Thanks to Heather S. for this guest post, you’ll be seeing more of her around! Don’t miss her links at the bottom.
During my baby shower, a little book was passed around. The guests were encouraged to write their best parenting advice for yours truly. I received all sorts of advice ranging from sleep when the baby sleeps, remember your husband, sleep now because you will never sleep again, embrace the muffin top because it will never go away, and NEVER WAKE A SLEEPING BABY! All sound advice.
But the one piece of advice that stuck with me (and still does) is to “enjoy every moment”.
That piece of advice sucked!
Really? Enjoy every moment? Is that realistic? Are there moms out there who truly enjoy every moment?
My baby screamed for hours on end, every day until she was nine months old. She was a terrible eater; a worse sleeper and I didn’t know this strange and angry woman occupying my body.
There were many moments I did not enjoy.
Five years and two kids later, there are still many moments I do not enjoy.
I hated this piece of advice, “enjoy every moment” because it made me feel like I was an awful heartless mother for having second thoughts about reproducing. It made me feel like something was wrong with me as a woman for not falling madly in love with my baby. If made me feel guilty for not wanting to comfort my screaming child for hours a day -every day-for months on end. It made me feel like my marriage was falling apart because “enjoy every moment” did not include the fangs that come in a marriage during the first year of parenthood.
Enjoy every moment my ass!
I had moments…tender, beautiful and earth moving moments. Moments that I completely understood why some species eat their young. I wanted to digest her.
Most of my moments however, were filled with tears, stress, doubt and resentment. Why didn’t anyone write that in my advice book?
I was blindsided.
I write a different kind of message in those “advice” books now. One of honesty, with sister hood and support in mind. It usually goes a little something like this; May you pop that baby out and fall madly in love. May your transition into motherhood be one of ease and pure bliss. My wish is for you to “enjoy every moment.” But if you don’t, you are a real mother. May you have the courage to feel your frustration, the strength to speak it and the openness to allow others to support you.
There is no shame in whatever you feel. It just is.
What is the best and worst advice you received as a mom to be?
Do you have any standard advice or comfort for a pregnant loved one?
Being real about the darker side of motherhood,
Heather is a life coach for moms, a middle school counselor and a mama who is committed to rocking her mojo! She has two extremely “spirited,” independent and strong-willed children who test her, teach her and exhaust her…several times a day!
From the moment she realized she was going to be a mother until about a year ago, she was foggy, resentful, irritable, lost and confused. She had no idea how she was supposed to be a mom, a wife and a contributing member of society…and be happy about it. It was all too much. The “mom” part alone consumed her. She had become a mother and completely lost herself in the process. After she recovered form the “shock of motherhood”, she created My Mama Mojo, a life coaching service for moms: a space to get real and to re-create YOU!