I'm kind of over it. The "everyone is being so honest so I'll jump on the negativity band wagon" thing that's been happening on parent blogs all over the country lately. I'm all for honesty...but can we celebrate everyone without making anyone else feel like they must be crazy, or abnormal. Maybe it's just me, but I feel a little like I CAN'T be honest in social media because then I would be making others feel bad. and that ticks me off.
So what am I talking about?
It's posts like "Why I dread breastfeeding". "Why I regret being a SAHM". "Why what you do doesn't matter so you shouldn't be happy in it"...and on and on. (Yes. Theses are all actual blogs that were on Huffington Post today)
I'm sorry that it didn't work out for you the way you hoped it would. I truly am. But should I feel like I'm a freak show because I love it? Because I feel like I was called to do it? Should I keep quiet about my day and my thoughts because it makes you feel bad? AND. Don't you think maybe, just maybe, your "honesty" about how hard everything was/ is is scaring the crap out of new parents?
We all know it takes work to be parents. Not a shocker. We know it takes work to breastfeed. But weren't there some moments you loved? Wasn't there SOMETHING outside of guilt that made you keep on keeping on? Even a little? I'm all for not making people think your life is perfect, and that everything came easy. But COME ON. Every day for you was hell. You were simply a dairy. You had no impact on your (now grown) children's lives because you raised them instead of working outside the home. No one appreciates you at all, ever. You are a shell of your former self because you chose to be a mom.
These statements are not exactly helpful either.
Everyone has different struggles in parenthood, and in general. But I notice that the only ones being plastered everywhere only contain the downsides. Is it just cool now to thrive in your suffering? Misery loves company so let's all band together and not give any credence to the possible positives of the role that YOU CHOSE.
What would happen if I wrote about how I dread the day babygirl no longer wants to breastfeed. Or how I LOVE cooking for my family- I look forward to it on an almost daily basis. How I love keeping a clean house. How, regardless of the temper tantrums and crankiness, I wouldn't trade this job for anything else in the world. How uber-obsessed with my daughter and hubbs I am. Of course, I'll add in there that it took some serious work. Work to get her to sleep by herself for naptime (19 months to be exact). Work to get her to breastfeed. It took months of a nipple shield, it took months of daily biting, sometimes drawing blood. It took sometimes not going out without babygirl because she refused to take a bottle. Some days I ask the hubbs to just pick up dinner cause I can't even think about coming up with a meal. Sometimes, clean laundry stays in those baskets until we've reworn everything in there and I just have to wash it all again. Sometimes there's just a lot of crap on the floor, and I still don't turn on the vacuum.
I wouldn't trade it. Not a second of it. Not for anything in the world. And I don't think my life is meaningless now. Do I have the same impact now as I did when I was a teacher? Nope. Does that make me sad? Not really. Does everyone feel this same way? Nope. Is that ok. ABSO-FREAKING-LUTELY.
I'm going to share with you now the biggest lesson I've learned since becoming a parent. I'm telling you this has SAVED. ME. And it's this:
KNOW going into it.
KNOW that you're not going to sleep like you used to. For the next few years at the very least. Accept it. You'd be amazed how much less irritated you'll be when you're woken up on an almost nightly basis for however long. Cause you expect it.
KNOW that your life is going to look drastically different than it did before kiddos. You'll be more open to it if you just stop fighting it.
KNOW that there are going to be days when ZERO gets done. And be ok with it. Cause you just CREATED A HUMAN BEING and shit got real.
KNOW that there will never be another thing on the planet that you love as much as that tiny little person in your arms.....and there will never be another thing on the planet that drives you bat s*** crazy like that tiny little person in your arms. That doesn't mean you love them less. It means you're human and all of those references about toddlers just being tiny drunk adults? They're true.
KNOW that if you plan to breastfeed, your boobs will HURT. In the beginning, you might not be prepared for it. Because everyone talks about how beautiful it is. But the beginning? Just remember, it passes, fairly soon. Just hang in there, and ask all your breastfeeding friends the secret to non-cracked nipps. Everyone has them. (Mine are putting breastmilk on them, followed by coconut or olive oil).
And please. PLEASE. Take everything you read, including this, with a grain of salt. Everyone's experience is different. If someone tells you everything is absolutely perfect- they're lying. If someone tells you that life was hell and there are no redeeming moments to be found- they're lying.
Look for the folks in the middle. Look for the mommy blogs that resonate with you. Trust me, you'll find, and then treasure these women that you don't know who are living your life and your issues that you immediately bond with. (I have my phone on me at all times when I'm getting babygirl down for a nap since I have to hold her for about 20 minutes after she falls asleep before I can put her down- and it's GAME ON for mommy blog time).
I may not have the standard yoga pant mommy uniform (I JUST CAN'T DO IT), but I'm right there in the everyday messes, tantrums, and beauty of life with a toddler. Perhaps I'll invest in some yoga wear if more babies come along. But probably not. I'm from jersey and I've gotta represent.