I dreamed of being a mom. I looked forward to it. I couldn’t wait for it!
I grew up in a family of eight kids and loved it. I watched moms juggling their kids, having loads of fun, and I thought it would be great!
It would just be a party all of the time with little people who adored me!
Yes I saw messes, stress, and chaos in the lives of moms around me, but I thought I would be different.
I thought I would know how to do it all - teach my kids the classics, feed them healthy food, parent them with grace and peace, have so much fun with them, always get them to bed on time…I knew I would be a good parent and it would be so much fun!
I was a perfect parent before I was one.
Then I started having babies. That was a wake up call! It was hard and exhausting. I felt guilty for failing to meet my own expectations. I was distraught when my kids didn’t behave the way I wanted them to. There were so many negative feelings.
I went into motherhood expecting rainbows and unicorns. I thought having kids would solve my problems and bring me happiness, not create negative emotions.
Then I felt terrible for feeling so disappointed with myself and my kids. I felt guilty and ashamed.
The more guilt and shame I felt, the more I hated myself for not being the mom I thought I should be, which made me feel even worse.
I thought that something was wrong with me.
I was trapped in a never ending negative cycle and it was not a fun place to be. I loved my kids, I wanted to be a good mom, and I wanted us all to be happy, but how? There was so much chaos: to-do’s, meals, laundry, crying, diapers, fighting, bedtime, school, and on and on.
I expected to have a clean house, happy kids, a finished to-do list, and many more things.
But I never got it all done. I could never reach the expectations I had for myself. I failed constantly.
When I failed to reach my expectations, I felt disappointed, frustrated, and annoyed.
Then I felt guilty for feeling that way.
I set myself up for failure by expecting more than reality.
What if I didn’t have expectations? What if the house isn’t supposed to be clean? What if the kids are supposed to fight? What if bedtime should take 3 hours? What if school should take twice as long as I think? What if we’re supposed to be late to the event?
What if I looked around and loved what is?
Yes, there is mess. Yes, there is fighting. Yes, I didn’t get all of the things done.
I feel disappointed when these occur, and that’s ok. It’s normal. I’m not supposed to be happy all of the time.
Expecting to be happy all of the time sets me up for more negative emotion because of the cycle it creates.
So I stopped trying to be happy all of the time.
Sometimes I’m frustrated. Sometimes I'm annoyed. Sometimes I’m disappointed. It’s all ok.
When I embraced the part of my life that is negative, I opened myself up to fully experience the part that is positive.
Being a mom is messier, louder, smellier, and crazier than I ever imagined. It is also more beautiful, lovely, and joyful than I ever imagined. I’m willing to experience the mess, noise, and chaos in order t