Saturday, February 5, 2011

The reality of being a mom...

I wrote this blog several days ago when I was in the depths of an emotional "moment" (read: tantrum).  I wasn't sure that I wanted to share this dark side of motherhood.  After speaking to some family and friends, I really feel that other
mothers need to know that being a mom isn't all flowers and sunshine.  So please read
 this knowing that everyday isn't this way for me and it's only by God's grace that
I make it through the times like this one.  Please pardon the long post.

I never would have thought it possible to have my feelings hurt so severely by a child.  In fact, I'm sitting at my computer thinking how absurd it must sound; yet I'm still going to admit my crazy thought on a public blog.  To the reader, thanks for being my therapist and letting me lay on your couch.

When I first got married and my husband and I started dreaming about having a baby, I would tell him all of the things that I couldn't wait to be able to do for a baby of our own.  I was excited to be able to rock our baby to sleep and cuddle up to read stories.  I had dreams of kissing away boo boos and receiving unwarranted hugs and kisses from our child.  I couldn't wait to hear our child start to speak--of course hoping that his first word would be "mama".  I dreamt of being the mom who took a special snack to school to be shared with his classmates for his birthday.  I was looking forward to being the family my child's teenage friends would want to hang out with--preparing food for the masses and being able to counsel if asked.
Well we got our wish, and now we have a wonderfully vibrant 2 year old little boy.  He is so sweet and cute and all of those things that make a child "likable".  What other parents don't tell you is that parenthood isn't always so cuddly and syrupy sweet.  My son has never liked to be held.  He doesn't like to snuggle or sit on your lap for more than a second or two.  His first words were not mama, they were "Dada", and who would've thought that he would be saying all kinds of other words before ever deciding to say mama.  I have to say that he does allow me to kiss away his boo boos and he will give hugs without asking (sometimes).  If I ask for a hug he normally tells me no.  Recently I was walking from our bedroom into the kitchen and my son was sitting in the living room, between the other two rooms.  When I walked into the living room, he got up and ran screaming to find his father because I had gotten to close to him.  He runs from me and puts his hand out like and crossing guard and yells, "stop, NO."  This crushes my heart.

As a stay at home mom, I am with my son all the time.  I am the one who has to discipline the most.  I am the one who has to deal with his bad behavior and try to train him to have good behavior.  My entire day revolves around him and what his needs are and sometimes I feel a little alone. I feel like I'm the one who gets the grunt work and my husband, who is working and away from the home, gets all the hugs and kisses and any snuggles to be had.  My mother told me that this may happen, but I was sure that my son would love me more than that.  I was so wrong, because all children exhibit some of this behavior now and then. When my husband is around, my son doesn't want anything to do with me.  I'm serious, I'm not stretching this.  He won't let me change his diaper without a fight, I can't dress him if Daddy is home and when I do he gets angry and kicks and screams and won't calm down until my husband comes in the room.  He won't let me comfort him if he falls or if he has a bad dream in the night.  If he has problems at meal times I am not allowed to assist.  The only time he wants me is when he Daddy is busy or away.  Please don't misread this and think that I'm upset at my husband.  He works very hard so I can be a stay at home mom and I appreciate him so much for this since being a stay at home mom was my dream.  Many of you may read this and wonder why I'm not excited to have a break.  Believe me, I appreciate the break, it's the hurtful words and reactions from my son that make it so hard.

I get so angry!!!  and frustrated!!!  and most of all hurt.  Motherhood was supposed to be so fulfilling; after all, that's what I always felt I was made to do.  Why didn't it happen the way it was supposed to (read" the way I excepted it to happen)?  If it's like this now, how will I be able to cope when he's a teenager?  I am so hurt....and to think a 2 year old can get me crazy like this.  I guess it's because he is my own flesh and blood.  We worked hard to be able to have babies, and whether I want to admit it or not, with that comes A LOT of expectations ---for him and for myself.  You see where expectations get you....heart broken.  All I can do is pray...

Now I have a tiny glimpse of what our Heavenly Father must feel about us.  We stand away from him, with our arms sticking out to keep him from getting to close.  We don't hold his hand when crossing the traffic of life.  We prefer to run wild and not listen to correction.  We become independent and don't want any help, because, "I can do it all by myself."  We are easily distracted from doing what is right.  I never would have thought that motherhood could give me a different perception of my relationship with God.  Who knew....


Jennifer S. said...

Lori, Thank you so much for your honesty and openness in this post and on your blog in general. I really think it is awesome how you are able to share what God is teaching you. I appreciate the challenges you present to understand God and to seek Him in the midst of the personal struggles we face. Thanks and keep it up!

