Since Adalyn has arrived I’ve been struggling with balancing the needs of both my kiddos while also taking care of myself. Actually, if we are going to be honest, I was beginning to struggle with it while pregnant.
Somewhere along the way I got the wrong idea about motherhood and it has left me exhausted, resentful, resented and sometimes just plain miserable. Mothers can’t always do all, all the time… Yet we surely try don’t we?
I am majorly guilty of this. For the past year and a half I’ve been available to my child’s every whim, day and night, with love & despite it all. Now that I’ve got two kids the with love part has been replaced by frantic, sleep deprived, sometimes grouchy & hormonal me while I try to mother my nest of two the way I did my nest of one. I’ve realized I cannot possibly stretch myself and my time any thinner and I’ve been feeling like a failure because of this.
Recently, Everly is seemingly resentful of me for it. She is withholding hugs and kisses, clearly preferring her daddy and even vocalizing it. It is a whole new ballgame now, my baby is grown and I feel guilty for whatever feelings I am causing in her with my own needs and limits. Then I read “My children are people” and my self hatred slowly started to clear.
Maybe it is not totally awful to have healthy limits for mom and children. Maybe declining is okay when asked “mom, you want to play animals?” for the 100th time that day, even after you just finished playing. Or when you’d like to rest for a few minutes while there is a quiet moment, after you’ve held a fussing baby and bounced for a few hours and you tell your toddler to play on her own for a few minutes.
It isn’t because you don’t love her and she doesn’t love you, the resentment and guilt is probably because the relationship is changing. She is growing as a person and you are experiencing, for the first time, the inability to juggle everyone else’s needs and still take care of yourself… and that is okay.
Mom is a person too, with needs. Lovingly exposing this truth to your children will result in more understanding, self aware kids and maybe even a healthier, more happy mama right?
So lets give ourselves a tiny break, take a deep breath and instead of feeling defeated and sad lets marvel at the way our relationships are changing with our kids and be proud of the amazing people our children are becoming.
Ah, I feel better already.