Ive been at this mom thing for so long that I have kind of forgotten who I am without it…
You may not realize this, but I finish most days feeling like an emotional punching bag for our tween, a complete life-ruiner to our 5-year-old because I made him clean up his Lego mess and a literal punching bag to our dear toddler who is going through that I hit when Im frustrated phase of toddlerhood.
Sure, I can take it, Im a mom and it goes with the territory…at least thats what I tell myself after Ive had the bedroom door slammed in my face because I said no screens until homework is finished.
Im pretty sure I was miserable to my mother when I was a 13-year-old so I guess its only payback, right?
Can I tell you what I need from you, though? I mean, youre my safe place, the person who supports, loves and gets me; thats why we decided to create these little human beings, after all. We love each other.
Its simple, really. It wont take any time from you and it will honestly be the highlight of my day:
Help me remember that I am still the woman you fell in love with.
You see I need your help, I desperately need your help. Ive been at this mom thing for so long that I have kind of forgotten who I am without it. I cant remember what life was like before I held our first child in my arms, I cant remember a time when I wasnt personally responsible for another human beings wellbeing.
I need for you to help me remember that I am indeed the woman you fell in love with all those years ago. How can you do this? You can help me remember that I am still that woman you fell in love with by doing these things when you come home from work:
1. Say hi to me from across the room and the children are all jumping and running to greet you at the door.
2. Look me in the eyes and ask me how my day was; I promise youll be able to tell what happened as soon as you ask.
3. When you see toys all over the floor, the dishes piled up in the sink or the naked child wildly running around, just understand that I am actually doing my job, but dinner needs to get onto the table and that means chaos is created because they know that they do not have my undivided attention.Please take the kids to another room even if its for five minutes; I just want to be able to hear myself think.
4. Tell me that Im doing a good job; no one else says it and if they do its usually because theres a special occasion that calls for it. There is no progress report for motherhood and Im just winging it, day in and day out.
5. Listen to the sometimes silly drama that happens in my day, whether its our daughter throwing a tantrum in the cereal aisle at Target or something that was said to me by another mom, just listen. I dont need you to fix it and I dont want to hear that you think its silly and not worth the emotional energy. You can tell me later how you really feel, once things have calmed down and Ive had my moment to be real with you, but initially, please just let me tell you.
6. Understand that this time of parenthood, when the kids are so young and dependent on me, is sometimes isolating, especially if we have a baby. Im tied down to a nap schedule, feeding schedule and everything else in between. There are some weeks when I literally do not leave the house for days.
7. I need you to hug me and show me some affection, not because you want something in return but because you want me to feel loved. Im giving myself, physically (especially if Im breastfeeding) and emotionally, to our children hourly, every single day, when is it my turn though?
8. Sometimes I just want you to pat me on the head and tell me Im pretty. Yes, pretty, even though Im wearing the same yoga pants and Hawkeye T-shirt that I wore yesterday and the day before and the day before that, just tell me Im pretty!
9. I do intend on getting to the mountains or laundry, piles of dishes and grocery shopping. Please know that theres nothing I would like more than to have the house spotless for you. However, I am tired and I just spent the last five hours trying to convince our preschooler that I am really serious when I say she cannot have a real birthday party for her stuffed animal elephant. Yes, real, as in bake a cake, wrap presents, you name it, she wanted to do it.
Were both tired and I know that youve been stuck at work for the last eight hours but believe me, there are some days when I would give anything to be stuck in an office and not holding down the fort at home with our young children.
I also would give anything to not have to go back to Corporate America so the fact that you work so hard for our family means the world to me; I dont say it enough but thank you for how you provide for us.
I know I need to be more for you and I want to be that woman you fell in love with. Shes still there inside me, but some days Ive been kicked down so many times its hard to get back up and remember that I am more than a butt wiper, housekeeper, cook and teacher.
I need your help remembering that I still am that woman you were so madly in love with, you decided to promise your entire life to me. Can you do that?
About the Author:Bert Anderson is a work-at-home mom of three living outside of the Twin Cities in Rogers, MN. She’s the author behind the blog First Time Mom, where she honestly chronicles the peaks and valleys of parenting. Even though she has more than one child, Bert maintains that whether you have one child or five, there’s a first time for everything. She’s a lover of coffee and conversation with her “mom tribe”, reality TV and Sci-fi/fantasy tv, healthy living, and figuring out how to navigate this thing we call “motherhood.”