April 17, 2012
Two years ago, I became a mother for the second time. I can distinctly remember rushing to the hospital, getting wheeled into the delivery room and pushing Nicholas out within minutes after being admitted. It’s been an incredible ride since then. Nicholas is undoubtedly my most ‘hard headed’ son. His smile can light up your world, his cry can make your heart melt and his whine can make you go crazy.
Yes, you read that right.
I just admitted that my children make me crazy.
It’s not commonplace to discuss depression and children in the same sentence. It’s also rare to hear a mother complain that her days are tirelessly filled with cooking, cleaning, changing diapers, feeding, entertaining and disciplining.
I would like to say that since becoming a mother I’ve had a greater purpose in my life…that I’m incredibly happy and that I’m fulfilled professionally, physically and personally.
But that would be a lie.
The truth is – is that motherhood challenges your psyche. It makes you feel a variety of emotions daily: happiness, contentment, love, fear, sadness, joy….Despite the hundreds of emotions one can choose to bear, the biggest emotion you feel as a mother is – guilt.
I am rarely on the computer once my children wake up. If they watch television for longer than half an hour, I feel guilt because they aren’t engaged in a mentally challenging activity. If it’s sunny outside, I feel guilt if they don’t go to a park where they can run and play. If they are hungry, I feel guilt if I make them a quick mac-n-cheese. If I’m working or training, I feel guilt I’m not at home.
Besides guilt, at times, being a mother is not always fulfilling.
Right now I have several work projects I need and want to complete. I’ve taken a step back from my nonprofit and writings because my time is limited, especially when the children are awake. While I have a husband who also assists in the childrearing, he doesn’t match the amount of housework, cooking and activities I perform daily.
While I’m near family, I rarely can count on a babysitter.
Sometimes life gets so tangled that it’s hard to remember when you had your professional ambitions or a romantic relationship with your husband.
It’s not about balance. And that’s another truth about motherhood.
Even though you’re sleep-deprived, you’re expected to be energetic every day for your kids. Even though your body has been through a traumatic birthing experience, you’re expected to have an amazing body post-baby. Even though you’re the main caregiver, in many cases with working moms, you’re also expected to generate income.
Another truth: all mothers compare themselves with other mothers.
Naturally there are other mothers you contend with – the ones who are outwardly ‘perfect’ – who nurse until their child is two, who doesn’t believe in vaccinations or keeps an impeccable household. Then there are mothers who have a six-pack within six weeks post-partum or have two nannies while they maintain a high-power job…of course there are really bad moms, but who wants to compare yourself to that?
Two years ago I gave birth to an amazing little fella. He makes my heart sing. He truly does. It’s incredible how the birth of a child is like the wake of your world. Nothing will ever be the same again.
There’s no sleeping in. No spontaneous travels. No late night partying..
But while there are many restrictions, the trade-off is much greater. The love you feel is endless. The desire to be a better person rises. The word, “unconditional” rings loud.
The truth about motherhood is that it’s incredibly challenging, but the reward and fulfillment of being a mother is in direct measurement of its task.
There is no greater job than being a great mother. That’s the biggest truth…. I never knew my strength, until I became a mother.
Hi Maria, I just love to read your posts and I am continually inspired to how you fit it all in. Love your honesty too! You have a beautiful family 🙂
Hi Maria, I’m no mother myself but I have utmost respect to you and all mothers out there(including mine) for your unconditional love and care.. thank you for continuously being an inspiration to all of us.. n thank you for being REAL, n showing the ups and downs to attain inner and outer beauty.. you’re my inspiration and for that I thank you.. happy mother’s day to you in advance! 🙂
Deb thank you. I really appreciate your kind words
Hi Maria! I just wanted to let you know what an inspiration you have become to me! I truly enjoy reading your posts and appreciate your honesty! I do not look up to many people in this world but I can truly say that you are one of them! Thank you for sharing your life with me and the rest of us…. 🙂
Hi Maria! I just wanted to say what an inspiration you have become to me! I truly enjoy reading your comments, posts, blogs-everyday, and I love your honesty! You are who you are and do not hide it. You have hit the nail on the head with this one! With two young boys myself (5 and 2 years) I know the struggles of daily life. Thank you for sharing, as always 🙂
Thank you Abby, God Bless Mommies with little boys!
I loved this post and really appreciate the honesty. Women are constantly comparing themselves (non-moms, working moms, stay-at-home moms, etc) and as someone who doesn’t have children right now, I really want to empathize with the difficulties that my friends who are stay-at-home moms experience, but find it hard to relate sometimes (especially in Asia, where live-in nannies/helpers are very affordable so the difficulties they experience are different from those in the US). Your willingness to be upfront and honest about the emotions and feelings that go into being a mom is wonderful. It’s clear from your posts that you are a devoted, loving mother and wife, so posts like this that are so honest make readers feel much more “human”. Life and the emotions that follow it are complex. Thank you for sharing!
I love your website and your candid words. Your life is truly inspirational. Please keep it coming!
Very honest & open post. I am a working mother of a 15 month year old little girl and can totally relate to the daily struggles that you mentioned. You said it best though — there isn’t a greater job on this earth than being a great mom! Thanks for sharing! 🙂
Love this! And my son Nicholas has that same green jersey (=
So very true. All these emotions grow stronger as they approach adolescence, not to mention the anxiety and worry when they go out. You pray and hope that they remember everything you are teachingthem. You also send out a little prayer out to the world, saying “be gentle, people, my kid’s out there”
hello maria! 🙂 I just wanted to chime in and tell you that you’re an absolute inspiration to me! I don’t have any babies yet (in the near future, hopefully!) but I love your honesty about how hard it is to be a mom and still have energy to do everything that you do! I wish everyone would stop comparing themselves to each other and just focus on themselves and their families; I imagine that everyone would be so much happier! (and healthier)
And a wonderful happy birthday to your son 🙂 I hope he gets a lot of fun presents!! You seriously have the most beautiful family!
Maria, am a physical therapist who also specialize in pregnancy and postpartum. I recently started reading your blog and your life experience and comments which are very inspirational. Am from India and I came to United States while I was seven month pregnant , I had my husband with me during my labor and I was very stressed thinking about our future with one day old baby as that was my first time watching or experiency a one day old baby. Our son is four now, am an active busy mom doing full time job, trying to continue my education, fixing healthy meal, like house to be neat and clean…. When i look back god has blessed me with joy, held my hands to grow in each tough time and always answered to me when he thought it was time. Good luck maria n god bless you n your family