When the going gets tough

I had just started a post against the wall of sound of wailing toddler, lamenting everything that was hard right now. I am tired, the boy is tantruming and waking at night shaken, my attempts to toilet train have thus far proved ineffective and baby number two will be here in just over 10 weeks.

But then my computer miraculously rebooted and I lost that post. The boy is now sitting here on my lap watching television quietly and my morning too feels like its received a reboot.

The feeling remains though. I sometimes feel like I suck at this parenting gig. And maybe that’s worth sharing.

I know I’m not a bad parent. I love my son, I do everything within my power to keep him safe, show him my love, feed him, clothe him, play with him. Why do I feel that this effort isn’t enough sometimes?

It all doesn’t really come naturally to me. I can’t just shrug off a tantrum or night waking as a developmental milestone, even though I try. I question why this is happening, what I can be doing to fix this, why I can’t just fix it all.

I don’t expect things to be easy. But some days I wish they were easier and I struggle against that feeling. I have so much to feel grateful for, why is it the hard things that remain at the top of my mind as I struggle through it? I’ve never been too good at hard things. They are things to hide from and avoid at all costs. Maybe this is my lesson here?

It’s important to me to be a positive influence on my son and my effort to stay positive sometimes takes every inch of my soul to muster. I don’t want to be one of those whinging mums who go on about all the hard things, but I’m definitely not one who wants to pretend that my son’s shit smells of roses and that in mothering I’ve found my true life calling.

My reality lies in the grey areas in between – sometimes there is light and sometimes there is dark. This is my truth. I just need to remind myself that there is no shame in admitting it.

Photo: Even the frozen yoghurt lid is telling me to smile! A shot of lightness amongst darkness.

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10 thoughts on “When the going gets tough

  1. There is definitely no shame in admitting that parenting isn’t a bed of roses and that we often feel like we fall short. But be encouraged and hold on to those special moments that you have with J. I find those are the things I need to remember on those days that are far from perfect parenting days! It’s great that someone (you) talks about it. So many people pretent that everything is happy all of the time! Good on you. I find it heartening to read! πŸ˜‰ xxoo

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  2. Don’t beat yourself up Bel.. Parenting is THE toughest gig ever.. Going to work is a piece of cake compared to raising children. I struggle often with my two, fighting, tantrums, not eating etc but I am so happy that you have put it out there to say that it’s hard work and can really wear you down.. Parents who say their kids are perfect and everything is perfect are liars in my opinion! Refreshing to know that we are not alone and are all trying to do the best we can each and every day, regardless of feelings of failure etc.. x

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    • Yes, Katie I’m always a tad skeptical when faced with the ‘my child is so advanced and perfect’ type comments! Good for them if it’s true, but I think if we were all completely honest with each other parenting life would be that little bit easier!

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  3. OMG I totally feel the same way as you!! My goodness we should catch up – our 2 toddler boys who don’t sleep very well and are no where near toilet training and of course our 2 x baby boys who are fast on their way!

    I agree parenting is a tough gig and being someone who didn’t even “like” kids before having one it’s been a huge learning curve and the constant guilt over what kind of parent I am and what am I doing that is stuffing him up some way is constant as well. But never fear we are all sailing the same boat and at the end of the day doing the best job we are capable of!

    Again – love to catch up – love your blog x x

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    • Hi Melissa! I think a catch up is definitely in order … there are definitely a lot of similarities there. We may need to form a support group, lol! Sending you an email.

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  4. Excellent post – thanks for sharing it. I am nodding furiously at every sentence. My feelings about motherhood and parenting have so many grey areas that I’m not sure I’m brave enough to have a second child! It is certainly a rollercoaster to say the least. Really enjoy your blog πŸ™‚

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    • Hi Kim, I felt exactly the same before becoming pregnant with my second … and some days I do completely freak out about how I’ll cope when number two arrives, but I’m sure even though the rollercoaster may get that little bit faster and scarier for a while I’ll emerge out the other side, as we all do eventually!

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  5. ah yes yes yes, I feel they same about many things you have said and I am sure there are many of us out there. I have many days where I find myself wishing I was one of these mothers that seem to be cut out to be a mother and just love it! But unfortunately (or maybe fortunately!) that’s just not me. I also agree that there is no shame admitting it, I’ve found myself trying to warn first time parents lately that they should be prepared for the toughest job they have ever had!

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    • Yes Bri, I agree that we can’t be something we are not and maybe that is a good thing! I think in the hard times it’s easy to forget there is no cookie-cutter version of what a mother is and visions of the ‘perfect mother’ can take over. It’s important to remind ourselves that we are all doing the best we can.

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