Posted in Blog, Featured, Mother, Rebecca

How about just being honest?

I can only describe my first year as a Mother as feeling like I was slowly walking through what felt like quicksand made up of concrete. One step I felt like I was actually getting somewhere holding the possibility that I would soon be free but the feeling was fleeting. The next step would yes, be in forward motion but I quickly realized I was starting to sink again. One moment I was thinking there was a way out of the mess, the next I’d be up to my waist again in the concrete knowing I wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

One struggle connected to another until one day I woke up and I felt like I had reached the grassy prairie that was covered in spring blooms of wildflowers. I don’t know how I got there. I only knew without a shadow of a doubt that I had reached “the other side”. What felt like a dream was not, it was reality. I thought, I must make this moment count because on the other side of this prairie there is sure to be more quicksand or worse yet some type of swamp full of indescribable awful things.

Can’t I stay here forever? The sun is shining. It’s warm on my face, my back, my hands. Birds are singing. The flowers smell wonderful. I feel peace. Hope. Even happiness. It’s a good day.

This is my world called Motherhood.

No one told me it would be like this. Heck, maybe I wouldn’t have believed them if they did. I seriously think my Mom doesn’t remember the early days with 3 kids under 5. She probably had to block it out to keep her sanity. I’m not surprised. That will be me someday too, I’m sure.

When I wake up everyday, I wonder what kind of day it will be. I’ve believed for a long time that our thoughts become our reality. Mainly, I know that’s true.

Some days my positive thoughts do win. Other days, they lose quickly after suffering brutal beatings.

I work at not becoming a victim to my surroundings. I think, “I choose today to be happy no matter what happens.” One thing happens, then another. Next thing I know I feel like screaming at my son, putting that loud annoying toy down the garbage disposal and sending him to bed at 5pm without dinner. Ok, I wouldn’t actually do all of that I’m just saying that sometimes the emotions are that strong. I don’t have a problem admitting it either.

I think that’s a problem in this world. You know, people acting perfect. Or at least they walk around and you KNOW they think they are giving off the “perfect mom” image. Sorry to break it you Mamas, but that doesn’t fool me for a minute. I know you aren’t perfect. You may be able to look at yourself in the mirror and get away with believing that lie but reality will soon be shining through a crack in that mirror. One day, the crack will come and you will wake up. It’s just a matter of how much time you will have wasted living that lie.

Enough of that…back to my prairie or quicksand. Which was it?

Things aren’t perfect and they sure as hell aren’t the way I thought they would be. Wasn’t that book “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” supposed to cover all of this?

Check this out. Now they have an entire website devoted to it called What to Expect. This is disturbing. Check out the topics of the Most Read articles.

  • The Facts on Babies’ Flat Heads
  • The Best Sippy Cups for Babies
  • The Toy-Safety Scoop
  • Should You Bathe With Your Baby?

Some of the featured articles on the homepage are topics such as Celebrity Families & How to Win New Baby Bedding!!! No wonder Moms feel no support and feel so alone. We certainly aren’t getting any help from these people.

Their tag line says, “Pregnancy and Parenting, Every Step of the Way.” GREAT! Where are the articles about how to deal with postpartum depression? What about helping me with how to deal with figuring who the heck I am anymore? Or how to deal with my spouse that is doing everything I don’t want him to do and nothing I want him to do? Or why do I still feel so alone? Or helping me with my unrealistic expectations I put on myself? Or how to deal with the pressures of having a perfect baby according to all the books and experts? Or how to manage my life when everything I try seems to completely fail?

I mean, seriously! How about just being honest? You are not with me every step of the way, not even close.

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  1. Karen Greenberg says:

    Parenting is definitely NOTHING like I expected. I can see now why my pediatrician told me to just throw all the books in the garbage. I know my baby best, he said. I’m so glad I followed his advice and parented from instinct. There is no way I could have kept up with all that was expected otherwise.

  2. At best we whisper these things to each other but nothing is spoken out loud, really out loud. Bless you for say thing this much!

    • Sheila,

      Why are these things only whispered? I honestly don’t get it. It makes me want to shout it from the rooftops. I guess that’s what I’m doing with a blog. haha.

      The truth should always be spoken, no matter what. Unless we have super close family members that are open about this sort of thing, who is there to tell it? Why is it such a mystery?

  3. I have a two year old and a three week old and I’m glad I read this. I need a reality check. I really need to know its ok that I feel the way I do. I sometimes feel like a failure for all the tantrums my two year old throws knowing its just him being two and thinking I failed somewhere. I failed in keeping my house perfect etc. I am hoping this new year brings some relief for me and realistic expectations of myself. I know I’ve got to acquire those. I have to work on myself and myself image.

    • Heather,

      I just wanted to point out something you said in your comment. You said, “I am hoping this new year brings some relief for me and realistic expectations of myself.”
      You might not think this is a big deal, but re-read your words. Please know this. YOU create your reality. You are in charge. We don’t have to be victims to our surroundings and this includes motherhood and crazy 2 yr olds. No, we can’t control our 2 yr olds, but we can control our response to them and our thoughts, words and actions.

      You have all the power to make this a great year. Take a few moments to sit down and write out your expectations. Then really think about them. Maybe they are good, maybe they should be thrown out the window. You decide.

      I hope that helps. I think we too often give all our power away to “what happens” to us. We give our happiness away. I know I do. I have to constantly remind myself that I get to choose every moment how I feel.

