I am pretty much convinced that the reason women’s emotions are so out of control when they are pregnant is to prepare them for motherhood. To really give the new mother a crash course in what it’s like to be on a roller coaster of feelings 24/7, there’s no easing in slowly, no way to comfortably progress into it, you must dive right in.
From the moment you see those 2 pink lines, your world changes. I don’t just mean that you now have a baby and a huge new responsibility, but the way you think and feel is about to change forever as well. When someone asks you how your day was, you will never again be able to honestly answer that question with a simple “good” or “bad”, there just isn’t one word that could describe all that happens in your heart and mind in 24 hours as a mom.
A typical day in the life of a mom can be like driving too fast on a winding road; just when you get around one corner, you are facing another. There are so many curves and twists and turns. It can be hard to catch your breath.
As a mom myself, I can go from feeling determined and ready to have an amazing day, to crying in the bathroom while my kids bang on the door.
I can feel incredibly proud of my kids one minute, and incredibly embarrassed by their behavior the next.
I can go from joyfully watching my kids play well together, to feeling obligated to get on the floor to join them.
In one instant, I can feel super accomplished because I spent hours tackling something with one of my kids, and truly feel like we made progress. In the next instant, I can feel overwhelmed because in that time I was spending with one of my kids, my other child spilled a bag of flour on the floor, and ground cheerios into the carpet.
I often feel discouraged by my children’s behavior, sometimes feeling incompetent to handle it all. I go from being angry with my kids, to feeling sad and ashamed for getting so mad. Other times, I feel confident in my parenting and decision making.
At least once a day, usually in the morning when I want to sleep in, I feel jealous of my friends who don’t have kids. Later in the day, I feel so privileged to have my little ones. When I parent around other people, I usually feel insecure, but also proud to show off my children. Every day I face fear or anxiousness over things I can’t control.
I worry about bad things happening to my kids and not being able to protect them. I also worry that I am not doing a good job raising them and they will grow up to be bank robbers or something. I also feel silly and laugh at myself a lot because I am so all over the place.
Guilt seems to follow at least half of my emotions as well. When I feel dread because I hear my son wake up in the morning and I want to keep sleeping, I feel guilty. When I feel obligated to do things with my kids, I feel guilty. When I feel embarrassed by my kids in public, I feel guilty.
You get the point.
But (I am going to get a little bit cheesy here), the underline of all these emotions, good and bad, is a love for my kids that can’t be measured.
Even in the dirt and the grime, in the lowest parts of motherhood, I adore my kids.
On days when my kids go crazy in public, when they disobey constantly, when they bury me in sticky messes, and make me want to pull my hair out, it might be easy to simply say I had a “bad” day, but even so, there is always joy and thankfulness underneath.
It seems like an oxymoron to say that you can have both a good day and a bad day at once, or that you can feel extremely embarrassed, sad, angry, and/or guilty, while also being thankful and joyful. It doesn’t make sense, but it’s the truth.
There are hard, hard moments and sometimes they seem to overshadow the good things, but under it all, there is a motive based on love. I wouldn’t feel so bad when motherhood gets the best of me, I wouldn’t feel guilty, ashamed, obligation or even dread, if I didn’t love my kids and want what is best for them. I wouldn’t care if they were obedient or not, I wouldn’t care if they ate their vegetables or watched too much TV. I would let them fend for themselves all day while I stayed in bed. I wouldn’t take them to the park or try to do something fun with them every day, and I wouldn’t feel awful when I drop the ball.
My heart hurts because I love my kids so much. It hurts because I know I am not perfect, and I know I will occasionally let my kids down. It hurts because of the whirlwind of emotions I go through every single day.
Here is the take away, mommas. If at the end of the day, you cannot simply describe your day as “good” or “bad” because you try so hard and motherhood makes you feel all over the place, that means you loved your kids today. And you loved them hard. Even if nothing went right, even if all you felt was guilt, sadness, and incompetency, you loved them. You desire the very best for them and you long to BE the best for them. This is why these beautiful, scary curves in the road happen. This is why your momma heart can hurt at the end of the day.
Because you’re a mom that cares immensely.
And that is good.
So strap on your seat belt, brace yourself, and handle this road trip of emotions like a boss. You might crash sometimes, you will rarely drive very far without speed bumps, and you’ll likely get whiplash from all the drastic back and forth, but keep on trucking and you’ll eventually make it safely to the other side.
It will all be worth it.
When your kids move out.
Brook Hall has always wanted to make people laugh, lucky for her she gave birth to two hilarious boys who give her more than enough material to work with. She spends all her time at home taking care of her two little comedians, while also trying to squeeze in moments alone with her hubby. Brook can be found on her blog Stay Home Mama. Her favorite times of day are nap time, bed time and when she gets a new “like” on Facebook