Is there anything in the world more frustrating than having your plans thwarted at pretty much every turn? This was my day today. Thwart, thwart, thwart. Nothing but unadulterated thwartage. If this day had a name it would be Thwart McThwartson. This happens a lot when you are a mom.
I really wanted to get some writing done. I even tried to “plan” it into my busy day of toilet cleaning and laundry folding. But it just wasn’t working out.
The first time I sat down to try to write this post I had Maria propped in one arm sleeping and was pecking it out one-handed. I know, I know. That’s patently ridiculous. I am trying to get her to take naps in her own bed but that’s not going terribly well. And, yes, it’s my fault that she is accustomed to being held while she sleeps during the day. But, nevertheless. My one-handed writing was going half-way decently until a blade of grass flickered in the front yard and the dog lost her ever-loving shiz. Maria woke up and cried and so that was that. If she’d been in her bed sleeping then Rapunzel’s maniacal barking wouldn’t have woken her up…
The second time I eked out a spare moment and started this post again, Gemma decided it was time to perform a one-woman improvisational play. If I dropped my eyes to my screen for even a nanosecond she had mini-fit because I was distracted. Truth? I was pretty frustrated at this point. Because did I mention that Gemma LITERALLY TALKED NON-STOP ALL DAY LONG? And I mean one of those days when, no exaggeration, the word “mommy” was spoken once every five minutes. But, you know what? The girl is bloody spectacular. And I want her to know I think she’s amazing. Because she is. So I put everything down for her. The performance went on for at least fifteen minutes and by the time it concluded… there went my window. It was time to start dinner.
I won’t lie to you. I was feeling kinda down. Borderline resentful. I’m the only one in this house who never gets a moment to herself…bla, bla. And it’s true, I did want just a few minutes. Just a few, uninterrupted minutes so that these ideas I have in my head could make their way out before they faded back into the recesses of my brain. And, as often happens in the midst of my pouting, I immediately felt that familiar infertility guilt rising up and washing over me.
How dare you?
What is WRONG with you?
Three YEARS of infertility and now you have the nerve to feel sorry for yourself because you don’t have time to pursue your own precious interests?
These children are everything.
Think of all the women out there desperate for children to fill their every waking second.
Seriously, what is wrong with you? You don’t deserve this life.
Whew. That was heavy, I know.
Chances are though, if you are mom who has lived through infertility, you are going to have moments like this yourself. Moments when the responsibilities of your Momlife break you down and you feel the need to flagellate yourself for not radiating Holy Madonna level motherliness and gratitude at all times. Because you of all women should be grateful for every minute with your children.
But you will have moments when you’re just so freaking tired. When you’d give anything for just one night of decent sleep. Moments when you’re desperate for just five minutes, FIVE FREAKING MINUTES, alone in the bathroom. You’ll have days when your house looks like it could probably qualify for an episode of Hoarders. Days when your IDIOT dog gets a diaper out the trash can and tears it up all over the living room or takes a dump on your bedroom carpet for no reason whatsoever. You’ll have moments when you are just totally tapped out. Physically. Mentally. Emotionally.
But you know what? That is the job. That’s being a mother. Yes, it’s also the job to be so deeply in love with your littles that you’d throw yourself in front of a bullet for them. It’s also the job to laugh yourself silly because you cannot believe these hilarious little people are yours to raise.
But, ladies, this job is still hard. It’s really hard.
Having gone through infertility does not insulate you from the challenges of motherhood. No one is holding you to some inherently higher standard of mothering. The mommy job description does not change just because you almost didn’t get the job. It’s okay to have bad days. I repeat, IT IS OKAY TO HAVE BAD DAYS. Bad moments. It doesn’t take the slightest glimmer away from your wonder or from your profound gratitude. Give yourself a break, mama. You’ve been through enough.
Momming is up and momming is down. Even on days like this one, when I felt like nothing was going right, I still spent precious time holding this baby I didn’t think I would ever have. I spent long moments breathing her in and savoring her perfect Maria smell. Even on days like today, just when I’m ready to beat my head into a wall, in Gemma will waltz with a bag on her head to announce that she’s getting married. To Mickey Mouse.
Up and down. Ebb and flow. Every mother, those who pop babies out like a gumball machine and those who went through hell waiting…we all live this life. We all feel guilty for not loving every second of motherhood. But we’re all just people doing a hard, beautiful, important job.
So to the mama who has lived through infertility…give yourself a break. Some days are tough. It’s okay to struggle. You have no more obligation to be happy all the time than the next mom does.
We all know, GOD KNOWS, that the gratitude you feel for your children is enough to bring you to your knees.