The Mom Blues
It’s inevitable. It’s unpleasant. It’s something that no one seems to talk about much and cover up with a laugh when they do.
It’s the mom blues.
I feel so lucky to be a stay at home mom. Lucky doesn’t even begin to describe it. I love waking up to sleepy faces every morning and being able to snuggle with my boys in bed while we make peace with the day and watch early morning cartoons. I love asking them what they want for breakfast every morning and having time to fill whatever silly request they come up with. I love reading to them while they eat. I love that I don’t have to rush them to get ready, that we can spend the day however we want, that I get to be a part of all their learning and playing and mischief.
I love it.
I love it until I get cereal thrown in my face two days in a row and have to spend half the morning calming temper tantrums and crying fits. I love it until I open my closet and realize I haven’t worn anything but t-shirts, jeans and workout clothes in weeks (and that’s a generous estimate) and I don’t even remember how to do anything with my hair that doesn’t involve a pony tail. I love it until I realize how long it’s been since I’ve had a conversation with an adult, until the monotony of the same routine day in and out gets me down.
A feeling of guilt immediately follows. I get to be a stay at home mom, what am I complaining about? I’m doing exactly what I want. What an ingrate! I shouldn’t feel anything but complete gratitude and love for every moment of my lucky and fabulous life.
That is what the ‘perfect mother’ voice in my head tells me every time I begin to feel frustration. She tells me that no other mother feels this way. Hers is the voice telling me that I need to cook elaborate meals that are not only healthy but delicious and that if I were a good mother I’d come up with better and more creative activities for my boys. She never turns on the TV for her children or lets them wear clothes with lunch stains on them. And when her husband comes home, her house is clean, dinner is ready and she doesn’t have murder in her eyes because someone drew a picture of elmo on the dining room wall while someone else was clogging the toilet with a matchbox car.
She is who all mothers try to be, who we pretend to be, who we think other mothers are.
She is perfect, but imaginary.
The image of who we want to be, and who we think everyone else is, ruins our motherly self esteem. I don’t allow myself down days because I don’t think I should need them. No one else seems to. I don’t take time for myself because I am in an imaginary competition with every other mother I know. The mother’s who cook and bake and craft and still manage to look amazing when I run into them at the grocery store. I power through, fall short and get fed up with it all. Then, fed up, tired and run down, I don’t allow myself to appreciate the beautiful fleeting moments with my children that I’m trying so hard to make perfect.
If only we were all honest with one another.
If we were, we might admit that slumps are a certainty in life, a certainty in everyone’s life. We fall into slumps with jobs, hobbies and relationships. It would be crazy to think that there wouldn’t be times as moms when we feel inadequate or bored. We shouldn’t be ashamed of it, we should embrace it and as mothers and women help one another through.
If we were all honest, maybe we would let who we really are show so the comparisons would be more realistic or maybe we would stop comparing ourselves to one another all together.