am i wrong to be unhappy?


Wake up, eat, play, nap, play, eat, play, nap, play, eat, bed. 

That's what Lana's days look like for the most part. That means it's also what my days look like. I love it. Getting to spend my time laughing with her, kissing her still chubby cheeks, seeing how peaceful her face is as she drifts off the sleep. It's the most amazing blessing. It doesn't always feel that way though, and that makes me feel really guilty.  

I asked to stay home with her full time. We rearranged our entire lives so I could. How then can I get so frustrated or feel trapped? The guilt says how dare I not be exuberantly happy in every diaper change and "what's in your mouth? give it to me" exchange we have. This is what I wanted, and if I can't appreciate it then there's something wrong with me. That's what the guilt tells me. But what if it's not true?

I've always been proud of the fact that I make decisions easily. I'm decisive, probably to a fault. My decision to be home with Lana was different though. I felt conflicted. I knew I wanted to be with her, but I was afraid I would feel trapped and unfulfilled. As I transitioned into my new role I was pleasantly surprised that I didn't experience either of those things. When I opened the shop it gave me a consistent creative outlet, and I was feeling better than ever. Home with my baby and running my own business. I couldn't imagine a better scenario. 

But six months in, some days are hard. I sometimes find myself wishing she'd take three naps that day. Or I think about how nice it would be to run errands, alone. There are moments that I want to hide in a steaming hot shower where I can't hear any whining. Some days I just want to do what I want to do. Some days I'm unhappy. 

But here's the thing, even in my unhappiest moments I am absolutely beyond to the moon in love with Lana and humbled/amazed/in disbelief that I get to be her mom. Just because I have moments where I'm frustrated or disappointed doesn't mean I'm not fulfilled. It doesn't mean I'm not grateful. That's what's hard to remember--emotions are so deceiving. Being unhappy is a fleeting response. Being joyful goes so much deeper. I can have unimaginable joy in my role as Lana's mother. But I can also be frustrated with the fact that I spend a lot of my time trying to convince her to eat rather than throw her food on the floor. 

As a mother, and as a human really, I spend a lot of time beating myself up for not being able to attain the picture I have in my head. I think good moms are never tired of listening to their kids fuss. Good wives are always interested in listening to their husband talk about soccer. Good business owners are productive, inspired, and laser focused 100% of the time. But if I had to guess I'd say I'm wrong. 

It's easy to look at Instagram, see perfect moms with happy babies, and beat myself up for not feeling as happy as they look. But more than likely five minutes after taking that picture their kid threw a fit, they reacted in anger, and now they're feeling guilty too. So next time I'm frustrated and I'm tempted to let the guilt overtake me, I'll cut myself a break instead. I'll remember that being grateful for this time at home and joyful in my role as mom is separate from what I'm feeling rightnowthisverymoment. It's not about being perfect every second of the day. It's about fighting to get it right in a big picture kind of way. Making Lana feel loved and safe, teaching and encouraging her, soaking up these fleeting baby years--that's the important stuff. If I have a few bumpy days along the way, that's alright.  

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