The Secret to Enjoying Motherhood and Not Just Surviving It

The Secret to Enjoying Motherhood and Not Just Surviving It | Baby Chick

The Secret to Enjoying Motherhood and Not Just Surviving It

Motherhood is many things, but is it easy to enjoy? Well if I was hooked up to a lie detector test and you asked me that same question, I am not sure I would pass if I answered yes. And I’m not sure my friends would either.

Baby Chick, motherhood, boy mom, mom life

Image courtesy of hollybollingerphoto.com.

This isn’t what I envisioned…

Case in point. Last night I had three of my four sons crying in unison. They were highly distressed hearing they needed to eat three bites of their bacon chicken dinner. Because that’s the type of mom I am. The type that tries to feed them bacon. Oh, the horror. Mind you I had intentionally thumbed through a real life recipe book (with pages) that morning in order to avoid that very situation. And yet, I still had TEARS. Go figure.

And if you were spying on us, you would have thought I was trying to feed them dog poop. Maybe that may have gone over better given it would have invited potty talk at the dinner table. And you would have thought this because last night the dinner meltdowns were real.

So real in fact, I wanted to flee the scene. But I wasn’t sure I could make it out alive, or at least without tripping with so many of my sons dramatically laid out on the tile floor.

Isn’t this fun?

If the scene from my kitchen had been played to me nine years ago before I got pregnant with my oldest son and someone asked me, “Does this look like some fun?” I think I would have laughed then promptly said: “No, but if you’re trying to scare me away from motherhood, I know better. If this was actually me, I would have everything under control. Because this isn’t the type of mother I am going to be. And when I do it, it will be enjoyable.” (Oh my goodness, I sometimes want to flick my pre-kid self in the face.)

So my guess is you can relate to my pre-kid thoughts about motherhood just as much as you can relate to the scene of World War III in my kitchen last night. But here’s what I think is the most interesting part of it all. I think it’s our pre-kid expectations of what motherhood should and should not look like that set us up to be stressed out parents in the present. More so than the actual stress that comes with those moments.

Are you enjoying motherhood?

So let me ask: “Have you been enjoying motherhood lately? And I’m not asking, “Do you love your kids?” Because I know you do. No. I’m asking you to ask yourself, “Am I able to enjoy being a mom?” And if the answer is no, before guilt ensues, I want to suggest that your expectations may be what is getting in the way.

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You see, it seems most women form their view of motherhood and what a good mother is long before they actually become mothers. It seems we collect our evidence and make our observations of mothers we do not want to be like while standing in grocery stores lines. We grab whatever pack of gum we want to buy and judge a mom who cannot get her kid to stop crying over the pack of gum they want to buy. (Even though we unknowingly fell for the store’s same marketing scheme as an adult.)

And then we form our judgments of good mothers based on sweet scenes from movies or from watching a cute mom at a restaurant who has all her little ducklings sitting perfectly through a meal. And we think, “One day, I want that!”

Your judgments are based on only what you see.

But what we don’t know is that twenty seconds before walking into that restaurant, that same perfect mother had just had an epic meltdown to her kids about their rowdy behavior. She threatened them with taking away their trip to Disney the following day. “If you cannot just sit through one blessed meal in a restaurant without someone having a fit, I’ll cancel our flight before you can say Mickey!” But we of course didn’t see that part back in our pre-kid days. We just saw the sitting still part and formed our expectation.

Sound crazy? Maybe. But true?! I think yes. And it certainly seems ironic that we let our definition of what motherhood should look like be formed before we’re even mothers. I wouldn’t feel comfortable with learning to fly a plane simply by watching a pilot do it from afar. Nor would I want to cut someone’s hair just by watching someone else do it. So why would I assume I know what motherhood should look like before I’m actually a mother? That is just silly. That way of thinking is setting us up to feel like we’re not doing it right, which then steals our joy as mothers. And that’s more than just silly. That’s sad.

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My secret for enjoying motherhood.

So I want to share with you my secret for learning to enjoy motherhood. It’s what has allowed me to be able to find some kind of joy or humor in the bulk of it. And I even mean the crappiest of all moments. Literally. Like when my son exploded poop on my white shirt while walking into a restaurant. And here it is.