Anita said... you've done it again.. we must be living on a prallel line you and I these days.. praying for you hoping you'll do the same.. and keep your chin up girl.. I'll try to do the same... :)

Lori said...

I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one that has issues like this. =) Seriously, it can feel lonely sometimes. Thanks for your comments. Affirmation was always a huge thing for me, so they really mean a lot.

Nikki said...

I've been feeling as though God was putting you on my heart these last few weeks and this actually confirmed it for me. What you are going through is normal but none the less hurtful. We give our everything to our children from the moment of conception and they thank us by telling us they would rather have a box of mac and cheese or that we stink or they don't love us because Daddy can do it. These moments can break you if you let them. Children are so selfish, they don't know any other way to be so in addition to growing them we have to teach them and sometimes, it's hard.

James is now 7 and one of my biggest regrets with him is that I didn't search out a group when he was younger. For me, it was the MOMS Club and we do have a chapter in Rising Sun now. Unfortunately, I didn't join until he was 3 and by that point, I'd been through so much abuse with the boy, lol. Being a part of a group, any group that has women in similar situations and feeling comfortable enough to talk about them, that has been a life saver for me. The impact of having that support really hit home with me this week. Cailin is a year old and it's just blown by. Part of that is life and routine but part is knowing that I'm not alone. This was such a strong revelation to me this week that I was compelled to write on the call to service board at church yesterday. THAT is also not me, I do not go up in front. I barely make it away from communion without tears. Going up with a smile and having the words just run from my hand felt powerful and that I was doing the right thing. I really believe that right now, what I need to be doing is supporting other mothers, who are at all stages of the game and lifting them up.

For you, I don't know if that's just telling you that you're doing a great job and you truly are, to extend an invitation for you or anyone to come and join the MOMS Club or to just continue reading the words you're sharing.

Either way, I do believe that you are doing an awesome job because I believe that part of being a great parent is to never stop trying to do better by and for our children and you most certainly display that attitude.

Brynn said...

yup. i'm with you. we need to get together. zora and vaden can play while we vent.

you commented on my post about me rocking the kids to sleep and said that you cried and reflected on your own thoughts.

this post has done the same for me. i feel the same hurt; the same frustrations. i am going through something very personal and difficult right now, and i've been trying to find the right way/time to put it on my blog. i'll get there. there are always people who will read it and feel the same. the support and validation is pricelss. so stay tuned...

i'll pray for you. i like the comparison to the relationship with God. love reading your blog!

Lori said...

Brynn, I'll be praying for you in this time of struggle. It's not easy being vunerable. I've spent the better part of the last 15 years avoiding it. The great part of letting yourself be vunerable is you truely get to know yourself, with out any denial, and you're open and able to accept the lessons God is teaching us. I hope you're finding what you need to learn/know and that you're able to find peace in the challenge. Let's make a play date soon.

Lori said...

Nikki, thank you for sharing. It is a real comfort knowing that other mom's have been, have lived through it and are on the other side cheering the rest of us on. Funny you mentioned MOM's club. I've been "stalked" (asked repeatedly by different women) to join in the MOM's club-I've been asked to join RS and Elkton. Sounds like God is pushing me in one of these directions, huh?!? Would you FB message me some details about the RS chapter? I'd love more info. Thanks for commenting. It was very encouraging.

Jackie said...

You are a truly amazing woman--to be able to see that life is not all that we expect and to be able to parallel that with God and His love for us is inspired! As a grandmother I have some encouragement to offer to all those mothers who get "beat up" by their kids--one day they will kids of their own!!! Just kidding--The truth is that we can't allow our feelings to dictate our actions. This becomes harder when we are isolated at home. Moms groups, bible studies, or regular interactions with other moms are an important part of your growth and sanity. It is also good in teaching your kids how to socialize. Praying for all of you as you do the most important and sometimes, least appreciated, work in the world.

Robyn said...

As much as it hurts, at least in my own very limited experience, it's a stage - and one that will come and go maybe too often through the growing up years! From infancy to adulthood! argh! haha
A. wasn't a cuddler either - at all - and I went through a freaking lot with her... But - now she's incredible to be around, a joy to go places with, and so much fun to talk to! I thought we would never get through the first 4 years sometimes, but here we are and it was worth it looking back - or at least we survived it, looking back! ;) Not that my feelings never get hurt now... they definitely do. I've spent more than my fair share of mommyhood crying my eyes out locked in the bathroom. But without sounding trite or making light of it at all, "this too shall pass" - until the next stage. lol
You're obviously an amazing mom, because otherwise you wouldn't care as much as you do, and he's probably taken his cue from you on admiring his daddy! :) You are not alone - and it's good to know I haven't been either!!!! ;)

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