When you become a Mother, your life becomes one continuous inner struggle. The day I brought my first child home from the hospital, I found my mind constantly being pulled in two directions, which I suppose I should have seen coming. I knew for nine months that I would be caring for another human life in addition to my own; it’s not like I was one of those “I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant” Moms.
But as G.I. Joe would say, “Knowing is half the battle.” Nothing can quite prepare you for the all things you never thought you’d have to decide.
When you’re a new Mom with a little baby, any moment you get to yourself is precious, which makes deciding what to do with those moments all the more difficult.
Eat something or shower. Spoiler alert – eating almost always wins.
Clean the house or lie down for five minutes. Again, lying down is almost always going to win, especially once you realize that cleaning a house with children living in it is futile. But don’t worry, because if you choose “lie down,” you won’t actually get to rest since your mind will be going crazy thinking of all the things you should be doing.
Fold the laundry or don’t fold the laundry. Why are we, as a society, so obsessed with folding clothing? It’s absurd, if you think about it…. is what I tell myself when I don’t feel like folding the laundry. Which is always.
As your kids get older, the inner struggle doesn’t end. It just morphs into new and exciting inner struggles.
Wanting your kids to help out around the house, but screaming on the inside because THEY’RE DOING IT WRONG! Of course we all want our kids to grow into helpful people, but letting your kids “help” isn’t always that easy. Learning to watch them as they help fold the laundry, or help sweep up the mess under the table is enough to make any parent cringe. Would it be easier and faster for you to do it yourself? Certainly! But it takes an awful lot of will power not to pry the broom right out of their cute little fingers, shouting, “Just let me do it!”
Baking with your kids. Sure, it makes wonderful memories. But do you want those memories to be of you yelling at them because they got flour all over the floor, walls, and/or ceiling? It’s a conundrum.
Teaching them how to be independent by zipping their own coat or tying their shoes. See Wanting your kids to help out around the house, but screaming on the inside because THEY’RE DOING IT WRONG!
Doing Crafts. See Baking.
Doing nice things. You don’t want your children to grow up only remembering the times you yell at them for not picking up their toys, so you try to throw in some nice, fun things along the way. You take them to the park, the beach, and fun events. But no matter what you do, there is always a strong possibility that one of them is going to ruin it, making you wonder why you do nice things for them in the first place.
Musical instruments. Everyone knows that learning how to play an instrument is great for kids. What it isn’t so great for is the ears of everyone around them.
Even though the inner struggle is real (and constant), in the end, the house gets cleaned (with the “help” of your kids), the laundry gets folded (occasionally), you get cleaned (I hope), you eat, you sleep, you do fun things with your kids, and they learn to bake and play “Mary Had a Little Lamb” on their recorders.
And the inner struggle along the way is 100% worth it.