How I truly felt on Mother’s Day and the day after…
Motherhood is a beast. Not simply the hardest job in the world but a real bitch. A bitch with the worst mood swings. One moment I feel like a proud NHL hockey player’s mom and in 2 minutes I find myself looking for an exit in the rink as the drama about 3 spent gems on iPad unfolds.
And yet, no matter how disgusting the day has unfolded, at the end of the day I can easily find myself admiring their rhythmically moving chests, gently folded hands and cute eyelashes the most beautiful thing in the world. Kids are golden when asleep. I love them to death, that much like my friend says she wants to eat them. Now tell me motherhood isn’t a beast?!
Today, a day after Mother’s Day, I woke up without any clear plan. Every Monday I feel like my brain has been torn into 1,000 pieces, chewed on, spat on the ground and stomped by Boston marathon. I slowly regain it in one piece by Tuesday. True hangover. This post was supposed to be a continuation to growing up in Ukraine but I got nothing to give. I tried a strength workout which I totally didn’t enjoy. I just couldn’t get over the wrong colour mac and cheese and Lego guy’s helmet and head stuck together drama. Why Monday has to start with drama?! It is already hard enough.
I honestly do not know how to be totally happy as a mother. I mean how to do this motherhood bitch job when I am the irreplaceable CEO?! I have to do so many things and wear so many hats each day. My face is covered in acne and my ass carries about 5 extra lbs – all due to stress of motherhood. Or coffee that I started to drink as sleepless nights entered my life?! Again, with motherhood. My lunch was a week old container of hummus with farmers market’s vegetables and banana for dessert. I am on my own. I wish someone made me purple, green or pink mac and cheese that didn’t make my ass grow. AAAAAAAAAAAA.
I just don’t understand why raising children has to be so hard?! Like what is the point to put us through this hell?! All of my friends struggle the same way I do and I am sure all women do. I never ever believed the all rosy only posts and stories certain moms tell. They simply choose not to tell the bad moments. I get really well with girls who can bitch about their kids.
To be honest, weekend was far away from stellar. Just like many weekends. They are hard emotionally. I hate Sundays! I think it is a mixture of everything: approaching teenage years 9 year old (rolling eyes, face expressions, sighs), still tantruming 5 year old, their sports and a mix of 2 boys’ energy together. Our house is crazy and me and Alex are strict parents with many rules. But that is not the problem. I know we do everything we can – time outs, grounding, consequences blah-blah-blah. And we are reasonable, we let them loose and when we do – shit happens. In Ukraine they used to say – you give them finger, they bite off an arm. I honestly have seen many kids and my kids are quite OK compared to others. Others say my kids are great but aren’t many kids when they are not yours?! With us they are beasts many times. Especially when it comes to chores and rules. Yes, that is the main problem – no one wants to do shit here except me and Alex.
The other problem is it never ends and we never get a break. Day in and day out for 10 years. I calculated how many days we spent without kids in those 10 years – 21 days!!! I wish someone took our kids for a sleepover, or even to a park for a few hours. Or to their sports game. Just to have quiet and be able to talk. Unless we pay someone there is no one. You can pay only so much, we all know that. It truly sucks not to have any family to help. One of the main downsides of being an immigrant.
I honestly thought motherhood would get easier but it doesn’t. You have no sleepless nights but your brain is mentally exhausted. I have a 5 year old who thrives on attention and no one can stop that. It is constant chatter, questions and “look at me”. He even wants me to laugh when he thinks I should laugh. WTF?! The moment I sit down he needs something. The moment he enters home from daycare tantrums start about anything: “I don’t like this dinner”, “I don’t want to take a bath”, “I don’t want to go to bed”, “Not daddy, mommy read me a story”, “I am hungry”. Everything is a fight. And it never ends. Yes, my 5 year old is a true beast I had no idea exists with my oldest boy.
I often look at people without kids and they seem like aliens to me. I can’t believe there are humans in the world who do not have to feed other human beings 5 times a day, know where they are every second of the day and can just get up and go. What do you mean you wake up and take care just of yourself?! Slowly pour coffee, pack creative lunch, choose clothes for the day, put make up on and get into a clean car and drive yourself to work?! Girls that have time to lay down their clothes on the bed and match it to shoes before packing on vacation… I am simply jealous! Man, I love to look good but honestly most days… as long as everything is clean and neat. Dressing up is work for which I barely have energy left…
I don’t want to get older, who does?! But deep down I know it is my only way back to some sort of freedom and feeling like myself. After I had kids I never felt myself again. Exercising, getting out there etc. is all bullshit. Honestly. My body went through so many physical and emotional changes during 2 pregnancies and breastfeeding, it will never be the same. There are some parts and processes of my body I will never accept as my own. Honestly, most clothes makes me uncomfortable except Lululemon. No matter how skinny or fluffy I am – I do not like clothes. I can’t even sleep in clothes because it makes me sweat like crazy. Coffee?! And all my hormones are in balance – checked many times. Jewelry, watch, makeup, hair – all makes me feel like a cheerleader. I want to rip it all off.