  4. Ahhh. I am so not perfect AT ALL. It’s not necessarily that I didn’t expect this, motherhood to be difficult, I did. I think what I didn’t expect were others’ expectations of me to be perfect. My housework is never done, I’m always tired, I hardly wear makeup. It feels like as soon as you are pregnant, the world starts openly judging you. And when does it stop? Probably never. I’m glad you’re being honest. The mommy bloggers that fill my RSS feeds appear to have these perfectly put together lives. But maybe that is just how they choose to portray themselves.

    Everything is so focused on the birth and baby gear. The birth is only one day. And the baby gear? Well, that’s really not that important at all.

    • Yeah, I am not sure what’s up with all the mommy bloggers out there giving off the “perfect” image. Who is that for? I wish more people spoke with honesty and courage about what being a mother is really all about. It’s not the perfect house, perfectly dressed kid or perfectly behaved kids.

      I have to ask, what’s in it for them to write about all of that stuff? Is it because they are making money doing it? What’s their motivation?

      My motivation is just to begin an honest conversation about motherhood. A conversation that doesn’t seem to be happening anywhere but one that everyone seems to be needing.

  5. “No one told me it would be like this. Heck, maybe I wouldn’t have believed them if they did.”

    This was me after my first child was born. I totally get it. Now that I have two, I can rejoice in the imperfections and craziness a little, but I had quite the rude awakening after #1 was born.

    The What to Expect book is crap.

    • Candy,

      Good for you that you can rejoice in the imperfections and craziness! I bet that has taken a lot of practice to get to that place.

      Cheers to you!

  6. Loved this entry. I always prided myself on keeping it real. It’s been a difficult journey for me. After I got through post partum depression, facebook made that even worse. I thought everyone was perfect. Nobody tells you how hard it’s going to be. Cheers to you for keeping it real!

    • Thanks for keeping it real! We need more of that. I agree that Facebook makes things worse. It seems like a platform for people to brag about things that you wouldn’t ever hear them say in person. I’ve thought that was always so strange.

  7. You may find it hard to believe, but the adoptive community is the same– very few telling the real story. Or, the few who do often depress everyone else, lol. Keep up the honesty– it will give you the equilibrium for the marathon ahead! 🙂

    • Thanks!
      I don’t know much about the adoptive community but that’s interesting. You’d think that within a community like that there would be more open and honest communication going on.

  8. Yes,I completely agree the adoptive community is the same way. Maybe even more so. We were married for 13 years before our son arrived home from the Philippines at the age of 16 mo. I felt as if I had to say everything was wonderful,and if I had a dollar for each time I was asked “isn’t being a mommy just great?”…I would be a wealthy woman. Our second child,a daughter was adopted three years later from Vietnam at approx. 18 mo of age. Same thing again..the questions, how is everyone sleeping, don’t they just love each other, doesn’t it make you just want to have another?’? Well, I should have been honest an said “look people, no one is getting any sleep, she screams constantly, her brother is convinced we should box her up and ship her back to Vietnam, they hate each other.

  9. Sorry, some how got cut off. Anyway, she bit him all the time,making the adjustment between the two of them difficult. But,I found myself feeling so alone…like I was the only one that felt this way,or I was the only one not doing something right?!? I love it when I hear mom’s being honest..whether it be births,adoptive mom’s, foster mom’s. It is truly one of the hardest jobs their is. And yes,it is so rewarding,so very rewarding. I will never forget the first time I held either one of my children. I will never forget the first time my daughter actually let me hold her bottle for her, I will never forget my sons first American word…Apple, and I will never forget the day that finally came rolling around where I knew they loved each other as brother and sister….now they still fight,just like siblings. do. Does it all make me want another child?…..and since this appears to be a totally honest blog here ….NO!!! Thanks for keeping it real and keeping it honest!

    • Geneva,
      Thanks for your comments. Even if you’re not blogging, just sharing your honest thoughts and perspective on here will make a difference. As more Mothers share openly about these things, it gives other people permission to do the same.

      You seem very brave. 🙂

  10. I don’t think even the moms who appear perfect think they are. A friend told me once that her husband got all flustered when they were struggling with an errand with their 2 kids and said that my family (with 2yo twins and a newborn at the time) made it look so easy, always going places like it was a piece of cake. It made me feel awesome, but I had to tell her that wasn’t true — that every outing, even now that their almost 4 and almost 2, is WORK.

    • Leigh Ann,
      I totally agree. My friend and I were talking about this the other day. We swear that those “perfect” moms out there still cry themselves to sleep when no one is looking. I believe it takes courage to share the truth. People are always afraid of being accepted and being loved. Maybe they think that if people knew the truth about them, they would lose friends or end up alone. And that’s just not true.

      People are truly craving authenticity.

  11. I really think it all comes down to what YOU perceive as “perfect”. I don’t think people are judging me. I don’t! Because I know that I really don’t care about what other people do, so why should they care what I do? They don’t care. That’s the key. The “Mommy Wars” are actually within our own minds. The judgment you may think people are passing on you is usually just judgment that you’re putting upon yourself.

    And honestly, I think mothers HAVE been screaming the “truth” from the rooftops and “telling it like it is” for centuries: people just never wanted to listen.

    Thank God for the Internet. 🙂

    • Good point. I agree with you that mostly the Mommy Wars only exist within our own minds. I should write an article about that. haha…

      So how do we get people to listen more?

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