I know, I know your jaw just dropped right? I have three beautiful young children and a wonderful husband who is a hands-on father and doting partner. But…
I’m not always a happy mom
Motherhood requires a lot out of me: it requires that I keep helping even when I am being yelled at. It requires that I keep being patient even when I’ve had enough. It requires that I keep my eyes open for hours even when I’m completely exhausted.
But if you checked out my family photos you would see a bubbly, happy looking family of five with the biggest smiles.
There’s a lot you don’t see
You wouldn’t see the argument that my husband and I had before taking the photo (because we absolutely do not enjoy trying to get a nice photo while everyone is freaking out).
You wouldn’t see the battle our two oldest ones had over who gets to stand next to Mom.
You wouldn’t see our littlest plop on the floor face first, kicking his feet and screaming at the top of his lungs because he wants to play on the stairs instead of sitting still for a family photo.
Motherhood is just exhausting
I’m not always a happy mom because motherhood has a way of making me come face to face with my flaws and forcing me to deal with them, because if I don’t deal with them my family suffers.
I’m not always a happy mom because motherhood requires me to keep on giving of myself to everyone else until I go to bed.
I’m not always a happy mom because once everyone’s in bed I desperately need a few quiet moments, but inevitably I stay up way too late and the next morning I’m exhausted.
I’m not always a happy mom because when I start comparing myself to other moms, I figure that they are all doing a way better job.
I’m not always a happy mom because motherhood requires me to “try to be happy” even when I’m just not feeling it. Even when I’m worried about something else, stressed about something else or hurt by something else, motherhood requires me to show up with a smile.
Moderation is a key ingredient to motherhood
I’m also learning that motherhood requires moderation so that my kids do not grow up with a false sense of reality. If there’s is one thing I know for sure it’s that my children are learning from me that life is a mix of happy and hard days. I know for a fact that they are learning how to say “I’m sorry” because I say it to them anytime I feel it needs to be said.
My kids don’t have a perfect mom and they don’t have a mom with a painted on smile, but they do have a mom who lives sincerely in the beautiful realm of moderation.
They do have a mom who is teaching them about the happy and the hard days and how to deal with them. They do have a mom who tells them it’s okay to take some quiet time or reminds them to take a deep breath when they’re upset or frustrated, just like she does.
They do have a mom with a lot of emotions whose doing her best to teach then how to manage their own.
They do have a mom who reminds them that it’s okay to feel sad or even angry sometimes, but that they can’t stay stuck there.
Being a mom has taught me so much about moderation in every area of my life. Being a mom has taught me that there is no room for perfectionism and that my desire to people please needs to take a back seat.
So on a daily basis, I remind myself and my kids that it’s OK to feel all the feelings.
You just can’t stay stuck there.