I don’t love motherhood. I don’t adore being a stay at home mom. I love my baby boy dearly, but I’m not a natural mom. Patience has never been a strength of mine, and I’m not an overly compassionate person. Both are extremely necessary for being a mom, especially a stay at home mom.

Since I was little, I knew I wanted kids. I enjoyed kids and knew I wanted some of my own, but I guess I had an overly optimistic view of motherhood. I assumed I would have well behaved kids that just came out that way. That I would be great as a homemaker, wife, and mom, that I would regularly keep up with friends. I always imagined I would be thriving as a mom.

The truth is, I’m not thriving as a mom.

I’m lonely, I’m overwhelmed, and I can’t keep up with the “supposed to’s” of motherhood. There are days that I’m just not sure if I can handle one more slimy hand touching me or change one more poopy diaper. I feel like I’m having to work really, really hard at this mothering thing. I don’t love it. And I feel guilty because of that.

I’m slowly coming to terms with the fact that I am not a natural mother. I imagine that some women possess a natural set of skills for motherhood. There’s a woman out there who feels natural doing the duties of a mom. She is good at setting up toddler activities, she has a knack for meal planning, and somehow, she maintains a clean house while keeping up with everything else. This mom loves taking her kids to the park for hours at a time and rarely surrenders to TV as a babysitter.

After half an hour, I’m done with the park. I use the TV paired with an exersaucer almost everyday so I can take a shower. Locking myself in the bathroom for just five minutes of personal space is something I do on a regular basis. By the time my husband gets home from work, I’m desperate to have a real conversation instead of the one-sided loop of motherhood phrases: “When you throw things you don’t get them back,” “Are you poopy again?” “Look where you are going, or you are going to bonk!”

I’m starting to learn that all of this is ok. It doesn’t make me the world’s worst mother. I still love my child and am trying to do the best I can for him. In the end, he is most likely going to turn out ok. So I battle my feelings.

1) I’m lonely.

Loneliness sucks. But I’m prone to wallow in it and not do anything about it. I’m what I like to call a people-person introvert. I love being around people that I know well, but meeting new people and making small talk wears me out. I desperately need friends – close friends. So, I’ve joined a Mothers of Preschoolers group at my church to help me meet moms. They are all in the same stage of life as I am. They understand the horrible teething weeks, the endless diapers, and the fluidity of plans based on toddler tantrums. This is my current way to battle the loneliness, and hopefully it will bloom into many beautiful friendships.

2) I’m overwhelmed.

I’m overwhelmed by the clutter of toys always covering the floor, the mounds of laundry, the never-ending screaming on a hard day. I used to think I could handle a lot. Then I became a mother and found out that I really can’t. The main way I battle overwhelm is to get out of the house at least once a day. When I am feeling like I am about to explode, we run an errand, go to the library, or even just go on a walk. The simple act of getting up and out has been so, so helpful for me, and my little one gets a bit of a reset out of it as well.

3) I can’t keep up with the “supposed to’s” of motherhood.

This is something I have to actively work against every day. I have to give up the supposed to’s and the comparing. I’m not going to be the same mom as someone else. My life is going to look different than everyone else’s too. The only one enforcing standards on me is myself. My house doesn’t have to be perfectly clean all the time, my child isn’t going to be well behaved every day, and I may end up making quesadillas for dinner 4 nights in a row. And all of that is ok. Perfection is an unattainable standard that will just create misery in the pursuit of it.

I’m an unnatural mom and I’m becoming ok with that.

I will continue to battle my feelings and work towards better coping strategies. But I’ve come to terms with the fact that this mom thing isn’t easy. But in the end, it really is worth it. Nothing could replace this precious child of mine.

13 Comments

  1. So much of this speaks to me! I’m ok with the diaper thing but literally EVERYTHING ELSE…yes. I’m so happy that you wrote this. I’ve never had the courage to but I feel it with every fiber of my being.

    Reply
  2. I’m sure you’re not alone in feeling this way. And quesadillas for dinner actually sounds pretty delicious! I know some moms find certain phases of motherhood easier than others.

    Reply
  3. Yes and yes. Motherhood is so hard. And it can be so lonely and isolating. Know you are not alone! My little guy is 6 months old and he tests my patience everyday. I’m learning how to be a mother (a patient one at that) everyday.

    Reply
  4. Thank you for your heartfelt and vulnerable post! I know that must be especially hard to share in a world of pinterest-perferct mommy-bloggers. Good for you for being the voice of what I’m sure is a larger group than you expect! I especially commend you for sticking to it! You can do it, mama!

    Reply
  5. I am so sorry for all the ways you have been struggling! That’s so, so hard. But you know what? Loving your kids well is what counts. Are there places to improve, of course! But loving them is the important thing! Keep your head up!

    Reply
  6. I’m not a natural mom either, and I totally thought I would be. But!! It got loads better with every year, and now that my son is five it is. . . dare I say. . . a LOT easier and I enjoy being a mom so much more. You will find an age and stage where you shine.

    Reply
  7. I can relate to so much of this. SAHMs are superheroes in my book, because I don’t think I’d last more than a week 24/7 with my kiddos. My house is rarely company worthy, there’s piles of unfolded laundry in baskets everywhere, and (GASP) I’ve left a sink full of dishes until the next day on numerous occasions. I’m no June Cleaver, but I’ve managed to keep the kids alive & healthy so I guess I’m doing something right?!

    Reply
  8. Yes! Yes! Yes! I struggle with this too! Sometimes I think something must be wrong with me. I stopped working this summer because I was feeling overwhelmed as a working mom. That wasn’t it. I was just overwhelmed with being a mom! I’m glad you joined the moms group. It definitely helps finding people who can relate.

    Reply
  9. I love your honesty in this post. No matter how you slice it, motherhood is HARD! I never thought I wanted to be a mother, but my daughter came along and changed everything. I love her more than anything but that still doesn’t mean I don’t have my moments!

    Reply
  10. Oh, I can so relate. I just said to my husband the other day that I would rather be working than spending time with them, and that I feel guilty for feeling that way. But then I look at my kids, and they are just so amazing, and I think maybe I’m not such a bad mom after all. We all “mom” in our own ways.

    Reply
  11. Lettting go of perfection has been key for me. I realized I was in prison of my expectations. Freedom in letting it go and embracing the chaos.

    Reply
  12. I have nannied and taught for all of my adult life and I thought it would come easy but THIS is HARD! It’s hard to be “on” 24 hours a day. Finding a mom tribe is key to success. Know that your children do think you are perfect, even if you’re not.

    Reply
  13. I totally identify. I am not one of those women who always wanted to be a mother. I constantly compare myself (or more honestly, my bad days) to an image of a perfect mom in my head. But I am holding onto the belief that I am exactly the mom my kids need. They will grow up and be fine. And, maybe they will use their college savings for therapy… who knows? Probably not though. At least they will have the option haha!

    Reply

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Hey there! My name is Rachel and I’m a 23 year old wife and mother. I’m decidedly in favor of DIY projects and decidedly against mom-shaming. This blog is my place to take a stand against superiority and to share ways to thrive in motherhood. My hope is that you leave this site feeling validated and encouraged in your mom-bilities.

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