Hey Momma: Where Have All The Good Times Gone?

Lately I've sensed a theme on the internet. A collective sighing. A community commiserating together over their lot in life. The ones in the weeds. With the burdens. In the thick of it. In the trenches. The covered in poop all day, the cleaning up the same mess 6,000 times, the five plus years of no sleep, and the endless mountains of laundry.

The trials and hardships of motherhood seem to be on display front and center more than ever lately.

It seems like everyone's writing and talking about how hard it is to be a mom. How much anxiety and worry there is. How hard it is to understand us and what we're going through. How different we are than everyone else. How our bodies have never been the same. How our marriages aren't either. How guilty we feel all the time. How our house is covered in toys and cheerios and we don't think we'll ever stop finding cheese between the couch cushions. How we never get to eat. To sleep. To drink hot coffee. To see a movie in the theaters. How we used to be fun and now we don't have time to be. How heavy our love is. How it might just break us in half. How we're exhausted, depressed, confused and depleted.

And I get it. I think most of it comes from a good, and true place. And I think it's so important for mother's (and anyone) to feel identified with, understood and not alone. And often when we're being our most vulnerable, it's usually about tough, difficult things. But lately, I feel like I'd be hard-pressed to find more than an handful of posts and discussions about how wonderful motherhood is. It just seems like the message lately is that motherhood is nothing but hard and how we have to watch closely in the little moments to find any good in our day.

And that couldn't be further from the truth.
When I look at my son, I feel like I can honestly say that 90+ percent of the time all I'm thinking during the day is, "This. Is. Awesome. I can't believe this is my life." And I think, I hope - that other mothers feel that way too ... ?

Mommas! Where have all the good times gone? Where are the joys, the laughter, the smiles, the magic of motherhood? I know it's still there. Why are we not talking about it? Because if I were to judge motherhood and whether I'd want to step foot into it by what I'm reading, I'd be petrified.

And the reality is - as much as we like to say we are - we are NOT covered in poop all day. Hooray for being able to change shirts! And for children growing out of the newborn-blowout-every-five-seconds stage!

Guess what else? Moms actually do sleep! Crazy, right? Yes, there comes a day when most moms, most nights get at least 6-8 hours of sleep IN A ROW. Shocker, I know. You'd never guess from all our talk of tired eyes, sick kiddos and dreaming about getting more sleep.

And plastic toys that make our eyes sore? They can be hidden in these marvelous inventions called baskets. Cheese and cherrios can be *usually* relegated to the high chair. And sometimes? We only clean up the same mess three times a day instead of commonly reported 6,000.

Oh and eating. Yes, we do have time to eat. It might not be the long, luxurious, drawn out dinners lingering over a glass of wine whenever we want like it used to be. But we find ways, don't worry. Sure, there are seasons when we don't get to eat when we want to or at the temperature we'd like to, but we do eat. Beyond keeping those children alive, our other priority is keeping ourselves alive - and that includes eating. Contrary to how we make it sound, food is apart of our daily routine.

There are lots of hyperbolys that we mothers like to lament about. And there is a seed (or more) of truth to all of them. But what I wish we would talk about more is how motherhood pretty much takes the cake for the most fun thing you can do in your life.

Hearing your kid laugh for the first time will make it your daily mission to make them laugh again, and again, and again. And you'll keep having that feeling even when you hear them laugh for the 52,000th time. Seeing them crawl, then walk, then run, then jump and on and on will make your heart more full than anything this world has to offer. Listening to their stories, whether it's just jibberish coming out or a full-on elaborate fairy-tale they made up is something you'll find you prefer over watching any T.V. show or reading any book. Snuggling with them in the middle of the night is far better than snuggling with your pillow. (Okay. Fine - usually. Only if they too actually want to snuggle. Not when they want to roundhouse kick you in the face - er, play.)

Watching them kiss their stuffed animals 432 times in a row, sing into a fan and freak out over getting to play with a box and styrofoam packing peanuts is way more fun than anything I ever did as a DINK. Seeing my son smell - not just flowers - but leaves and grass and trees and garden hoses and shovels, because he thinks that's what normal people do - makes my day. And don't even get me started on the joy of seeing other people enjoy your kid and think they're as funny as you do. Now that will fill up your love-tank to run for a loooong time.

If you're a soon-to-be mom, or someone who's thinking about being a mom, please know, that motherhood is SO FREAKING FUN. And veteran moms - you know that too. I know you all know it - so why not talk about it more? Yes, there is a place for us to support each other in the hardship, to find hope and friendship through the trials, because motherhood isn't a cake-walk - and there are days that the things I mentioned above do feel all too true - but let's balance our woes with all the other awesome things we get to do all day. Let's tell the expectant mom that she's about to have the most fun she's ever had in her life and it's gonna be one wild and awesome ride. Let's give motherhood a good name and inspire other people to want to become moms.

