Thoughts on Motherhood Part II

The other day in my post about Motherhood I didn’t dissect the list of reasons that led me to feeling like I was floundering as a mother. Today, that’s exactly what we’re gonna do. But first, remember how I told you that Zoe has this coy smile….well…

coy smile

Ok, let’s get down to business.

1) “I had unrealistic expectations combined with the fact that I had no idea what to expect.” This issue is two-fold. First, prior to having Zoe I had a “no baby” rule. I didn’t really hold them, I didn’t babysit them, I didn’t really like them. So, therefore, I had absolutely no idea what to expect with a baby, or even how babies function/operate. On top of that, my number one subconscious expectation was that I was just going to “add” a baby to my life, nothing was going to change…life would just go on as normal, just with a baby. Um…if you’re a mom…are you laughing yet? Because, let’s be honest, that’s completely absurd! But, I’ve been fighting for the past 8 months for my expectation to be reality. The result is that I feel like I’m losing my mind.

2) “I expected her to pop out of me functioning like a 2 year old…or even better, a 7 year old.” Like I said, I worked with kids…not babies. There’s a reason for that, kids understand logic, and that’s an essential part of a functional relationship. I don’t understand crying for no reason. I don’t enjoy the guessing games. A 2 year old can entertain themselves, a 7 year old can entertain themselves even better….a newborn needs you…..which goes against core foundations of my personality. So…again, I tried to make my expectation become a reality…and again, you can imagine how that turned out. But, those times when she does need me incessantly or she’s crying for no reason, those are the times when I get the most frustrated. The neediness flows over into why I get so frustrated with the animals. I feel, sometimes, like I can not handle one more persons need and so when Hemmingway comes and puts his head in my lap or Jasmine lays on my chest I flip out. My animals are confused, to say the least.


3) “If pregnancy affects every part of a woman’s body {which it does}, motherhood affects every part of your identity.” I know I’m the one who wrote that line….but can I just say, “Amen”? As if pregnancy wasn’t enough, motherhood comes along and changes EVERYTHING. You can imagine how much I fought this {See Number 1}. I still try to function like I’m 26 and single. Um, hello…I’m not. Granted, I went from single and fancy free to married with a kid QUICKLY so some of this is just par for the course…I didn’t have time to adjust to each phase, and that’s ok…that’s the path I chose and I wouldn’t do it any other way. That said, I realize that I need to give myself grace in situations, speak up in others, and create boundaries that are functional in a “hey now I’m a wife/mom” lifestyle. This is where we get to have the fun talk about boundaries. I suck at them. In the past I tended to play the victim, like if somebody pushed past what I wanted/felt comfortable with, I would get upset…like they intentionally bulldozed me. However, and this is something I just realized this week, if there are no verbal boundaries in place how on earth would they know to respect them? They are not being mean or even selfish, I need to be politely assertive. Polite being the key word. This topic is HUGE in my life. A ton of stress comes from my unspoken boundaries being trampled on and from me thinking that I’m the same as I was 2 years ago. I wish that writing a paragraph on a blog could solve this issue in my life immediately….oh how glorious that would be. But, this topic will be one that I work on for quite some time.

4) “I decided that I never want to be a “helicopter mom” and so I went to the other extreme of being too laid back, which also doesn’t feel right.” I have this picture in my head of a mom who hovers over her child{ren} with arms outstretched insisting on protecting them from the world/controlling their every move. I just don’t function like that. So, because I never wanted to be “that mom” I forced myself to be the other way: not caring if dogs licked her, not caring if she came in contact with germs, I almost never rinse off a pacifier during the day save popping it in my mouth real quick, she is currently playing with the dog toy {because it’s her favorite}, it’s in her mouth {gross}. Those are all things that I genuinely don’t care about. However, I’ve noticed that I took it to the extreme of, “she’s fine” in almost every situation {because after all, if she were 7 she would be fine}. The problem is that being compassionate or doting took a backseat…and that doesn’t feel right. I want to be the most compassionate person my daughter knows…and I want to dote on her {what does that even mean? I don’t care, I want to do it} because she’s worth it. I need to find a balance.


