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?
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.