You’ve heard me talk about the hard days. The days that have slim chance of a turnaround and you find yourself digging deep for a grit you didn’t know you existed just to get to bedtime.
And then doing it again.
They happen more often during certain seasons of motherhood. Transitions like adding a new baby to the family can cause a ripple. Starting Kindergarten and being unprepared for the lifestyle change that comes with it. Going back to work. Becoming a stay at home mom. Behavior changes that come with kids getting older. Behavior changes that worry you. The almost constant struggle of motherhood.
Regardless of cause or frequency, the hard days happen to all of us.
You arise in your motherhood in the morning a tall, strong building. Ready to take on challenges and anything that is thrown your way. Throughout the day, tiny humans (or a tiny human) are consistently chipping away at you. Demands for snacks, chip. Chasing after them as run toward the street, chip. Whining, chip chip chip. They chip with no regard to how this effects the infrastructure of this building, you, who cares for them day in and day out.
Some days you escape relatively unscathed, those days are wins, revel in them. Celebrate your success. Other days, the hard days, it’s only a matter of time until the building comes crashing down.
At some point though, the insanity happens. I like to think this is a mixture of mental restoration, growth and amnesia brought on by motherhood. We see a glimpse, a tiny light, a flicker of progress with all the hard work we put in day after day. Hour after hour. Minute after minute.
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When the hard days happen to me, I automatically default that I am unfit to be a mother. Maybe this is a ‘me’ problem (because I can be dramatic with the best of them) but I’m going to tell you about it anyway–blame it on my introvert tendencies or my constant struggle with anxiety and depression; being out of sync with my kids and myself cuts me deep. The words failure and guilt are at the forefront of my mind when I have a hard day and I can barely see past them.
One of my go to coping mechanisms is a hot shower wherein I end up reflecting on all the sh!t from the day: the back talk and defiance. The whining and crying. The wanting something then when you did that exact something; they want the opposite (there really should be a name for this behavior… oh wait, there is, it’s AGE THREE). My responses and how I should have done better. My guilt and how I’m sure I’m screwing them up.
At the end of that soul-cleansing shower that was allowed to you by your glorious husband managing to get home early after 748 SOS texts, when your oldest/pickiest eater comes upstairs and says,
“Mom, I tried pears because you love them and guess what! I love them too!”
He says it with such conviction; such gusto. The kid who never (and I mean never) tries anything new is suddenly a pear lover and my terrible day fades from memory just a bit and I smile.
This is the insanity of motherhood.
It’s not that you forget, it’s allowing the good to overshadow the bad; the win to have more weight than the loss. It’s survival mode at it’s very core.
Stay strong, mama.