The Ugly Side Of Motherhood
Hey Boo! Ok, so sorry it has taken me so long to edit this one and get it posted but, there is a reason a lot of bloggers don’t post more serious stuff because you end up re-reading it and editing it like, 1,000 times. Hopefully you enjoy this read and my ADHD brain didn’t jump all over the place too much as I tend to do sometimes. So here it goes! (The most important part is towards the end.)
Motherhood…it’s something that nothing quite prepares us for. There is no textbook or ounce of advice anyone can give you that guarantees what you do will work. It’s hard as hell and although the majority of women out there are mothers, many women still feel very alone or misunderstood in this role with their peers. I have wanted to open up about this for quite awhile but I didn’t always know how my thoughts and input would be received. At this point in my life I have realized we ALL have days where we feel this way and we need to talk about it so I have decided to open up a little more about some of my personal struggles in Motherhood and address some things that I think are a problem in “Mom World”. Maybe you agree with me, maybe you don’t. Either way is fine.
The Single Mom
As some of you may know from one of my previous blog posts (you can read it here), my journey to motherhood wasn’t exactly what I had planned but inevitably God’s plan for me exceeded anything I had thought for myself. I had my daughter Camryn four days after my 19th birthday. I was absolutely clueless but immediately knew the love I had for this little human was beyond anything I had ever experienced. When she was 5 months old I became a single mom. As we all know…there are stereotypes and stigmas that come with everything and every title. Being a single mom (especially as a teen mom) came with so much criticism and I felt people often judged my every move. Some definitely were. I constantly felt mom guilt for all the times I couldn't stay home with her and things I might have missed out on because I had to work. Plus lets not forget about having a life outside of your job and child. (That DEFINITELY brought on the criticism). It was so hard, I was exhausted and I was just getting by. I doubted myself and what kind of mother I was constantly. Was I ever going to get married again? (I was married to her biological father very shortly.) Would I ever be able to give her the life she deserved? Even though I carried such doubt about myself and much of society judged me for not having a husband, I was proud of what kind of mother I was.
The Stay At Home Mom
Fast forward 4 years later and I got married to my husband Steve and took on the role as the “Wifey” and a stay at home mom. During this time Camryn was still a preschooler and we immediately got pregnant with our son Jax. Also, my stepdaughter Gabi was only 8 at that time. Things were great. I had anything a girl could dream of. I literally went from having a tiny little rental with 1 kid and 1 dog to a much larger home with 3 kids, 2 dogs and a husband, all at the age of 23 years old. To say I skipped a few phases of life would be an understatement. Although everything was great, I also had a really hard time adjusting. Ya see, when you aren’t working and are a stay at home mom, sometimes society ALSO judges you for this. People say “What do you do all day?” As if we have nothing to worry about except getting our nails done and lunching. Also during this time I moved further away from all of my friends, family, and everything I knew and moved to be with Steve to an area that has a reputation of being “really snobby” (I still don’t understand this). I was basically a girl in her early 20’s with all of these kids in an area where most women were well into their 30’s (some 40’s) before having their first baby and let me tell you…they were not nice (Thank you to the Mama’s that were so kind to me in this season). I would get questions like “Oh are you the nanny?” or “Wow, that’s your daughter? How old are you?” Just your typical superficial mean mom kind of stuff. I tried to ignore them but if I was going to start a new life here, I needed to make it work. For awhile, I even tried to turn myself into one “those moms” (which is SO AGAINST my personal style). I got the haircut, wore the clothes and monogrammed anything I possibly could. Can you even imagine? Me? hahahaha! Not only that but I wanted to prove to the judgmental moms that looked down at me that they were no better than me. I basically did a 10 year crash course within a couple of months and taught myself how to be the all around made for TV housewife. (Because that’s totally realistic right?) I learned ALL about how to decorate a home, signed up for all of the mom volunteering opportunities at school (I was even a room mom) and was that mom who had a home cooked meal on the table every night. (It was freakin’ exhausting!) Although I took great pride in my newly acquired attributes…It wasn’t enough for me, especially at 23. I found myself feeling really lost, not sure of who I was anymore and even though I was living the “dream life”, I wasn’t fulfilled. I wasn’t meant to just be this person and I most certainly wasn’t meant to wear pearls and cardigans with ballet flats. It has NEVER been me. I began to resent my husband. He got to travel, go to work and continue to grow as a human being and the only things I was contributing to society (other than trying to raise my kids right) was trying to fit in to a community that didn’t even like me. I felt isolated and I needed more. (SIDENOTE: I’m not dogging anyone who is a stay at home mom and absolutely loves it…. or wears cardigans. This is just my personal view.)
