Today was one of “those” days. One of those days when you wish you could just turn off the monitor, pull up the covers, and lose yourself in a long, peaceful sleep. But you can’t. The monitor is lighting up to sounds of two sick babies — babies who kept you and the husband up all night. Time to get up and muster that inner momma fire to get going.
“Those” days usually start extra early, with a splitting headache, and with no clean bottles on the drying rack. “Those” days call for a whole pot of coffee, even if you only have time to take in the delicious aroma while chasing around cranky kiddos, and trying to find just the right toy/game to appease them. (I’ll save you some time: It’s none of them!) Top it all off with some sleep deprivation fueled fights with the husband, stubbing your toe on the baby gate, and the *precious* grocery checkout clerk asking you when this baby is due (answer: 13.5 months ago), and you are officially having a day.
Days like this test my fortitude as a mother, spouse, and person. I’ve always been someone who got going when the going got tough — going the other way, that is. To the next distraction, to whatever seemed fun, to whatever wasn’t as difficult. Motherhood has forced me to find another way to cope with stress, difficulties, disappointments, and sadness.
You breathe through it. You live through it. You grow from it. And maybe one day soon, you’ll laugh about it.
It’s the reality of motherhood some days — we are all merely trying to survive it. Facebook and other social media can make it seem like every other mom out there is having an awesome day with her adorable and well-behaved children in matching smocked outfits, easily gliding through their lives filled with organic homemade snacks and non-screen activities. There is no Instagram filter that can make “those” days look good. “Those” days stay off the news feed.
But what if we owned “those” days, and turned the tables on the trap we all fall into of only sharing what seems perfect, or just imperfect enough? Wouldn’t we be doing a favor to our sisterhood of mothers if we kept it a little more real? Confession — sometimes I don’t feel #blessed. I feel #stressed. Or #hungry and #exhausted. Or #invisible and #resentful. Or #likemaybeismelllikespitup. And #whyyesidohavemyhandsfullnowBACKOFF.
When motherhood is hard, and when you fight through the challenges, you realize these gifts we’ve been given are teaching us so much along the way. How to fight better (or at least quieter!), how to communicate and delegate, how to put the needs of others in front of your own, how to be reliable and efficient, and how to persevere. Basically, act like the person you’ve always wanted to be.
So, as this day of all days draws to a close, and I spy on one baby sleeping soundly in the nursery and one snuggled up to daddy in our bed, I pull out my iPad and reflect. I go to Facebook and see perfect mom after perfect mom, but with the knowledge that she has these days too. Maybe even today is one of them. We’re all figuring out this motherhood thing as we go, and hopefully, with friends and family (and a nice glass of Malbec) that loves and accepts us even on one of “those” days.
Confession — I don’t post about my terrible days on Facebook. Despite feeling like sharing the details and frustrations of the day could elicit a knowing, “Oh girl, I’ve been there” or provide a sense of normalcy to a new mom who feels like her days don’t seem to match up with the image put out there on social media, I give in to the pressure to keep it light and fluffy. Maybe Facebook and our other outlets online are just that — an outlet for whatever image we want to portray to others, and most important, ourselves. We’re all looking for a bit of an escape, something that can often allude moms. On that note, the monitor beckons.
Until next time, I’ll be filtering and cropping up a storm online. I’ll need it after a day like today.