Let go of what you thought successful parenthood was before having kids. Embrace it for what it is now that you actually have children — a mix of beautiful and messy moments all rolled into one.

Baby Chick, motherhood, boy mom, mom life

Image courtesy of hollybollingerphoto.com.

In my case, this has meant letting go of believing that the bulk of moments in parenthood are made up of what I like to call “shining star” moments. Where my children are acting angelic, well-behaved, well-rested and more than happy to be compliant with any and all that I ask of them. Because this is an obtainable and realistic goal for good parents 99% of the time. Right? (I am rolling my eyes as I type.)

I think what keeps moms from feeling joy is that we believe motherhood shouldn’t be messy. We believe we are better than having a tween who talks back to us. Or kids who fight while driving home from school. We believe that if we keep trying to figure out how to control it, that one day, we will get it all figured out. And by figured out, I mean we will make parenting all perfect. But until we do, we stress in the little moments, thus robbing us of the ability to enjoy the littleness of our babes. Meanwhile, their childhood is passing us by.

Learning to embrace the imperfect.

Children are a mix of the sweet and sour. Because they aren’t fully grown. So even the best of parents will have a mix of sweet and sour moments, too. Sweet as in your infant decides to take an extra-long nap and give you a chance to write an article. Mixed with sour like when that baby is still sleeping but your toddler’s preschool calls to tell you your other son just puked on the floor and can you please come pick him up.

And to enjoy it, you have to expect both. And remember one doesn’t go without the other. I wouldn’t have them to show off in an adorable little Christmas outfit, it I wasn’t up three times the night before feeding them. His teacher wouldn’t write a note home saying his manners are wonderful if I hadn’t spent years reminding him to say please and thank you and feeling like it’s getting me nowhere. They wouldn’t be able to make me laugh uncontrollably with their humor as a teenager if that same spirit hadn’t exhausted me when they were toddlers.

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Enjoying motherhood doesn’t literally mean enjoying a toddler throwing a tantrum. Because no one really enjoys that. (Don’t tell me if you do.) Enjoying motherhood means having the ability to keep the tantrum in perspective and move through it with ease. It’s knowing that in order to go through ages two to three, even supermom can’t escape a tantrum. So letting your day be ruined or heck, even your next 30 minutes, is a waste of your time and energy. It’s the difference in saying, “If I was a good mom, I could have prevented that. What’s wrong with me?” to saying “Alright, I just survived that. What’s next?” Raising kids is too hard to take it all so seriously. Your kid can learn more from a joyful parent than an angry one.

Finding joy in the chaos.

Don’t worry that your kid is entitled when they ask for five toys as they pass the toy aisle at Target. Think about your childhood and the toy you always wanted. Do you know why they want the toys? Because they’re little, and toys are awesome when you’re little! Instead of being frustrated, ask them about the toys they love and listen to their little voices. For every moment of challenge a child offers us, there is an equal opportunity to enjoy them. So find those moments.

Because those little moments are the big moments. And often times the most important parts of motherhood pass us by because we’re focused on the wrong parts. So don’t miss the sweetness because you’re searching for perfection. After eight years of having littles, I believe the perfection of children is in the imperfection.

Baby Chick, motherhood, boy mom, mom life

Image courtesy of hollybollingerphoto.com.

The ability to enjoy motherhood—to find joy in chaos—is found when the chaos reminds you that you have THEM. And by them, I’m not speaking of the illusion of what we once thought having kids was. No. I’m speaking of the real enjoyment that comes when you can stop and see the utter sweetness of the inescapable mess you and I now know it is. Was. And always will be.

About the Author /

Quinn is a wife, boy mom (x’s 4), blogger at Sanctification and Spitup, host of the Renew You Podcast and licensed marriage and family therapist. She loves to encourage others in relationships through her speaking, writing or podcast episodes.

