I finished a book recently that almost took me a year to finish. It is written by Sheri Lynch, and it explains pretty much in a nutshell my feelings on my motherhood experience:
"I work and then I come home and I feel like a bad mother because I work, and then I feel like a bad wife because I'm always tired. I never finish anything anymore, and no matter where I am, half of my mind is somewhere else, and I feel guilty all the time."
That pretty much sums it up.
Let me tell you about my experience with Autumn. You have a child and it is expected that you must have autumn photos, of the playground, of a pumpkin patch and of Halloween. If not your doing a crappy job of being a mommy. Well this year, it rained for must of October, every weekend. Talk about putting a damper on my plans. No matter how much I tried, I just couldn't get those "hallmark moments" in a freakin snapshot!
Please take into account that this is not about how happy the child is or how how fulfilling it is to have intimate moments with your loved ones. It is about proving that you are holding up to these expectations, that only the lord knows who set them in the first place! I needed to get those PHOTOS! And nature wasn't helping! I have never felt so mediocre in my life because I could not have my son, looking cute beside a pumpkin. I can look back on it now and laugh but I know it will happen again next year.
I set out to have three perfect photo ops, one with pumpkins, one in the playground with falling leaves and beautiful red, orange and gold trees and another of my son having fun during Halloween. Well, I only succeeded with the playground and it took my whole family's help and God's to make it happen.
I know how ridiculous that sounds, and I know that I am smarter than that but there is this mommy urge that won't go away. I was brought up to excel in school and hopefully in the future to excel at work. I was never expected to marry or have a child. That drive that was force feed to me when growing up somehow also was directed to motherhood. You're pregnant and read and research and see that being a mommy has become this career and it is as competitive or worse than at work. Let me give you some examples:
You need to blog, you need to feed your child only the best produces and organic meats, you need to knit and craft and man, those photo ops are mandatory (preferably with an SLR). Breastfeed, cloth diapers, the list is very, very long.
Couple that with work, and proving to your peers and employer that not only are you capable but that being a mommy doesn't influence your work performance. Then you have the "1950s wife" expectations that your family and his have of you. You need to cook, not normal food but close to gourmet, keep house and you need to be available all the time...even when your so tired that you have to pray not to fall asleep right in the middle of it.
Needless to say, I hardly sleep, take tons of vitamin B12 and drink way to much coffee, oh and by the way, I hardly have any friends anymore. I feel like I do an awful job at all three and practically do not enjoy them either because I worry about what I am missing ALL THE TIME.
I am posting the best photos of the nearly 100 that my mother in law and I took. I have felt a twinge of failure this year, and I pray to God for better weather or a change of attitude come next year. Yes, I am slightly crazy but I definitely know I am not alone in this madness.