Posted in Blog, Featured, Mother, Rebecca, Wife, Woman

Mom in the mirror

Some days I look in the mirror and I like who I see. Some days let’s just say I avoid looking at myself in the mirror altogether.

I’m not talking about physical, that discussion is for another day.

What is it that makes me proud of myself? What is it I resent?

I’ve had a lot of time to think about this as my son is 2.5 now. You bet that I had an idea of what kind of Mother I wanted to be or knew I was capable of being. I had standards, or shall we say unbelievably high expectations of myself.

I created a picture of myself in the future and it was very clear. I didn’t have any doubts in my mind that I would be that Mother. Hmmmph.

The pregnancy came and went. Labor and delivery came and went, although not so easy as I’d hoped. Before I knew it, I was holding my son. Everything was perfect right?

Not so much. It didn’t take too long before my expectations ran smack into reality.

no sleep. crying baby. breastfeeding problems. supportive husband. working husband. no family close. physical issues/recovery from labor. no sleep. fussy baby. financial stress. problems. stress. more problems.

Yes, I found answers to my problems. Support was bountiful in Mom’s groups, classes, etc. My baby was simple. His demands were to be expected and they at least were simple.

Now what about those expectations I had for myself? Let’s see how I was doing with those.

– Get back to the gym within 6 weeks = FAIL
– Get baby to sleep through the night because I read all the right books = FAIL
– Shower every day, put on makeup so I feel normal, do my hair = FAIL
– Never fight with my husband about sharing responsibilities = FAIL
– Get over that my birth plan didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to = FAIL

It’s like I was caught in the whirlwind spiral of failing everywhere I turned. All I felt I was succeeding at (and at least this is a BIG thing) was taking care of my baby. He was fed, clothed, loved on, rocked, and cared for however and as much as he needed. Of course, that was my priority.

I wish I had someone besides myself to blame for all of this. It’s the reality though. I set myself up for it, all of it. I judge my friends, my husband, my family for what I feel like their doing or not doing but it comes NOWHERE near how much I judge myself.

Sometimes the weight of my judgments feel like 1000 pounds of bricks. Other days, it’s like I never notice them.

As I’ve struggled with this over the last couple of years, I have noticed it among every Mom I know. It’s there in your eyes. I know it in mine and I can see it in yours.

Why do we do this to ourselves? We have so much pressure coming at us from everywhere. The last enemy we need is to be contributing to that pressure ourselves!

But here we are, looking at ourselves in the mirror hating and loving in the same moment. No wonder we feel alone. It’s partially our own fault.

I wish I could go back and have one moment with my pregnant self to talk about all of this. We give so many things our attention. Things that don’t deserve it. I wish I could say that today I had conquered it all but that is a lie. It will be an unending struggle through my entire life.

Maybe, just maybe if ONE pregnant Mama reads this and thinks twice about her expectations, my journey to arrive here and write about this would make it all worth it!

 

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