The Working Mom
When you’re a creative, you have to get it out and be able to express that or else you feel like you’re dying on the inside. I knew I needed to get my God given talents out in other ways than just constantly redecorating my house or obsessing over every detail of my kids outfits. I had started coaching again and was really enjoying doing something that I loved.. Plus I was good at it. (you can read more about my career as an Allstar Cheerleading gym owner HERE.) My husband and I began talking about me owning my own Cheer Gym and before I knew it, I was an actual brick and mortor business owner. I had multiple employees, all of our classes were full, and most months we were open 7 days a week… all by the time I was 25. It allowed me to get really involved and plugged in to my new community. One thing I began to realize as I got the opportunity to really get to know many of the families was….”holy shit, so many of these moms are just like me”, “Omg, she is 20 years older than me and she has become like a best friend” “wow, So and So’s mom is really struggling with one of her older children”, “So and So’s mom over there is going through a nasty divorce”, “So and So is a single mom and could really use some support” It allowed me to see so many people beyond the surface. Something I otherwise wouldn’t have had the opportunity to experience. This taught me a lot about people. That no matter how perfect and “Together” we all try to portray, we are ALLLLLLL a hot mess! As an individual I felt very rewarded by what I was doing but as a mom…the guilt set in again about being away from the kids at night and on Sundays (Sundays are a big deal in our house). I was determined to continue to be “the best stay at home mommy/housewife” I could be during the day and run my business at night. So many other women do it, right? Why can’t I? I put so much pressure on myself, and I pushed myself.
The Sick Mom
I was able to keep this up for a few years but I definitely had my moments of feeling like I was going to have a nervous breakdown. One time, I even got on a plane and went to New York all by myself for a few days because I felt so overwhelmed and just needed a break. I got down to 115 lbs. ya’ll. That is WAY too skinny for me (I’m around 140-145 lbs right now) and my health slowly but surely began to decline. My loved ones could see everything was taking its toll on me and I started receiving some backlash because they couldn’t understand why I would want to push myself so hard and take time away from my family if I didn’t have to. I can recall a few times when I was told I was selfish for wanting to have a career. Their thought was “Your husband makes plenty of money so you don’t have to”. Although I don’t agree with that mindset, it of course bothered me which caused me to question again what kind of mother I was. A few years later (when my business was at it’s best) is when I got sick and diagnosed with MS. ‘They’ say we are all born as carriers of certain illnesses and the question always is “what causes it to show up?” My mother suffered from MS and doctors say it’s hereditary. I think I basically pushed my body so much that the MS reared it’s ugly head maybe? It made things a lot harder for me to be able to push myself like I used to so I made the tough decision to close my gym.
When all was said and done, my realization was, no matter what you do, someone is going to have something to say about it. When I was a single teen mother, people had something to say about it. When I got married and became a stay at home mom, people had something to say about it…and so forth. You get it. They always will and I have learned to not care any more. There is nothing wrong with still wanting to be sexy after you have children or wanting to have a life outside of motherhood. I think one of the most important things we can do for our children as moms is be happy with ourselves. Our kids deserve to know what that looks like and as parents, that’s all we want is for THEM to be happy. Now listen, I’m definitely no parent pro and I absolutely do NOT have the answers. What I do know is, these are some of the things that bother so many of us and things we have ALL been guilty of doing to eachother before so it’s time we all check ourselves. I have also added a few things I know some of you may need encouragement with.