5) “I’ve done a fantastic job of not comparing Zoe to other babies. I’ve done a horrible job at not comparing myself to other moms.” Let’s just agree, right now, that this category deserves its own post. I will attempt to do it in a single paragraph {for now}. I have never met a mother who has everything together…but I’ve met several who care, very much, that you think they do. When I asked Kathryn, “What kind of mother forgets to feed her daughter lunch?”  She replied, “One that’s only been a mom for 8 months. You’re learning…”. That was the most freeing thing I’ve heard in 8 months. Do you know how much freedom comes with the mindset that you’re just learning? Why, on earth, did I want to be moms who have been moms for years? That is just setting myself up for failure….which is exactly what I felt like Friday afternoon, and Saturday, and Sunday….and intermittently the past 8 months.


6) “I care too much about how people perceive me as a mom.” Numbers 4 and 5 can be are rooted in this…I care, very deeply, about how people perceive me as a mom. I am told, on a regular basis, that I am really laid back for a first time mom. That’s a true statement. I am. If you are around me for 20 minutes you’ll see that. However, being laid back because I am a laid back person…and being laid back {or aloof towards my daughter} because I think that’s what people want to see are two different things. I don’t share the things that I’m crazy paranoid about {like suffocating or choking} because I don’t want people to think that I’m crazy or obsessive. But, the truth is…I don’t put a blanket in the crib with my daughter because I would freak out all night wondering if my baby was still breathing, and I was holding my breath the entire time that I gave her solid solid {needs to be chewed} food because I was terrified that she was going to choke. Authenticity requires you seeing the really good, the ok, and the psychotic.


So…there you have it. I’m sure you’ll hear more in future posts.

What about you? Do you struggle with unrealistic expectations? Is how you’re approaching a situation the problem rather than the situation itself?

Ps. Yesterday I wrote a post really late at night…if you didn’t see it, click here


5 responses to “Thoughts on Motherhood Part II

  1. I feel like I have unrealistic expectations for being a new mom. It’s like I expect that I should be able to read Zoey’s mind, keep the house clean, stay close with Greg and balance working full-time with family obligations and everything else. After all, that’s what my mom did. That’s what my sister, the super-soccer mom with FOUR kids does on a daily basis. But I struggle. Because all of this is new and tough and sometimes all I want is a nap. But then I look at my Zoey and think about how if anyone tried to hurt her, there would be no end to my wrath. I love her so much that I’m still in awe of being capable of that–but it scares me too because what if I forget something or do something the wrong way and she knows it? I want so much to be a good mom, but it will be a long, tough road because that’s how life is.

    I never thought I’d have kids either until I met Greg. I never liked babysitting. So, I wasn’t exactly cut from the mom cloth. But oh man, I want everything amazing for Zoey and I’ll push myself and learn from my mistakes and do whatever it takes to be the best I can be. For her. For me.

    Hang in there, Rebecca, you have a beautiful daughter, who loves you for you. Just keep that in mind.

  2. i love this post! i feel like we are the same person! …and i too am way laid back, care less about dog slobber and germs but have a panic attack over the thought of my child choking. ugh!

  3. Glad I read that…I’m always comparing myself to other moms and constantly reminding myself not to!

  4. Jessica Proffit

    It’s obvious that you’re a good mom because you even care about any of the stuff you just said. And, you’re a good mom b/c you listen to the “them” that says you’re not supposed to put a blanket in there with them for the exact reason you mentioned. See, you’re doing great! One word: Sleepsack! Love them!

    • Thanks Jessica! I completely agree about the sleepsack! We have one and we used it like every day during the winter…it’s kinda too hot now, so we need to get a little short sleeve one…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s