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.