My little princess is turning into an adult right in front of me and I'm not ready for it. She's still supposed to be the little tag along, not a teen who is more into her friends than she is her mom.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'm not a mom but I think about some of those things and other things and wonder if I'm cut out for it...but then, I know that I will be okay. I know that sounds like a pat statement but the good parents figure it out and you will too. It just may not seem like it! :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. I (cringe) got my sewing machine at Walmart. But you can get pretty in-expensive ones at other places. Mine works just fine and was probably only about $100. Which in the grand scheme of things isn't too bad! :)

    Just beware, it's very addicting! :) But totally worth it! It's so nice to get some of those things, like big blankets, or other fun things (hooter hiders, bibs, burp rags, clothes for your daughter) that no one else has!

    ReplyDelete