To all of my single moms, don’t beat yourself up about being a single mom and don’t let anyone else make you feel like any less of a good parent because of it. In most cases you are playing the role of both mommy and daddy busting your ass for your child and anyone says otherwise is more than likely a douchebag.
To the working moms, I have so much respect for how you are able to switch hats from professional to mommy so often and seem to keep things together. If your kids are fed, have a warm and safe place to call home and are loved, in my opinion you’ve got it together. Also working moms, don’t hate on the stay at home moms. I can promise you many of them would LOVE to be able to go back to work but are currently doing what works best for their family.
To the stay at home moms, don’t discredit what you do and don’t let anyone else discredit what you do. It’s fu***** hard. It’s a thankless job and sometimes the highlight of your day is if your kids and husband are over the moon excited about the nice meal you made them or all the laundry you did that day and we all know that’s not going to happen. Lol. Also to the stay at home moms, don’t judge the working mom either or think her kid is any less loved because they have to go to After School Program because mommy is at work. ***My son freaking loved After School Program and would get pissed when I picked him up too early. I wasn’t even working during that time either. haha!
This is a big one. To all of the mom cliques who exclude or judge other moms for not looking like you, being as involved at the school as you, who’s parenting style is different than yours, I could keep going…you are one of the main problems in this “Mom World” we all have to live in and there’s a good chance your behavior will contribute to your kid growing up to be an asshole. Hopefully not though.
Also Important. To the mom who’s kid is currently being an asshole or making your life hell….you are not alone. I promise. You’re not a bad mom either. Our kids do dumb stuff all of the time and drive us crazy (especially teenagers.) We’re all literally throwing spaghetti at the wall just trying to see what sticks. Try to find another mom you can talk or cry to about it because let me tell you, worrying about our kids is something that NEVER stops and no one understands that the same as mothers do. If you’re the friend of a mom with an asshole kid, be there for her. Be a trustworthy friend and always have wine or vodka available. You never know when it will be your kid.
Another Big One. To the crap talking mom, don’t talk about other peoples kids, PERIOD. It’s not cool! They’re just kids and have you seen what it’s like having to grow up right now? It sucks! We need to be gracious and understanding for eachothers kids because half of the time, they don’t even really understand what’s going on. Plus, chances are someone has already talked some mad sh** about your kid atleast once in their lives and it won’t be the last and as a mom that hurts.
To the mom that maybe looks or dresses differently than a lot of other moms, do you boo! When you’re confident in your own skin, you don’t feel the need to worry about what anyone else looks like. Especially those with daughters. It is SO important we show our girls that how we look shouldn’t be based on the approval of others but instead how we feel about ourselves. For the moms that think being a mom limits you to a ‘certain style’, I’m sorry but those days are over. Not dogging on anyone’s style but you’ve got more options now Girl! Plus, we all need to be more receptive to individuality and nowadays, a mom can literally wear whatever she wants. *** We can thank Andy Cohen and the Real Housewives franchise for this. #truth
To the sick mom who struggles with feelings of guilt or worry about not being able to be there enough for your child, the most important thing is to take care of yourself FOR YOUR CHILD which I know can be one of the hardest things to do. I just want to encourage that to you. Moms, always be there for eachother in these situations. It legit takes a village.
To the mom with big dreams…go for it! Find your balance. Do what you can and don’t beat yourself up for what you can’t.
And to everyone…let’s try a little harder to be cool with each other. Let’s make a point to break stereotypes and be friends with another mom who may be totally different than you or your normal ‘group’. No matter how different all of our backgrounds and lifestyles are, I PROMISE we all can connect on at least ONE level….we love our kids.
Ok well….that’s all I’ve got for now. LOL. Let me know your thoughts on these topics and issues. I would love to hear from you and share with all of your fellow mom friends!!!!!