Motherhood really made me aware of time. How it flies and how precious it is. I do not waste my time anymore on useless stuff. I deleted myself from Facebook as it is such a waste of time! It just creates rage between people and nothing else! As I was getting sucked into a stupid useless argument about nothing, the more I ignored it the more involved the other party wanted me to be. I decided it was time to say “good bye”. Let me tell you – I spend way less time on my phone now. I want to do something meaningful and memorable with a little free time I get.
Free time…I just can’t believe how my free time is not really free. If I really do what I want to do like hiking or walking I start hearing complaints. One is tired from hockey, another one generally doesn’t love walking that doesn’t involve playground time. To get to do what I really want to do takes a lot of conversations, coming up with exciting trade offs and packing. OMG to pack a family for a day outdoors is equivalent to pack 2 adults for around the world 6 month trip. Last time we went hiking with the kids we interrupted the hike because the youngest beast had to use the bathroom. On the way back home while admiring the ocean and bold eagles he needed bathroom again. Like not a quick bathroom visit, and there was no bathroom around, and nobody else needed a bathroom except him. I honestly feel like this child just thrives on attention and everyone jumping around him. It is honestly a gong show. I do not have boys who sit down and colour or play with cars. It has to be a fight with wrecking the walls, hockey causing injuries or racing with numerous bandaids afterwards.
So, yesterday was Mother’s Day. It was a great day but I was honestly exhausted from life. I have had physically exhausting period and early mornings full of sports. After board games I did a bit of gardening and then it was up to me to decide where to go for dinner. I had no idea or cared much, honestly. Between not spending $100 for a meal we won’t be able to enjoy in a relaxing atmosphere and not many healthy options I was puzzled. We ended up at a sushi restaurant with OK food and very slow service. Surrounded by extremely hyper 5 year old whining where is his food, shooting chopsticks and singing jingle bells. Oldest one was sitting pestering the youngest one with an unhappy face between. Me and Alex were sitting staring at each other totally lifeless. There was no more energy left to parent. I mean we did but we couldn’t wait for bedtime.
After dinner we decided to stroll on the bridge and watch sunset but kids didn’t want to go. So, we decided to get coffee and watch it from a car. Again we heard how they need treats. “No” was followed by 10 minute whining. I stopped at a drugstore and found Alex outside of the car because inside was full of farting and craziness. It is just never ending chatter, laughing, craziness etc. It is great but I need breaks.
And I swear we parent! We are strict devoted parents being present 24/7. But man it is hard. Parenthood is a real life bitch. I often think I started too early, at 24. But I’m not sure starting at 36 is the answer to the problem. Or maybe it is and you have lived your life a bit?! Having 2 kids is crazy enough and I don’t know how people have 3 or more. Maybe different personalities?!
So what is my plan? Honestly, just to take it day by day. There is no other plan. Motherhood has no return policy. You have good and bad days. I am an optimist. I am sure island life, boat, travel and freedom are all on the horizon for me. I won’t give up, it is just tough. Being a mother is tough.
Often I lose my focus. I look at many other kid free entrepreneurs and totally realize I can’t be one of them. I do not have that time or focus anymore. I am tired, mentally and physically. My bedtime is 9 PM. I wish it was 7PM before kids but I can’t. What am I gonna wave good bye to Alex at 7:01PM and crawl under blankets?! He is already giving me looks at my 8PM shower time. I just need to get through this phase of life with least damage to my outer and inner self. Don’t get me wrong – I am enjoying being a mother but it ain’t a walk in the park. And there is a HUGE difference between having 1 or 2 kids. Or 3 or 4.
So, what is next? Buckwheat stir fry for dinner, driving to a ball hockey practice and grocery shopping. What choice do I have?! Hit my pillow and cry all day over my hurt feelings? What good would it do? It won’t feed or cheer us. I stopped crying long time ago. I learnt I am even more tired after that LOL. So, why cry over my sorry ass?! I feel sorry for myself, I do. Everybody does. But like I said day by day.
I do not have regrets about having kids. No, I don’t. I can’t imagine life without kids. I love them to death! Alex says more than him. My life without kids would be meaningless. I just wish it didn’t require a village to raise a child. A village I do not live in. where is that village?! Show me the path, please.
If you have any tips how to keep my emotions in place when it is all falling apart in my mansion I am all ears. Do you have experience with a crazy 5 year old boy?! My oldest one was never like this. What to do when your child is absolutely adoring you little asshole?! Yes, he is! Do not even try to make me feel bad for saying that.:)
Rant over. Wow, I feel surprisingly better…
I love your honesty! I know what you mean about the constant chatter and complaining and whining and fighting and jumping and non-stop action. I have 3 boys ages 15, 4 and 2. Parenting is a constant job and is just exhausting! Yes, having kids is also he best thing in the world and I wouldn’t trade it for anything, but there are days I fantasize about reading a book in peace and quiet, or staying in bed all day sleeping and watching Netflix. Lol. It is so true I think about people with no kids and wonder what they do all day and how it would be to only have myself to take care of. But then I think of the day when the kids are all grown up and gone and it makes me so sad and I imagine how empty it will feel. So, it’s ok to have a cry (even though it makes you more tired- lol so true) and keep on keeping on! Look at the daily blessings and treasure their sweet little faces and silly antics and 101 questions and thank God for the gift of being a mom.
