Why Not Smile?

Before I had a child, I thought I’d be an awesome mother.  I’d love my child, have fun with them, inspire them, and have an infinite amount of patience with them.  After all, I wanted a child.  And if you want something, you appreciate it fully and never take it for granted.  And you certainly don’t get irritated it.  Right?

Well.

I do love my child.  I do have fun with him.  But there are moments when he irritates me.  When I feel like I can’t deal with another “No, Mama” from him, or another mess to clean up.  When I dread eating dinner because, even though he loves his vegetables and pretty much anything I feed him, it turns into a horrible mess because he eats like Cookie Monster.  At least once a day, I find myself yelling at him, or wanting to just get in the car and drive far, far away.  I feel like a horrible mom.  And now that Kid2 is 2 months from being born, I’m constantly thinking about how my stress, frustration, and lack of sleep will only get worse.

I don’t want to be this way.  I know that I am incredibly lucky.  I have a job, a great husband (who, seriously, deserves a medal for putting up with me), a fantastic kid, a home…I don’t have to worry about much.  I have everything I ever wanted.  So why am I unhappy?  Why do I get frustrated with the things I wanted?  Why can’t I take my son’s toddler-ness in stride and just appreciate every second I have with him?

What’s wrong with me?

I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety before.  I’ve been medicated before, and through therapy.  I’m terrified that I’m  heading in that direction again.  I was so proud of myself for getting through it, and for getting off of meds.  I don’t want to go back to that.  But I want to be happy.  I don’t want to have a short (non-existent, really) fuse.  I want my son(s) and husband to love me and be happy with me.

I’ve tried telling myself that happiness and gratefulness is a choice.  And every day, I wake up with the goal to be happy and not sweat the small stuff.  But, inevitably, I get angry or frustrated.  And then I just want to disappear, and I get down on myself for failing.

I know that there’s no such thing as a perfect mother, and that there will be moments of stress/frustration/whatever.  But I feel that there’s something more than that going on here, and I want to address it before it gets worse.  Before my kid starts to hate me.  Before my husband wants to leave me.  I’m terrified that I’m going to lose everything I have.

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About JessieB

Just a 30-something girl trying to figure it all out. I write about weight loss, books, motherhood, life, and whatever is on my mind.
This entry was posted in motherhood, parenthood and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Why Not Smile?

  1. abradypus says:

    When did you last get any “me” time? A day/night off to spend with yourself? To read, to sleep, to gallivant, to be, whatever you do to recharge your batteries and restock your supply of coping. If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of others.

  2. anna holler says:

    Okay, I’m going to go out on a limb here and be honest, though I worry that it could be offensive. It sounds to me like you have some serious hormonal things happening in your pregnancy. I don’t want to dismiss your feelings and just blow them off as being hormones, but I can remember feeling very similarly to the way that you are feeling.

    First, you are right, everyone gets irritated with their small children. You are a superwoman. You are working and being an incredible mom. I only had to be at home with my kids when they were little and I found even that exhausting and frustrating. I can’t imagine what it is like to work AND be a mom.

    Do you have a network of other mom friends who you have playmates and things with? I used to really like getting together with other people… not even so much for the company. I used to like when my girls were able to play with other kids and have two seconds when someone didn’t need me for something. Also, when I was with other people it never felt like it was just everyone depending on me. We all helped each other out.

    I have two suggestions for you. First, go see Elaine Hardy at Holistic Family Healthcare. She is right in Hackettstown and I would trust her with my life. She will help you and you will not regret seeing her. http://www.holisticfamilyhealthcarepc.com/

    Second, bring a natural progesterone cream to the hospital with you and begin putting it on your neck right after birth. The drop in progesterone can make people feel incredibly depressed. This will be easier on your body and with help you feel relaxed with baby number 2.

    3, when baby #3 arrives, hire a mother’s helper for 2 or 3 hours a day. There are tons of middle or high school students who would LOVE to be paid a few bucks to look after C while you get some rest or fold a load of laundry or stick on ear phone and listen to So Much Shouting/ So Much Laughter and close your eyes.

    I don’t think that many people know how much pressure there is on mom’s with small kids. The responsibility of caring for little people is insanely taxing on people. The lack of time to think and the lack of freedom are daunting. I have been in your situation and I know where you are coming from. There is NOTHING wrong with you at all. But I am on the other side of it, with girls who are 7 and 8 and I am here to promise you that the first years are the hardest, but you will miss them.

    Just be the best mom that you can and don’t beat yourself up for having bad days. We all have them. But kids rarely remember the bad days. They don’t remember you losing patience with them. They don’t remember you yelling at them. The memories of children are forgiving and they are so filled with love for their parents that it is the love that they take away from their childhoods.

    It will be okay. And it will get easier with time.

  3. adiosfatgirl says:

    Listen to me –

    Remember about 5 months or so ago when I was feeling incredibly lost and so hateful with myself for not being patient withy children? And you told me there is no shame in talking to a doctor about it so he could help me and that life was too short to live in misery?

    Yeah, that.

    The thing is I understand that you want to e med free because that’s a badge I honor for you. But neither should it be a badge of shame if you need help. Pregnancy messes with us, seriously. And yes, the stress is going to get harder. You just have to choose how you’re going to deal with it.

    I love your busted guts!

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