I used to roll my eyes at every #blessed instagram post I read from a fellow new mom. I figured these unicorn moms must be living a different life than I. They couldn’t possibly look like me, covered in baby shit and spit up while they posted a picture of themselves and their perfect little angel with those hashtags. All I wanted was a nap and a #blessedshower.
Then one day, as I was cruising in my mom-mobile, with bags under my eyes and coffee number 5 in the cup holder, chewing on my loathing of the #blessedmommy, I had a realization.
Shit. I was ENVIOUS. That’s the way I so desperately WISHED I felt. But I didn’t.
Happy Moments Only?
That’s what I had imagined motherhood to be like for myself. Happy moments only. But that wasn’t really what was going on. I didn’t birth my son and suddenly live only to be a mother, immune to the real challenges that come with taking care of a brand new human. I loved my son. OBVIOUSLY. But I certainly wasn’t in a dreamy state of feeling blessed all the time. I felt the struggles. Hard.
I admitted to myself that I, as a mother, was not who I expected I would be. I didn’t feel how I had kinda wished I felt. I wished I just lived to watch my son sleeping. I wished I was happy to stay up all night feeding him. I wished I felt how I imagined I would. At first admitting this to myself made me pretty sad. Up to that point, what I had been doing was covering my sadness that I didn’t feel #blessed all the time, with eye rolls and judgement of the mothers who seemed like they did.
But it wasn’t about those moms, it was about me and my unmet expectations of motherhood.
Turns out though, there’s a whole lot more moms like me. I’ve always been a pretty open book (some might say too much so), so I started posting about my experiences as a new mom — and moreso, the anti-perfect/bad mom moments I would have — on the reg. And you know what? There’s way more moms out there who felt the exact same way as me, than I realized.
Moms Are Human Too!
I’ve learned over the last few years that I am definitely not the only mother who doesn’t feel blessed all the time, and that not feeling euphoric about motherhood doesn’t make me a bad mom. It makes me human. What’s more is, someone else’s experiences as a mother are just that — THEIR experiences. It wasn’t serving me or them to hold their instagram portrayals of motherhood on a pedestal of the ideal way to feel.
Now years (and a second kid) later, I still have moments of envy and moments where I don’t know if I feel the way I should — but you know what? Who cares. It turns out, what makes you a good mom isn’t how you feel about your day-to-day life as a mother, it’s how you care for and love your children. Which is something me and the #blessed moms have more in common: our kids are doing equally OK. Our kids are equally loved. Our kids all get hugs and kisses for their boo boos and get stories before bed (some nights). Our kids are all safe. They have clean diapers and full bellies. They all love us unconditionally.
So, to the new mom reading this, let go of your envy. Your kids are doing just freaking fine. There’s no ONE normal way to feel and YOU ARE A GOOD MOM.