It seems as though I should have learned by now to NEVER EVER EVER brag on my child’s sleeping habits because it is a fact that immediately after I brag someone will be up all.night.long.
Who is tired of hearing me talk about lack of sleep?
Don’t worry, I’m tired of it too.
Of course, once she finally passed out at 4:30 am she slept until 7:45 (which, by the way, is the latest she has ever slept). When I realized what time it was I started panicking thinking Ryder was probably in her room sobbing and I had accidentally turned the monitor off or something. But nope. That heifer had to be woken up, much to her dismay, to go to school.
They always sleep later on school days. They always wake up before the sun on weekends. It is as if they know what they are doing.
I will admit that my patience weighs thin with my children but I can hold it together during the day, but at night is a different story. When the clock strikes 1, then 2, then 3, then 4, it is as if my sanity ticks away with the time. The darkness takes over me and I just can’t seem to get out. The sound of Andy’s snores on top of all of the nonsense from a 2 year old is like torture on top of torture. That man could sleep through anything.
I feel as though if someone wanted to torture someone to get them to talk (think CIA stuff), they should send them to my house on any given night. Seriously. They’d talk.
It is times like these when I truly feel the “trenches of motherhood”, as I’ve heard people call it. I feel like I’m trapped in a life where I talk and it always falls on deaf ears. How many times do I have to tell the girls NOT to do the same exact thing? How many times do I have to repeat myself to the husband and yet that thing is never done? How many times do I try to strike up conversation with people at church or Rory’s school or at family functions or just wherever and I still feel as though I’m flailing my arms to be heard… for someone to listen and truly understand?
The thing is, I know there are other moms out there that feel this way. Maybe it is a stay-at-home mom thing, maybe not. The problem is that no mom wants to admit when they fail or when they struggle because we feel so judged. I guess because in my short, but seemingly long, time as a parent, I have had so so so many failures I just feel like not admitting them is a joke.
But judged I have been, and judged I will be. That’s the way it goes as a mom. You are judged for working and not working. You are judged for how your child sleeps or how he/she DOESN’T sleep. You are judged for how your child acts, for what they eat, for the clothes they wear. You are judged by their health… I can’t tell you how many comments were flown my way full of judgmental snarkiness when I was going through Ryder’s sickness. As if I weren’t going through enough, I had people telling me if I’d only breast fed that wouldn’t have happened, or if I just would put her on a better schedule she wouldn’t cry so much, or if I would’ve committed more time to feeding her she wouldn’t be so tiny.
Life as a mom to small children is just hard. It is hard to keep up with the kids, the house, the husband, the friends, the family, and everything in between. It is hard to disciple and show love and grace all at the same time. It is hard to keep a marriage the way God intended it to be (full of intimacy, respect and love) when the woman feels unloved and unheard and in-turn disrespects her husband. I’m oh-so-guilty of this, but I’m constantly working on it.
The pressure of being a perfect mom and a perfect wife is so daunting that sometimes it can overtake me. Most days I would love to just pull the covers over my head and never get out of the bed. The tasks of the every day are so daunting I just want to lie down and take a nap.
But through the darkness, God always brings some light. Whether it is a little giggle from the baby, or a “Mommy, I just love you so much” from the 2 year old, God always provides those moments to make you realize the hard is worth it. Every time someone comes up to me to proclaim how smart Rory is after watching her in the nursery, I feel the light sink down deep into my soul. When people say to me how sweet and cute Ryder is, I feel it too. When other moms come to me and tell me they are struggling too, I feel that light in the camaraderie of the struggle. It is because I have heard other moms say they are struggling in a tone that is hesitant to admit it isn’t everything they dreamed of or believed it would be (because that would admit failure or seems to imply they don’t love their life) that I write about my struggle. Even if no one else ever said out loud they were with me on this, I know someone is reading it feeling like they aren’t alone and that makes it worth it to me.
I wish I could say that I am “letting go of the darkness”, but that isn’t realistic. What I do want to do is let go of is the notion that I’m alone in this. Because, I’m not. Not only do I have my Savior to cling to, but I have other moms out there who feel the same way. Moms who just want to be heard, who just want a night of uninterrupted sleep, who just want one day without looks or comments of judgement placed on them.
The question remains, though, where are these moms? Why are there a plethora of super moms proclaiming their awesomeness but so few being honest that IT IS HARD? I know it is because no one wants to admit they have failed, but I’ll tell you what- admitting that is so freeing. Or, at least it is for me.
This is my 13th post in the series of Letting Go. You can start at the beginning here.
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