Most days are so, so good. We do wear clean clothes. We do have time to brush our teeth, wash our hair, eat our breakfast and drink our coffee. It certainly looks different than it did pre-children. But I'm a firm believer that the new look is a whole lot better than the old.

Where have all the good times gone? Nowhere. They're right in front of us. Each and every day. Running circles around our legs and giving us more fun than we've ever had before.

11 comments:

  1. THANK YOU Laura! There are days I'm petrified to leave the DINK stage. I need to hear the messages of how good motherhood is - of course mixed healthily with realistic expectations - but that it is worth taking the plunge!

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  2. Thank you thank you THANK YOU Laura for writing this! As my due date gets closer and closer, I can't seem to escape all the "woe is me" negativity out there surrounding motherhood and how it's the end of everything you've ever enjoyed or known. I rarely hear anyone expounding on the wonders of motherhood and children, or even on the amazing ways your dynamic with your spouse changes and becomes richer as you go from being 2 to being a family. This post is the exact thing I needed to read this morning. I wish I could hug you from all the way up here in British Columbia Canada! ♡♡♡

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  3. Thanks for writing this post! I, too, feel like all I hear from my momma friends is how they never shower, never have time to do anything on their own and always run around ragged. It's nice to know as we start to think about having a baby that there are lots of good (and great!) things about being a mom.

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  4. Agreed, Laura. Sometimes I feel pressure to make negative sarcastic remarks about my mothering because it's what everyone else is doing, even though I don't feel that way most days. I'm continually challenged to just speak things that are edifying and encouraging to myself and other moms, because that paints a more true and God glorifying picture than all of our complaining. Also, I think it's sad that I feel timid about telling people that we do more than just survive - most days at home in our normal routine - we THRIVE! My house is clean, I make meals for our family, I exercise, I shower, I have a long quiet time, and I laugh with my kids. It's a great life.

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  5. These ideas that you shared are absolutely great! I have an expectant friend that will celebrate her baby shower this coming December and I still do not know yet what gift would be perfect for her. I've decided to pick one at her baby registry and the other one will be my own decision. This baby shower gift guide will surely help me a lot.

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  6. Thank you SO much for this post. I am not one to leave comments, but I was so moved by your words in this post that I could not resist. As someone who has just made the big decision to start a family, I have been so scared by the negatives I have read all over social media. It feels like a miserable pregnancy is inevitable and that I should just kiss happiness and my marriage goodbye once I see the positive pregnancy test. I had just begun to notice how these negatives have become certainties in my mind when I read your post and got the reality check I needed. So I thank you for that and all the other wonderful insight you have shared through this platform. I can name several posts I will be reading and re-reading as I begin this journey to and through motherhood.

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  7. Oh yes, it's definitely worth it (and i know deep down you know that)! Don't be petrified - I totally understand why you feel that way, but I know you're gonna do awesome. ;)

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  8. Aw, thanks Amanda! I'm so glad you connected with it! I like how you mention the spouse dynamic - that's so true how it changes, and overall for such good! I LOVE watching my husband be a dad - definitely makes me fall more in love with him each time I see him working hard to get a giggle out of Eli or taking care of him when Eli's sick. You'll love motherhood, I promise! It's a change for sure, but it's so, so good!

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  9. Oh yes, we mothers love to use the three bigs: No showers, no food and no sleep. It's funny how I found myself saying these things one week into motherhood - just because that's what it seems like moms were suppose to say (and I also think that's the time it feels the most true). But it's a short, short season and I think moms just continue to rattle off the same stuff because it's what we've been trained to say and keep getting beaten into our brains through the internet, books and other moms. I know I'll be back to that place again once baby girl comes, but I also know enough now to realize that the stage doesn't last that long (even though it does feel like forever at the time!) There are so many more good things about being a mom than difficult things - you'll love it and I know you'll thrive in motherhood Madison!

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  10. Yes! So true, sometimes I feel guilty saying that motherhood "wasn't that hard today." Is that terrible? I start thinking that I must not have done a very good job if I felt successful - because most mom's apparently not "successful" on a daily basis. Funny how I've been succumbing to peer pressure ever since I became a mom and didn't really even realize it. I'm so glad to hear you thrive most days - I think (and hope) that's true in more cases than we realize!

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  11. Hi Lauren! I'm so glad you left a comment! :) I'm sorry that's the way you've been feeling, but I totally understand where you're coming from. It's so easy to be told that you should feel one way for so long that eventually it becomes a reality for you - I know that's what was happening to me! I found myself being scared to admit that motherhood was "going well" and that I wasn't facing any major challenges, let alone very many small ones, and I kept feeling like I must be doing something wrong if I felt an inkling of "success." But then I realized that that's okay - and a GOOD place to be! There are seasons of course when I have more difficulties than others, but overall, motherhood truly is so, so wonderful and I'm happier than I've ever been! Best of luck as you start this adventure!

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