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Instagram post 18074272528164523 @debiandbebi wrote these words when she was a new mom and struggled with #postpartumdepression. She hopes to remind everyone that it is okay to struggle with being a new mom and that does not mean you don't love your baby. ❤️⁠
(quote by @debiandbebi)⁠
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#postpartum #mentalhealth #ppd #motherhood #selfcare #kindnessmatters #postpartumprogress #postpartumlife #newmom #newmotherhood #mommychick #babychick #depression #mentalhealthmatters
Instagram post 17863413055589017 When they wake up in the morning and give you that big grin . . . 😍 There is nothing sweeter.⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #goodmorning #happybaby #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #mommychick #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣
Instagram post 17848203934772065 Her comes Amazon, here comes Amazon, right down my driveway! 🎶📦🤣⁠
📷: @cmon.mama⁠
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#christmas #christmasshopping #amazonmom #motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
Instagram post 17862171103601373 All of these things make me happy. What would you add to your self care toolbox?⁠
I'm seriously needing some of these things tonight to start a new week. Hoping you mamas get some self care time too! 💕⁠
📷: @hallmark⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #selfcare #selfcaretoolbox #mumlife #mommylife #metime #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣
Instagram post 17974795027288980 Was he dreaming he was riding a bike last night escaping from wild animals?! OUCH! 🤕🚲⁠
📷: @themommyconfessions⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣
Instagram post 18081610903134401 Praying that your toddler let's you get to sleep this weekend. 🙏💤⁠
📷: unknown⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
Instagram post 17866776847554303 Above all else, let us teach them to be kind. 💗⁠
(quote: @mommywinetime)⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #mommychick #carpool #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣
Instagram post 17853200368708392 SURPRISE! A little shocked, a little tired, and a LOT BLESSED. Congrats, @sarah_lit! ❤️⁠
📷: @sarah_lit⁠
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#babyannouncement #pregnancyannouncement #pregnancy #pregnant #momtobe #pregnancylife #mamatobe #babybump #pregnancyjourney #bumpie #preggo #maternity #motherhood #momlife #expecting #mumlife #mommytobe #pregnantlife #babyontheway #inspirepregnancy #mommychick #babychick #babyonboard #mumtobe
Instagram post 17864808397574241 Pregnant and hungry all the time? Here are some great ideas to keep in the fridge when the hunger pains kick in! 🤰👍⁠
📷: @juna.moms⁠
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#pregnancy #pregnant #pregnancytip #momtobe #pregnancylife #healthypregnancy #mamatobe #fitpregnancy #babybump #pregnancyjourney #bumpie #preggo #pregnancybasics #pregnancyhelp #maternity #motherhood #momlife #expecting #mumlife #mommytobe #pregnantlife #babyontheway #inspirepregnancy #mommychick #babychick
Instagram post 18073051357163780 When it comes to clamping the cord, our mottos is "what's the rush?" The blood volume in the placenta and cord at the time of birth is BABY'S blood. It's simply mid-circulation in the placenta at the time of birth. It just makes sense to leave it be and let it finish its job.⁠
No, the blood won't drain out of baby and go backwards into the placenta.⁠
No, your baby is not more likely to get sick from jaundice.⁠
Yes, your baby will still be getting oxygen while they figure out breathing, especially important if they need resuscitation.⁠
Yes, your baby will have better iron levels for the first year of their life.⁠
Look at how thick and engorged this cord still is at 4 and 18 minutes after baby was born. Just imagine how much blood baby would have lost if the cord had been clamped immediately, or at 60 seconds, 90 seconds, or 3 minutes! The placenta was expelled immediately before the 18 minute photo was taken. The pulse in the cord could still be felt even AFTER THE PLACENTA HAD BEEN DELIVERED! The cord was finally clamped and cut more than an hour after birth at 73 minutes. ❤️⁠
📷: @lawrenrosephotography⁠
Informative post and words by @bundleborn⁠
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#placenta #lotusbirth #homebirth #midwife #midwifery #phsiologicThirdStage #delayedcordclamping #optimalcordclamping #waitforwhite #whatstherush #postpartum #birth #laboranddelivery #babychick #mommychick
Instagram post 17866964371538725 Stacks on stacks . . . of diapers. 😂 Can you relate?⁠
📷: @krayons.n.tequila⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣
