January 9, 2023
Let me paint the scene for you…
It’s Thursday at 8:30am, I’ve had 3 sips of coffee-
Our little one is very loudly playing peek a boo with the long curtain in our kitchen.
Our dog is waiting to go on a walk and is sitting on my feet.
My husband is talking to me about something that we could talk about later &
It. All. Hits. Me.
For about 3 seconds I’m watching everything happen around me, not hearing any of it. The swing of the curtain and a cute little face popping out, the weight of our 85lb golden retriever resting on the tip of my toes and his back curled up against my leg, and the conversation my husband is trying to talk with me about a topic I thought we had exhausted by now…and it all sounds like chatter from Charlie Brown until I return to the present moment
I’m angry & moody which is mistaken by my husband as stress so he asks, “what are you stressed about?” in a condescending, it’s 8:30 in the morning, day barely started kinda way.
& that’s when I said it.
The most honest, blunt, sentence I could muster (without losing my cool completely).
I’m growing a baby and I’m tired.
I took a couple more sips of my coffee and continued on my way; as frustrating and as cumbersome as the task ahead of me felt, I got baby girl & pup ready for our walk and headed outside.
I took a deep breath of the cool fresh air and started walking and I pounded the pavement until I felt the overwhelmed, angry, moody bubble dissipate.
Because I wasn’t mad at my husband, our daughter or the dog. I was simply tired and as I walked and thought about the “why” this all happened, it’s because somewhere along the way I let myself be naive.
Being a mama to a happy, healthy toddler is hard, even on our best days.
Growing a baby AND being a compassionate mama to a healthy, happy toddler is HARDER than I thought it would be.
I don’t think until this moment, I ever stopped to think about it and that must sound so naive too. Here I was, former teacher, 8 years under my belt working with some great kids and their challenging behaviors- sometimes 6-8 kids at a time and suddenly all of that balancing, individualized program making and data collecting felt like a walk in the park.
And it’s not because these are my own kids and at the same time it is.
As a teacher before my own kids came into the picture, I would have told you that I cared for my students as if they were my own kids. And to my credit (not having kids at the time), I believed this to be true.
Then you become a parent and truly, 100% responsible for the well-being, emotional regulation, hygiene, meals, clothes, EVERYTHING that sets this child up their future. To all the parents I’ve worked with in the past, you are the real superheroes. Teaching your child was the easy part; it’s easy to rely on my degrees and experiences and research-based practices and apply them to whatever situation is in front of me knowing full well at the end of the day, they go home so here I am to tell you, probably many years too late…everything you did at home was a lot harder than I ever gave you credit for and I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to acknowledge properly the work you did and continue to do.
So now, I am mama to a toddler and mama-to-be to our son.
And I’m overjoyed; I have wanted to be a mama for as long as I could remember; having kids was always in the picture for me.
And I’m tired.
And it’s perfectly okay (& healthy) to be both– in case you feel that way too. By the time I finished our walk and came back inside I was feeling better. Exercise helps, rest helps and ultimately listening to my body and talking it out, has helped.
If you’ve worn these tired mama shoes before or are wearing them now, share your suggestions/advice/thoughts. I can’t wait to read them & appreciate you taking a sweet moment out of your day to spread some community joy to mine.
a mama who needs to put her feet up