For some women, motherhood has been in their plan forever. It’s a wonderful, magical time that changes you. From the moment you bring your bundle of joy into this world, you fall in love with everything about them: their tiny toes, their soft, squishy little face, and that sweet, sweet newborn smell.
We’re all familiar with these magical moments, but what about when the rosy hue fades? What about the never-ending sleepless nights? Motherhood can be messy, but it doesn’t make it any less magical. So, momma, here are a few reminders for you never to forget that you can be both a mother and someone who doesn’t always love everything about parenting all the time.
You Can Be Both: A Mother Who . . .
1. Loves Hugs and Kisses from Her Littles But Gets Touched Out
Do you love some extra cuddles with your kiddo? Heck yeah! Isn’t it adorable when they grab your face and tell you you’re their favorite? Of course. But sensory overload and being touched out are real things. Affection from your kids can be great but having a major clinger 24/7 is enough to make any mom run for the pantry and take a time out.
2. Adores Every Picture and Craft But Doesn’t Keep Them All
We’ve all done it. We keep every doodle, every picture, and every popsicle stick craft they bring home. Do we mean to add it all to the scrapbook so your kiddo doesn’t know you tossed just a few of the 10,000 projects they have? Definitely. But just know, it’s okay not to keep everything. We promise they won’t remember that scribble they made on that napkin from that restaurant that you went to that one time.
3. Had an Alright Childhood But Wants to Do Things Differently
It’s the circle of life. When we know better, we do better. Maybe you didn’t have a challenging childhood. And the relationship with your mom is the stuff of dreams, but it doesn’t mean it’s the right relationship for you and your kids. Only you know the best way to parent your child. Don’t let other people’s opinions make you second-guess yourself.
4. Doesn’t Want Over-the-Top Birthday Parties But Still Wants to Give Her Kiddos Everything
We’ve all seen those picture-perfect parties on social media. There are adorable names for the foods and snacks, and the entire theme is completed with a color scheme that’s carried out from the plates to the streamers and somehow not-at-all awkward balloon arch. Believe it or not, even if you don’t go all out, your kiddo will still love their birthday party because they will be more focused on playing with their friends, not on how the pictures turn out.
5. Wouldn’t Trade Their Family for Anything, but Sometimes Wants a Break
You love your family with all your heart, but sometimes it can all be too much. While it would only be temporary, sometimes you fantasize about getting swept away to a tropical island where you could do whatever you wanted on your own time. And at the end of the day, or after a few days, you’ll get back to your little ones rested and refreshed.
6. Struggles to Get Through Sleepless Nights and Non-Stop Tantrums But Knows How Quickly Those Days Will Be Gone
When you’re going through it, you have no idea how you’ll get to the morning during those sleepless nights and tantrums. And yet, somehow, the sun still rises. Days turn into weeks which quickly blur into months and years, and before you know it, you’re packing up their infant clothes, wondering how they ever were that small.
7. Always Wanted to Be a Mom But Was Totally Unprepared for the Reality
When you find out you have a little one on the way, you’re over the moon and can’t wait for them to arrive. But once that glow starts to fade, reality sets in. Feeling overwhelmed isn’t anything to be ashamed of. It’s just one of the many rites of passage that come with motherhood.
8. Loves Baking and Cooking With Your Kiddo But Feels Like There are Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen
For some reason, kids think that cooking and baking with mom is a ton of fun. And it is until you end up with milk spilled on the floor and eggshells where there shouldn’t be any. If you want to let your kids in on the cooking, let them do something you can live with not being perfect.
9. Stays at Home With the Kids But Still Enjoys Time Away
We all know the stay-at-home mom stereotype casts moms who don’t work outside the home as ladies of leisure. But we’re also here to tell you that depiction is entirely wrong. Just because you don’t work outside the house doesn’t mean you’re hardly working. If anything, you’re faced with altogether different situations that try your patience without an HR rep to referee. So go ahead; you don’t have to “earn” your time off. It’s all about balance.