Very well said. Sometimes I have thoughts of when my boys grow up and I quickly brush them off. I don’t want to think about them right now and I will deal with problems as they arise. I can’t imagine this house without them. My heart jumps at least 10 times per day worrying if someone is hurt badly or went missing. Mother’s nature – we worry. Kids are everything. Some days are just too damn hard and mine happened on Mother’s Day lol. But I love them and am grateful for them every day. How many times a day they make me laugh, let me kiss them all over (still can do that) and simply watch them while my heart is full!!! We are blessed, so true.
Yeah, watching TV in bed all day… I don’t think I am even capable of that anymore – to lay still for hours. I read some kid free people do that – have dinner on a couch in a form of ice cream watching Netflix. Or weekends like that. Sounds very alien to me.:)
I recognize so much of this…yes it is a constant struggle! I have one girl and one boy both younger than your kids and in the past I often thought ‘give me one more struggle today and I will just lay down and cry!’ Then my boy cought diabetes type 1 and on top of it all I had to face life threatening situations 24 hours a day and take about 12 blood samples a day and give six injections a day. Ah…how I long for the ‘Only two kids to take care of’ days! Illness does give it perspective and well, I sometimes lay down and cry but also every day I am amazed at the power and strength of mothers (with or without illness!) I think you are a great mum caring so much for your little ones. It does take energy, but it also makes great kids. Add to that the inspiration you give other people to live more healthy lives. Not a bad accomplishment if you ask me.
Hi Elin. My heart goes out to you. That is tough!!! How is your boy doing now? How old is he?
I know, I know. It is all in comparison. I should not complain! And I try not to. There are mothers like you who have more on their hands. It is just so tough some days with the mood swings and tantrums. Mentally very hard to raise good humans. Of course you can ignore everything and let them do whatever but what good would it do?!
Thank you so much for your kind words! Big hugs! Thankfully we have amazing medical care now. What wonders it can do!
Your honesty is so refreshing Olena! And you made me laugh too, because your descriptions are right on and I remember it well! I was a single mom of one very active boy (he’s all grown up now and we both survived!). It is so hard especially when you don’t have family around to help out. I’m not an immigrant but I also didn’t have family around to help. If I lived close by I’d offer to be a surrogate grandma. Hang in there. I won’t say it gets easier because the teenage years were hard for me too. But they do grow up eventually and trust me, you will still have lots of time to enjoy your life with your husband. Empty nest time is the best haha 🙂
Hi Judy. Single mom, big respect! I don’t know how people do that on their own! That is a tough job!
Sigh…I know I will survive. It is just so damn hard some days! Awe, I miss a surrogate grandma for sure.:) I did realize some time ago it doesn’t get easier. I dread teenage years. However, I learnt to leave some “brainwash” part to my husband as he was a boy himself and went to an army. So, being tough with his boys and to raise the men is his job at the end of the day haha.
I am having a hard time imagining how I will still have lots of time to enjoy my life with my husband but I will trust you on this one. Thank you for the glimpse of hope. Right now it seems like some distant dream that will never happen to me. Feels like I will be so old by then. Feels like dishes, cooking, laundry, driving everyone around, drama and tantrums will never end. But I know it probably will and I will miss parts of it.
Awe girl I feel you on motherhood. It can be very overwhelming seeing kid free couples while life is a constant battle on the home front. I have three boys and boys are boys! 😮 My six year old is similar to your five year old. I don’t know if there really is an answer to busy kids. I often find that when I take the time to actively listen sometimes he gets less crazy. In the end I try to focus on the sweet moments when they hug me or kiss me and tell me I look pretty. I close my eyes and imagine life without them for one terrifying moment and I feel thankfull for them again. Your a good mama! We all struggle. Wishing you all the best!
You are right, boys are boys and they are full of energy. Yesterday I admired a girl colouring quietly for 30 minutes while I was getting my insurance done. In 10 years of being a parent I have to say I have never seen any of my boys do that!
I will try to listen more. I might have to listen all the time lol. Thank you! 3 boys is A LOT! I know, they are super sweet. You are right about the battle on the homefront. It made me think that our kids are a fruit of labour aka that battle. I just wish it was quieter at times. I will close my eyes in those moments like you LOL.
Olena. I feel the same! I’m exhausted but don’t think anyone else in the house gets it. My oldest was a spaz so I get where you are coming from but she has calmed down. I find as they get older, they go for play dates more and sleepovers! Motherhood is A LOT of work which makes marriage even harder! Just get through each day. See you at the rink ?
I know Adam will come down a bit. It is just time. Yes, I burst laughing when I hear someone saying they had kids to improve their marriage. If not for kids my marriage would be almost perfect. See ya tomorrow.
Mothering is HARD work — totally agree! I so appreciate your honesty, Olena! 🙂
The hardest! Next one is happy marriage.