Parenting isn’t always pretty. Contrary to the loads of mom posts on Instagram featuring smiling kids, #momlifeisthebestlife and mothers gushing about their love for their little rays of sunshine. Real mom life gets ugly and some days I just can’t even deal with it because this is all I’ve got to work with:
Why is he crying? I’m not even sure. Something about me not standing in the right place, the right way, and doing whatever it is he wants me to do but can’t seem to articulate. So a fun bike ride to the beach turns into a grueling 20 min. screaming session in the middle of the street.
With no family nearby, a husband deployed and lots of friends busy with their own lives, sometimes there’s just no escape. Everyone will rush to post how they are there for you but when it comes down to it, it’s usually just me and one screaming kid. I can’t even vent on Facebook without becoming terribly frustrated by the loads of “We’re here for you!” responses while I’m probably reading those responses very much alone and hiding behind the couch as a screaming four-year-old throws cars across the room.
No, you’re not here.
Your intentions are well meant and I’m sure your heart is here with me, but people are busy. They have their own lives and their own stuff and it doesn’t always magically line up with when I’m reaching out and trying to find someone to hang out with, or set up a playdate or just get out of the house before I completely lose my shit. (and on the flip side, I’m not there for anyone either because I’m so busy wrapped up in my own struggle so it really goes both ways and I totally understand)
I pushed so hard to become a mom (with IVF) and that makes me feel even more frustrated, alone and isolated during times like this. Real mom life is much different than imaginary mom life on TV or social media. I knew it would be tough, but I didn’t know I’d be doing so much of it on my own. One of the only reasons I felt it was the right time to start a family was because the last deployment was supposed to be the LAST. So now here I am, on my own and trying to figure out how to juggle EVERYTHING.
It’s just kind of been sinking in the last few days as I adjust to this new challenge and try to keep up. It feels like there just aren’t enough hours in the day. It’s been six days since I posted on the blog and that may be my longest stretch since I started writing regularly on here. Some days I feel very defeated. Yesterday was one of those days. But I find when I take pictures and write about it, I feel less alone. It’s often my only way of connecting. So that’s what I’m doing now, and I’m going to try and remind myself to keep doing that. When I go quiet is when I just get too wrapped up in my own head. So I’m making a big effort to get it out by writing about it. It helps. This helped. I feel better today.
Real mom life has its Instagram-worthy pretty moments, but my feed is filled with more realism and less perfectionism. And that’s OK.