When I was ginormously pregnant with Ellen, everyone was always telling me how wonderful pregnancy was and how I just “glowed.” I know they were all trying to be encouraging, but it didn’t feel wonderful and if anything I was smoldering, not glowing. One Sunday, one of the sweet little old ladies at church engaged me in a conversation that I found quite refreshing. “It’s hard, isn’t it?” She said. “When I hear all those women talk about how wonderful it is, I think they’re either lying, or they must be cuckoo-crazy!” Amen sister, amen.
During my journey in motherhood over the past few years, I’ve noticed something about moms. We stretch the truth a lot. We over exaggerate our kids capabilities, gloss over our own inadequacies, and outright lie about how we love all the hard parts. One time, I was reading an acquaintance’s blog where she said she “didn’t mind” waking up in the middle of the night with her little one because she just “cherished those quiet moments they spent together” and would be “sad when they ended.” Now, I for one have never leapt from my bed in the middle of the night thinking, “Wahoo! Special snuggle time!” I’ve grumbled, I’ve rolled over hoping the crying would stop, and I’ve even yelled passionately when I’ve walked into doors in blurry stupors. I’ve always minded and rarely cherished. In my humble opinion, either this woman was lying or she is cuckoo-crazy. Either way, there’s something unhealthy about it. Yes, there is something to be said about having a positive attitude or “faking it till you make it,” but what about the other moms listening who now feel guilty because they don’t love losing sleep? I’m not saying we should all constantly vent our frustrations about motherhood, but I think we should be more realistic.
There are many parts of motherhood that are wonderful, but there are also those moments when you wonder: What was I thinking having children? or How can I do this? That doesn’t make you a bad mom, that makes you human. And maybe once we admit that we aren’t perfect we can spend less time fretting and more time enjoying the sweet moments that being a parent has to offer.