March 7, 2011

Being a MOM

The other day I heard someone say, "I love being a mom."

It got me thinking about whether or not I have uttered those 5 words in the two years I have been a mother.   And, in all honesty, I don't think I ever have.

I talked to Dustin about it.  I asked him if he had ever said, "I love being a dad."  He didn't think he had either.

I went a little further and asked him if he thought loving your child means you love being a parent.  We both concluded that the two are not one in the same.

I love my daughter with all my heart.  I am so glad she is a part of my life, and I cannot imagine it without her.  I know Dustin feels the same way.  We love her so much.  She is hilarious, smart and so adorable.  It is stunning to watch her grow physically and cognitively and emotionally.

We are three peas in a pod.  We are a family.  We fit together.

However, my love for my daughter does not equate to loving all that comes with being a mom.  I think that's sort of a given.  But I'm not just talking about the tantrums, the sleepless nights, and constantly changing diapers.

I don't like it when people walk into my house and act amazed that it's clean.  Am I suppose to have a dirty house because I am a mom?  

I don't like being categorized as a "homemaker" on applications for credit cards, mortgages or even tax return forms.  

I don't like being asked if I "get" to stay at home or if I "have to work."  I also don't like the looks I get when I say, "I have a part-time job because I like to work."  Are my interests and other goals in life suppose to disappear once I am a mom?

I don't like it when people, especially people who are not parents (like Oprah), say being a mom is the hardest job in the world.  It's almost like they want to make you feel better about being a mom and not some hot shot executive.  I also think it is sexist.  It's difficult sometimes to be a dad.

I know there are a lot of women out there that want nothing more than to be a mother.  I know there are many women who have a difficult time getting pregnant.  I imagine some of my statements make me sound like I am a horrible, ungrateful person.  I know I take the fact that I had no trouble at all getting pregnant for granted.

But, from the minute my daughter was born I went from being identified one way to being identified in a completely new way.  It's been a struggle for me from the beginning.  It continues to be a struggle.  And every once in awhile, things I hear other people say, like "I love being a mom," brings all those struggles to the surface and I just have to get them out.



  1. I'm 31 weeks pregnant and have been really struggling with this whole thing. While on one hand, I absolutely can not wait to meet this little baby and already am in love with her, I also dread all the things that I've heard for YEARS now that come with mommyhood. I'm actually collecting a list of things people tell me that I will never do again, e.g. showering, sleeping, makeup, etc. I too think it is patronizing when they come out with things like "How much a Homemaker should make" with it being like $250,000 per year, because that is how much you would pay for a cook, a house maid, a chauffer, etc. But the funny thing is that most of us (whether we are SAHMs or not) do all those things ourselves anyway. So should we all get raises? Anyway, good post.

  2. Hey Shawna...thanks for your comment.

    I feel bad that I added to all the many things you've heard and are now dreading about mommyhood. The truth is, the things that I heard from other women about the trials of having a new baby weren't nearly as bad as everyone made them out to be. In fact, the things I struggled with the most, like my identity, was a complete surprise to me. No one ever said anything about that to me. So, I learned that everything from the pregnancy to the delivery to being a mom is totally personal. No two situations are alike.

    I also realized that while it was important for me to adjust to having a new baby, it was equally important for the baby to adjust to me. Sometimes I sacrificed things for the baby like staying in and other times the baby had to go through a new experience (like a noisy restaurant) so my husband and I could get out of the house. It's give and take. :)

  3. It's a hard job. There's no two ways about it. Some days are better than others, but I promise you, one day you will say "I love being a mom."

  4. I love your post Emily! I don't want to down play any part of it. Now that I don't have my part time job (since July), I have kinda of been missing the away time and working in the real world. Somehow I think because of my experience of trying for a baby for 6 years and doing IVF 4 times to get him, made me really want to be a mom. I can't judge if I "love" it more than other people do, but I think because of the long wait, I sometimes feel like I appreciate it more; I hope that's fair to say. That being said, I struggle to with parenting and motherhood too as time goes on and new challenges arise. Lately I have been so lazy with pregnancy, I started questioning if my kid wouldn't be better at a daycare. After all, they play with them, teach them, and interact with them all day right? That's clearly not my strong point right now and is something I am feeling bad about! In a nutshell, I guess you could say I waited so long to be a mom (I am one of the "those ones" that just wanted to be a mother), that I kind of like being known "Gedddy's Mom" or being known as the homemaker or stay at home mom. That being said, I am sure once my kids are in school I will be back to working, because I get a lot from working and do like it! Although I am a lot less stressed now in my life then when I was working, so who knows!?!?

    On another note, okay, I have never heard of Joshua Radin, but I love the songs you posted. I will definitely be checking out more of him. His music seems right up my alley!

  5. Shawna and I were talking about this post last night before I'd had a chance to read it.

    I think you bring up some good points that don't apply just to being a mom. I think most of us struggle to some degree with our identity. Or, rather, with the way others perceive our identity. And I'm pretty sure I can relate to that habit people have of trying to make you feel better about being "just a mom" by assuring you it's so hard or worth so much money. People try to reassure me about being single by letting me know about all the things I can do with my time since I don't have a husband and kids.

    Like I didn't already know that.

  6. Being a parent can be very difficult at times and other times so rewarding. There is a lot of joy, but there are also times of hurt and disappointment. Now that my kids are all adults it's easier to say that I really enjoyed being a parent and I'm glad I got to experience it. It's also easy to say now, "I love being a grandparent!"

    Tossing It Out

  7. I understand about losing your identity and struggling to say you are a "homemaker." (which is just an awful name anyway, i prefer stay at home mom) but I love being a mom and I love being a stay at home mom.
    I however wish I had a nanny for like two days a week so I could run errands and do hobbies!

  8. I love being a mother, but it's not fun being the mom. No matter how you look at it. Of course no one loves their kids more than anyone else does no matter how long it takes to get pregnant, no matter how you get pregnant, no matter how many miscarriages you have.
    It's hard to be "the mom". If you got to be "mama" all day long and sit and cuddle and give your kids everything to their hearts desire, never punish them, etc etc... everyone would LOVE being a mom.
    (obviously it's been a rough day)

  9. This comment is way late, but interesting post, Em! You bring up many points...nothing can prepare you for being a parent. Your entire world changes and will never go back to the way things were. The shift of focus being taken away from the self and given to the child is a hard adjustment. Seems like I'm always learning the same lessons over and over again being a mom. Patience is a big one. But, it's a part of evolving as human beings. I can't think of any more rewarding thing I could be doing with my life, even though I sometimes long for a little more focus on ME. It helps me to know that our children are their own people and we just help shape them. They help us become who we are meant to be and we help them become who they are meant to be.

    Ramble, ramble...

    I actually like that Oprah has become a "spokesperson" for stay-at-home moms. There are very few voices out there acknowledging that group of women. She also praises teachers, which I think is great.


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