It’s supposed to be that a mother loves motherhood above all things and her child more than that, even.
And I do.
I find being Elle’s Mom completes me in a way I didn’t expect that it would.
However, I have a confession.
Last night, we were across the street at Rick & Jen’s (Jon’s brother and his gf) having dinner, grilling out and having a bonfire. It was awesome. Perfect laid back Saturday night in which I drank far too much wine. Which could be a confession in itself.
But, here’s the real one.
The fire was beginning to flame, Elle had awoke from what I thought was down-for-the-night sleep and Jon’s Mom and Dad, who’d come over, were taking turns hanging out with her outside, wrapped in a few layers of blankies.
It was getting very dark and very cold.
It was time for Elle to sleep.
My wine glass had about 3 sips left in it.There was more wine to be drunk and the fire was really starting to flame.
Elle becomes extremely irritable and I take her inside to rock her/feed her/soothe her/lay her down, etc. And as I lay there on the living room floor where Elle was dozing off to sleep, I wondered how long I’d been in there. Wondered if anyone missed me at the fire.
So I confess, I wanted to be doing cool shit, like hanging out by the fire, not laying on the floor of Rick & Jen’s living room, hoping against hope that Elle would fall asleep and stay asleep.
I realized in those moments, alone in the quiet of their house, that a mother’s job is to sleep a little less in order to get to do both the ‘cool shit’ and the required Mom stuff. I thought back to growing up, my younger cousins, my aunts disappeared inside the cottage for stretches at a time, and then reappearing to continue sitting by the fire/around the counter/around the table.
Sometimes, you have to hit pause on the cool things you’re doing as a Mom and do the Mom things that aren’t as cool. Because that’s what we sign up for when we take on this whole Motherhood challenge.
I confessed this last night around the fire and I said that people should talk about it being ok to feel this way sometimes, because it IS ok to feel that way sometimes. Jon’s Dad (who I love, btw) said he thought it was ok to feel that way but not to say it out loud. Which convinced me that I was writing it here – because some days, mom friends reading this, there are interludes where you may want to be, you know, sleeping instead of rocking your baby, reading a book instead of making a bottle, enjoying a glass of wine instead of changing a diaper. And that is OK. It is normal. It is healthy. And there’s no need to not do the cool shit — you just have to fit it in around the Mom stuff some times.
The guilt that comes with motherhood is absolutely unparalleled to anything else of which I’m aware. Doesn’t mean that I don’t love being Elle’s Mom and that I don’t love motherhood itself — it simply means that I’m searching for balance and finding it is hard.