10. Struggles With Postpartum Depression But Still, Be an Incredible Mom
Speaking of rites of passage, a common experience for many moms is living with postpartum depression.1 Having postpartum depression might feel confusing and frustrating. But know that having PPD and seeking treatment doesn’t make you less of a super mom. It’s all part of the human experience.
11. Loves to Hear All About Your Kid’s Day, But Sometimes It’s Just Too Much
Who else is bombarded with a play-by-play from your kiddo the second they get in the car after school? Of course, it’s great that your child wants to share, but it doesn’t mean that it can’t feel overwhelming at the same time.
12. Likes to Make Homecooked Meals, But Sometimes Dinner Ends up Being a Frozen Bag of Pasta
Fed children are the healthiest children. Home cooking is great, but don’t let making four-course or organic meals stress you out. Besides, we all know kids tend to be pickiest when you’ve worked hard to make them something special–it’s Murphy’s Law.
13. Disciplines Their Child But Knows the Importance of Saying Sorry
Discipline is part of parenting. But that doesn’t mean it’s the only way to teach important lessons. Whether your kids have made a mistake (or maybe you have), at the end of the day, being able to admit when you’re wrong and say sorry to your kids is invaluable.
14. Loves Your Kids Participating in Activities But Can’t Say Yes to One More Thing
Ballet, swimming, soccer, gymnastics—the list goes on and on. While there are benefits to kids participating in extracurriculars, you don’t have to say yes to everything.2 Especially when you’re the parent chauffeuring everyone from point A to point B. Don’t overschedule yourself or your kids.
15. Puts Parenting First But Still Makes Time for Her Friends
One great way to model healthy relationships is to make room for spending time with your friends. And when it happens that your friends also have kids, get two things done at once with a playdate for your kids.
16. Knows Chores are Important But Sometimes Folding the Laundry Can Wait
Having a clean and tidy house is something we all aspire to, but sometimes it’s just not going to happen. Especially when you’re constantly picking up from the tiny tornado ripping through your home. Try not to get too hung up on living out of a laundry basket.
17. Loves to Bake But Doesn’t Always Have to Make Sweet Treats from Scratch
Whenever a birthday party or special event comes up, you’re the go-to person for dessert. But sometimes, you don’t have the time. Between juggling the kids, work, and everything that’s going on in your home, you won’t always have the time.
18. Doesn’t Make Every Day a ‘Yes’ Day But Still is in Tune With Her Kids’ Needs
While having a “yes” day now and again can be fun for everyone, it doesn’t have to happen every day. Sometimes saying no because you’re stretched too thin is an act of self-care. It’s not like you’re telling your kids no to something essential they need to be healthy and happy—you’re just saying that another visit to the park this week will have to wait.
19. Thinks Self-Care is Important But Still Struggles With Mom Guilt
You spend so much time with your kids when you’re a mom. You’re a chauffeur, a chef, a teacher–oh, and did we mention an entertainer extraordinaire? Despite all this, anytime you take 45 minutes to yourself to do uninterrupted grocery shopping while you listen to your favorite podcast, you still feel pangs of mom guilt for not taking your kid, even though they begged to come with you.
20. Loves Her Children With All Her Heart But Still Has an Identity Outside of Motherhood
Once you become someone’s mom, it tends to consume your entire identity. Of course, you love your little ones with all your heart, and you’d move heaven and earth for them. A lot of what you do in your day-to-day is because of them, but it doesn’t mean you cease to be you. You’re still a woman with wants, needs, and joys all your own. Leaning into that person you were before you were a mom doesn’t mean you love your kids any less.
Yes, momma, it’s more than possible to feel all these things all at once, and it doesn’t mean those magical moments mean any less. Motherhood can be messy and still wonderful from the moment it begins, and you can still be an amazing mom and have your moments.