Instagram post 17852665306696124 With the holiday season upon us and moms trying to make everything magical for their families, remember to stop and take a moment to take care of you. ❤️ Have a hot cup of coffee, a long warm shower and some alone time. Communicate this with your partner not as a wish but as a necessity. We must take the time to take care of ourselves to better take care of them. 💕⁠
📷: @hallmark⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #mommychick #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣
Instagram post 18095239591099259 After holiday feasting . . . this baby gets me.⁠ 🤣
📷: unknown (DM for credit)
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Instagram post 17844162355818683 I think I had a little too much turkey . . . and pie. 😬🍗🥧 #leggingsforlife⁠
📷: @hallmarkbaby⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
Instagram post 17990835490280335 I totally felt this way when I was pregnant. And kinda feel this way after all that turkey. 🤣🦃 Happy turkey day to all you expecting mamas!!⁠
📷: @madiford2 via Twitter⁠
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#pregnancy #pregnant #funnypregnancy #momtobe #pregnancylife #thanksgiving #mamatobe #turkeymama #babybump #pregnancyjourney #bumpie #thirdtrimester #preggo #pregnancyhelp #maternity #motherhood #momlife #expecting #mumlife #mommytobe #pregnantlife #babyontheway #inspirepregnancy #mommychick #babychick
Instagram post 18094211479105476 I spy with my little eye the cutest turkey ever. 😍 Happy Thanksgiving, everybody! Hope it's filled with love, laughter, and cuteness like this. ❤️⁠
📷: @emilyshapaka⁠
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#thanksgiving #happythanksgiving #family #grateful #thankful #babychick⁣ #mommychick #blessed #gratitude #happy #thankyou #happiness #givethanks #turkey #holiday #love #turkeyday #holidays #baby #babyturkey
Instagram post 17852562805720320 Loneliness is a real thing in new motherhood and I want to be sure we talk about this. It's okay to say, "I feel lonely." We normalize one another's experiences when we share the reality of our journey. It can be so isolating when we bring our small human home and our lives revolve around his/her care. We feel detached from the outside world. The monotony of new motherhood can be heavy.⁠
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Here are some tips to combat isolation:⁠
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1️⃣ Get outside when possible.⁠
2️⃣ Video chat with friends/family.⁠
3️⃣ Join a virtual group.⁠
4️⃣ Invite someone to come over.⁠
5️⃣ Find a local mom's group.⁠
6️⃣ Listen to the radio or a podcast (it's interesting how this can make us feel connected with others)⁠
7️⃣ Run an errand--even grabbing a coffee via drive-thru can feel good.⁠
8️⃣ Get to know your neighbors.⁠
What would you add to the list?⁠
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Repost: words and 📷 by @psychedmommy⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #newmom #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
Instagram post 17862516742586656 Pass the rolls. Baby rolls, bread rolls, all the rolls.⁠ 😍🍞👶 #thanksgivingjokes 😜⁠
📷: @divasunrisekiss⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #thanksgiving #toddler #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #toddlerlife #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommchick #rolls #babiesofig
Instagram post 17867282176536875 ⁠For the week of Thanksgiving (and longer if you can!) let's focus on what we DO have instead of what we lack. The more we express gratitude and appreciate our blessings the more we recognize all of our blessings and everything we should be thankful for. 💕⁠
📷: @hallmark⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #gratitude #thankful #mumlife #mommylife #mommychick #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #thanksgiving #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣
Instagram post 17855722339639264 ✈️ Tips to Survive a Plane Ride with Kids ✈️⁠
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Flying on a plane with your little one for the first time can be terrifying. Are they going to cry the whole time? How will they handle the airport, the turbulence and the landing? Well we have some tips that will help prepare you for your flight with your kids. Here's what to do to have a more enjoyable experience 😊 {Link in bio!}⁠
📷: unknown⁠
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#flyingwithkids #travelwithkids #familytravel #travelingwithkids #kidsonplanes #travelpic #airplane #familyholiday #parenting #parenthood #firstflight #babytravels #motherhood #momlife #mumlife #mommychick #babychick #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣
Instagram post 17895768721417819 Who you gonna call?⁠ 🤣🤣🤣
📷: Martiza Elizabeth on FB
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣
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