Saturday, June 4, 2011

Not Every Day Is Snuggly, By Susie Klein

I am so happy that Sophie is starting this great blog for Moms who want to be real with one another. There are plenty of mommy blogs that are filled with “We snuggled all day today!” posts that make the rest of the mommies feel less than the best! Time to get real about your days.
As a reminder that you are not alone why not read a direct excerpt from my personal journal when my son was 11 months old…….
“My journal entries have slacked off and I know why: The books and magazines told me how wonderful and peachy mothering is. The impression was that only cold, uncaring mothers complained and wished they had careers instead of kids.

I am not cold and uncaring! I tried for two years to have a baby. I desired a child above all else. All my life I thought that being a mother is what I would be best suited for.
BUT, the conflicting emotions, the guilt, the uncertainties, the unending spankings and “No no’s”, the depression, the tiredness, the overall unfairness of mothering has been overlooked and omitted from most books and magazine articles.
I haven’t written in my journal because I didn’t want to record the bad or unhappy thoughts I had. I wanted it to be all good and cheery, especially since I desire to have my children read it someday.
But that would be prolonging the myth that mothering is easy and natural. It is not natural to be so busy with baby that you don’t eat breakfast until eleven or twelve! It isn’t natural never to take a peaceful bath again. It isn’t natural or easy to slap the hand of an adorable and smiling baby for the fifth time in one morning for playing with the stereo dials! It isn’t natural to wake up to crying each night, walk through a cold, dark house to soothe a baby who just was startled awake. I could go on and on.
Yes, it sounds whiney and bitter, but I am not. I love my Ben with all my heart, I sometimes feel totally overwhelmed by love for him. He is a true joy and delight to me. I am convinced that he is cuter than any other baby I’ve seen! So what’s the problem?
The problem is that I was not prepared for the conflicting feelings of love and resentment. It scares me to even write that here in my journal! People just don’t talk like this. How selfish can you be? Not to put your child’s needs and desires above your own? Yes, I do put his needs and desires above my own. I really do. He eats before I do, sleeps more than me, has more clothes than me, etc. BUT it does not come natural! And it is wrong and unfair to expect it to.
If you expect “total giving” to come naturally, then the only thing you can feel when it does not is guilt! You think that you must be the most selfish person in the world if you can’t even give up life’s comforts for your little baby.
What a release it would be to know that others feel like I do. Let’s admit it to one another instead of prolonging the guilt through misconceptions and myths about how totally wonderful motherhood is!”
I scribbled those heartfelt words in my journal when my first son was almost one year old. He is now a kind and creative married man of 28! Thankfully he survived my confused mothering and hopefully this may be an encouragement to you young mothers today. You are not alone and at last the truth is being told! Ha!


Paula Greene said...

I echo your feelings during early motherhood and wish I had known other moms shared them! Now my kids are 11 and 15, and I force myself to set aside reading, writing, or other self-indulgent activities when they want my attention, and it's always worth it. In fact, I started journaling some of those precious conversations so I can always remember and cherish them! I really enjoyed this post.

kellie said...

susie, thank you for this, it is beautiful and so healing to read. it made me cry.