There is one aspect of parenting, and probably more, but one that I’m focused on right now, that you cannot prepare yourself for, no matter how much you read or how many people offer you advice. Being a mom is hard. Being a parent is hard, for that matter. Since I know the field from the position of Mom, I think I’ll stick to using my own point of view for it, though.
When I first went back to work after having the Tiny Tyrant ™, I had a very difficult time because I never wanted to leave him. It was very bad. The kind of heart-wrenching pain that you can only describe if you have lived through it. I was diagnosed with post partum depression (PPD) and my midwife was great about offering advice to me about local groups to connect with and ways to battle the dark clouds in addition to medication.
Things have been going fairly smoothly for a while, despite my lack of job, because I’ve been able to spend a ton of time with the little man and we’ve really grown. We have our routines and our schedules and we have generally agreeable times (with the exclusion of teething, perhaps), and we know what to expect from one another now. It was so difficult when I was first laid off because I had to admit to myself that I did not know my son’s daytime routines or his favorite things to do in the daytime. That was a difficult time for me, but now we are familiar again.
Tonight, however, is different. Tonight I’m headed to a Mom’s Night Out with a local group of moms. My heart, though, just left in a big black truck with his Daddy. They’re heading out to my husband’s parents for a visit, leaving early so I have time to get myself ready and have some me-time before I head out to see the other moms and play games. I feel a tug of the old familiar heartstrings and it takes me back to those times (although it’s not nearly as bad) before I was diagnosed when I was all torn up about my son.
It’s just one of those lovely moments where it’s brushed in a little more (like the dirt that has now been brushed into the carpet, thanks baby), just how difficult it really is to be a mom. Not that seeing the little guy every day and knowing that I’m responsible for his happiness and his education isn’t enough of a reminder, but you know. To be a mom is to be a comforter, a nurterer, a provider, a nutritional advisor, a homework helper, a researcher, and the list can go on… forever.
Just remember, to those of you who may not yet be mothers, it’s hard.
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