When I first became a mother, there were some things I felt prepared for. I knew there would be a lot of feedings and diaper changes (although you really can’t grasp just how many). I knew there would be a huge lifestyle change. And I knew I would never sleep through the night again. One thing I was not ready for, however, was how monotonous my life was about to become in so many ways.
That not only was I attached to this amazing little creature, but that I was also now beholden to its strict schedule. As I settled into my new normal as a mother in those early months, and a comfortable schedule began to take shape, I realized that my life was starting to feel like the movie “Groundhog Day,” where every day and night seemed to repeat itself — and it was taking its toll on me mentally.
Some nights, I wondered if I would have the strength to get up throughout the night and then do the routine again the next day. It wasn’t that I didn’t appreciate and enjoy being a mother, it was just that I felt all options for spontaneity disintegrate, and everything became complicated and required much more preparation. A simple trip to the store, for example, became a monumental feat to pull off.
It may not be popular to say, but it's true: Motherhood is fulfilling in so many moments, but between those moments, it can be thankless and arduous. The tasks that motherhood require are often mind-numbing and repetitive, and it's not something you can understand until you experience it.
I once had a stranger tell me I was "spoiled" for being able to stay home with my baby. It infuriated me because at the time I was struggling with this huge life change and it was the first time in my life where my entire existence was focused on another person. I felt blessed to be home with my baby, but never spoiled. My husband and I sacrificed a lot for me to be home, and I was working harder to care for a colicky newborn 24/7 than I had ever worked at anything in my life.
Just because we admit to struggling with motherhood does not mean that we are ungrateful and selfish.
Why is it that women can never point out how challenging — and even boring — motherhood can be without being labeled as selfish or worse? With any other job, it's acceptable to complain once in a while. We are all human, after all. Just because we admit to struggling with motherhood does not mean that we are ungrateful and selfish.
My kids are getting older now and the days of constant breastfeeding and diaper changes are over for me. Now, my days are full of driving kids around and doing endless amounts of dishes and laundry, which can, yes, get very boring. They are also full of laughs and the joys of watching my kids grow and develop, and so much love.
Over my years as a stay-at-home mom, I have found fulfillment in motherhood, but I have also learned that for me, that means having an outlet away from it as well. When I am facing the "laundry mountain" that I dump out on my bed, I put on an interesting podcast to keep my brain active while I delve through it. When my kids are occupied with a movie, or after I put them to bed at night, I sneak away to do some writing. I am a mother, but that's not all that I am.
Motherhood can be boring AF, but there are ways to get around that — and it still doesn’t change the fact that it's the best thing I have ever done.