Being a Mom Isn’t Fun

Somewhere along the way, I got this idea that being a mom was supposed to be fun.  I would marry a wonderful, handsome guy and have a brood of beautiful children.  We would laugh all the time and never argue.  Our days would be spent doing art projects, having tickle fights, playing board games congenially, and throwing a ball around outside.  The only time someone would cry would be if one of my sweet, perfect children fell down and bumped their head…and of course, I would be right there to love and kiss that boo-boo away.

But guess what?  This isn’t fun.

Remember how I said I imagined that the only time someone would cry was if they fell down?  Today at the park, Charlotte fell (because she insisted on going down some very steep stairs even though I told her not to) and bumped her head HARD.  I couldn’t catch her because I was holding Lila so I just awkwardly half-grabbed her which probably made her hit her head harder.  And instead of crying for mommy to kiss her boo-boo, she screamed NO, NO, NO, NOOOOOO when I went to comfort her as she has done for the past few weeks any time she falls down.  Apparently this girl gets P.O.’d when she’s hurt.  I don’t really get it and I quit trying to understand.

That’s not the only crying though.  There’s the tantrums and the screaming fits.  All day.  Every day.  Yep, she’s been fed and, yep, she’s taking naps.  I’ve switched around schedules and tried lots of different strategies.  It’s just this magical thing called being two.  Oh, and of course, there’s the three month old baby thrown in the mix who is really laid back but just happens to cry every once in a while too…obviously timed at the exact same moment as a temper tantrum from big sis for a more dramatic effect.

Nope, this isn’t fun.

It’s hard work.  It’s frustrating.  It’s exhausting.  Emotional.  And sometimes it just plain sucks.

Many times this week, I have had to remind myself that I prayed for this.  I longed for this and begged for this.  I used to absolutely loathe it when I heard anyone utter anything that resembled a complaint about being a parent, no matter how tiny the complaint.  In that difficult time after losing Callie, but before having Charlotte, I couldn’t fathom how anyone could feel such a way.

A little while ago after a particularly challenging day, I was putting the girls to bed.  Lila was nursing and Charlotte was snuggled up close on my other side as we read books.  Their freshly bathed skin smelled so good and they were both so cuddly and sweet.  After reading, Charlotte told me she loved me and asked me to sing her our song.  I’ve always sung “Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel) ” by Billy Joel to her as she goes to sleep every night, but on this occasion I looked over to my left and saw the bronzed cast of Callie’s hand next to her bear and a framed picture that says “You Are My Sunshine” and instead of singing the usual song, I sang that one instead.  “You Are My Sunshine” has been and always will be Callie’s song and because of that I have never been able to sing it to Charlotte or Lila.  I’ve avoided it like the plague because it makes me so deeply sad.  But on this night, it felt right.

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine… you make me happy when skies are gray..

You’ll never know dear, how much I love you… please don’t take my sunshine away.

The other night dear, when I lay sleeping… I dreamt I held you in my arms…

When I awoke dear, I was mistaken… so I hung my head and cried.

For the first time, I was able to sing it to the babies that Callie watches over every day with me.  I still felt sadness, but I finally was able to let myself smile a little bit too.  Charlotte looked up at me and said, “Again, Mommy?” and flashed those dimples I love so much.  So, I sang it again, and again, and again, each time releasing a little bit more of that un-fun day and embracing the sweetness of my precious girls in that moment.

Nope, it’s not about being fun.  Ok, sometimes it is.  Like the times Lila looks at me and smiles and coos.  Like Charlotte proudly showing off during ballet.  Playing in the pool.  Enjoying ice cream.  Singing lullabies.  But, these days at least, it’s mostly not-fun stuff like gigantic poop-splosions, dragging a screaming toddler through the mall, or worrying about if I am doing this even remotely right.

Being a parent is not about being fun or not fun.  It’s about being present and not wishing away time or dwelling on what can’t be changed.  It’s about loving these fickle mini-people in the good times and bad.  It’s leading them, listening to them.  It’s forgiveness.  It’s amazing and awesome, humbling and complicated.  Hopefully, there is a little fun sprinkled in there too- I’ve just learned that, “fun” is not what it’s all about.

It’s being happy when skies are gray (even if the cloudy skies are their fault!)…and remembering that there will always be sunshine after every storm, even if it takes a while.

And sometimes, if the light is just right, there is a rainbow too.  😉




9 thoughts on “Being a Mom Isn’t Fun

  1. I’m glad you did post! I prayed a long time for my Hadley and while we have mostly sunny days it’s nice to know its ok to have gray days and be reminded that they will pass. I thought staying at my moms for two weeks would be fun. It’s not. It’s challenging, stressful, and schedules are off but Hadley is surrounded by grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins and they are having fun with her. So I’m going to have fun with my family and friends rain or shine and make memories with Hadley. 💜

  2. This is a really great post. I remember you writing a post about people complaining about how hard it was with their children. I really appreciated that one as well because you made me realize I needed to be more in the moment. I needed to stop dreading bathes and other tasks with them and truly enjoy my time with them. That being said it still can be exhausting and sometimes not fun. So thank you for making me life in the moment with them but also sharing the difficulties of being a parent.

  3. Kristin, your post captures exactly what it is like to be a mom…the normalcy, the reality of the ups and downs…the proud and not-so-proud moments we all go through (ask me someday about my recent bellowing of “DAMN IT, I NEED HELP!!” moment during morning routine). Thank you for posting and helping us all remember that we ARE normal moms, this IS normal experience, and we are NOT alone in it. ❤

    • LOL, thanks for the comment and the laugh Erin. I can’t wait to hear that story! 😉 I’m still not sure how Charlotte’s first words weren’t curse words…it is one of my biggest vices and always surprises people who are first meeting me, especially through teaching! xxoo

  4. Enjoyed reading this post Kristin. This definitely helps realize that not everything will always be perfect. “And if I’m even doing this remotely right” <—- words I will be asking myself plenty in the future 😩😩

    • You’re going to do just fine Adam 🙂 As long as you can look back on the day and say you gave it your best, you’re doing ok. Some day’s best is better than others. Each day gives a new opportunity to improve and having a baby will give you a million reasons to give it your all. Breathe! And have fun! Even though I just wrote a whole article about it not being about fun LOL

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