Lessons from Mom Life, Pt. 1

Can we talk about “guilty pleasures” for a second? I don’t really like that term but for the sake of this blog, let’s just go with it. I’m talking about things that you do that bring you joy that maybe not many people know about you. I don’t know how many of you know this about me, but I would say one of my “guilty pleasures” is watching YouTube videos. I love sitting down with my breakfast or lunch while Charlotte is having a nap, and watching a video or two. A few of my favourites are mom related content, recipe videos, or “vlogs” where people film bits of their daily lives and upload it online, kind of like a more relatable mini reality show. Weird? Maybe! But I’ve been watching YouTube videos since my high school days and I love the little communities online that I get to be apart of.

Becoming a mom opened up a whole new door of YouTube content to me. Little did I know that the online world was filled with videos about labour, baby essentials, motherly advice, and so on. Now this is where I needed to give my head a little shake. Start watching some of these videos and you may begin to get a little overwhelmed with all the products, advice, and theories out there about how to be the “perfect” mom. That can lead you down a road of comparison that I sure didn’t want to walk down. Therefore, I’ve really started to be more selective about what I was watching, especially when it came to mom related content.

When Charlotte first was born, I was sat on the couch one day while she slept watching YouTube. I came across a video called, “I don’t like being a mom.” by a woman named Jessica Hover. To be honest, I was a little perplexed at the title, but decided to click through anyways, maybe looking for a hint of honesty in a world too often polished when it comes to the realities of mom life. Jess goes on to talk about how as moms we need each other. We need moms that aren’t too keen on the heavy realities of motherhood and we need moms that feel like they were born to do “this”. She says that she loves her children so much, and still there are many times where she doesn’t like being a mom. She remembers her old life, and her old self, and how things were pre-children. She was honest. And I sighed a breath of relief.

Finally, someone was able to say it. To say what so many of us may be thinking, but what can be hard to admit. Of course I love Charlotte with all of my heart and soul. But can I imagine my life without her? Do I even remember what life was like before? Um yes. I remember it well because it was practically a blink ago. I remember the 26 years I walked the earth before Charlotte and I miss those days. I miss the freedom of my “old” life. Do I take it back? No. Do I accept that I chose this? Yes. Will I have more kids? Hopefully! But that doesn’t mean that everyday of my life I am overwhelmed by my love of motherhood, even though I AM overwhelmed with my love for my kid. And I hope as moms we can accept that this is true for some of us, and not true for others. And that’s okay. Everyone’s experience of motherhood is so unique, and is valid.

Jessica goes on to tell about 10 Reasons Why Motherhood is Great, and the lessons she’s learned while being a mom – the reasons why being a mom is so awesome, even though it can be really hard sometimes. I actually took notes the first time I watched this video and still have them on my phone. And on the days that Charlotte is really grumpy (or I’m grumpy) and I’m really tired, or the days where my mental health isn’t great and I wonder what the heck I got myself into, I look at this list. And it totally helps.

Because this blog is already pretty long, I want to write another blog next time inspired by Jess’s video, and make my own list of reasons why motherhood is great. Because sometimes I need a reminder! It can be hard, and tiring, and isolating. And it can also be a miracle, and lovely, and joyful. Something can be two things at once, and that’s something I love about this world. Things can be good… and hard. We can not love motherhood…. and love our kids more than anything. We can be really sad….. and still find joy in little moments. I feel like I’m already trying to talk myself out of the shame of saying I don’t like motherhood sometimes, but HEY. It’s okay to say you don’t like something. And it’s okay to say you love it. Let’s all be gentle with each other okay? And let’s continue to work on being honest. I know it’s really hard. But I think its worth it.

Peace to you.

PS: Heres a link to Jess’s video. If you have 20 minutes, give it a watch. She is an honest, funny, sweet lady who makes honest videos about motherhood and faith and being a human, and she has some other videos on her channel if you’re interested.

Falling Short and Remaining Faithful.

I was standing in the bathroom getting ready for bed when Ian walked in from outside. He had been out for maybe 30 seconds taking out our recycling. “We have to pray for our friends on the street tonight… it’s freezing.” he said to me as he took off his coat, his face red from the sting of the cold. “And what good is that going to do?” I snapped back – a mixture of many feelings swirling around in my head these days, some being anger, resentment, fatigue, and sadness.

He looked at me shocked, and I apologized. He responded in the only way Ian knows how to do – with deep encouragement. “Meg, we always pray.” He went on to list many of the ways that God has been so faithful. When we needed a car, our good friends had one that they were willing to let go and generously gave to us for our growing family. When we were short on money, people would e-transfer us grocery money without knowing what we were going through. And just last week when I really needed a friend, someone reached out who had no idea what I needed.

The truth is that I’ve been struggling. Mostly I am tired. Don’t get me wrong, Charlotte is amazing. She sleeps really well – but we are still up at night, taking care during the day, learning so much, walking through this season of being new parents. We have been through a lot of transitions in the last couple of months and it is wearing on me. When I’m tired, I don’t do well handling my emotions, and I think I can say the same for Ian. This leads to more arguments, more sleepless nights, less self worth, and more sadness. The past couple weeks have been rough, and I am almost ashamed to admit it. I don’t want to “fail” as a mother or wife, but it feels like I fall short many days. And you know what? I need to learn that this is where God comes in.

Of course a simple prayer for our friends on the street won’t “fix” homelessness. But it does give God the power and the glory which is what we need to do in this life, isn’t it? There are many people tirelessly advocating, walking alongside people, working hard day after day for our most vulnerable friends living outside. And maybe during this time off work where my hands are less busy shaking those I meet outside and more busy holding a baby, I can still pray. I can pray that someone finds my friends and is generous with their time or money. I can pray for my colleagues and husband who are still working hard on the field. I can pray for a miracle. And God works in many big and small ways as Ian reminded me that night.

In my sadness and fear of failure, it is easy to think that God is not with me. It is easy to remain angry, to continue to fight with Ian, to not tell people how I am doing, to give up on therapy. But that’s not the way things get better. I’m not sure where I wanted this blog to go, but I do want to encourage you that God is so faithful, even when it feels like you’re falling short – He never does. So we pray and give God all the glory. We pray and give Him space to do His work. And we remain faithful. I know it isn’t easy, but it is important.

Peace to you this week.