Confessions of a BadAssMama - The Resentment Edition

I have a confession to make. I've been watching Oprah again - and she's making me think about my life. OK, truth be told it didn't all start with Oprah (reflecting on the crazy-town that is my life is the point of this blog, after all). But several poignant moments in last week's Life Class, combined with an incredible sermon at church today have brought The BadAssMama to her most startling revelation to date.

I often resent the changes I've had to make to my life since I had kids.

There. I've said it.

Judge me if you will, but the first step in recovery is to admit that you have a problem. And something tells me that I'm not the only mama out there struggling with a nasty little resentment habit. Keep in mind, I really have no excuse here. I entered into this motherhood thing knowingly and willingly. Discussions were had, plans were made, spacing decisions carefully thought out. Yes, I entered motherhood with eyes wide open and heart prepared to love these tiny little buggers more than life itself.

I think it's comes down to expectations. In my head, I would have my kids and they would fit perfectly into my neat-and-tidy life. They would sleep through the night by six weeks and fall into a comfortably predictable schedule well in advance of my return to work (yeah, yeah - I can hear you laughing. These are the things that a Type-A-borderline-OCD-perfectionist likes to believe before she's had children).

So, as you can imagine, the realities of motherhood basically kicked my ass from the moment my first child zoomed into the world eight weeks early (that kid is STILL a drama queen - but he sure knows how to make an entrance...). Add a second child 23 months later, and my neat-and-tidy world slowly but surely began to crumble all around me.

Instead of being the Mary-Poppins-meets-a-much-younger-and-cooler-Martha-Stewart that I imagined myself during my pregnancy, I rapidly deteriorated into a sleep-deprived-slightly-deranged-screaming-lunatic in less than 3 years. I yell at my kids on practically a daily basis. I have not a shred of patience. The sound of "Mommy? Mommy?! MOMMY!!!!" makes me want to cut my ears off and I spend more time prepping and cleaning AROUND my kids than actually playing with them.

I miss sleeping late. I miss wearing white shirts. I miss lazy Sundays on my couch with nothing to do but read the newspaper. I miss sleeping through the night. I miss being in control of my own schedule. I miss being responsible for a single life, rather than mine and the two tiny lunatics who look to me for their every want and need. I miss being irresponsible, irreverent, spontaneous. I miss going to a diner at 2am after a great night out, knowing that I can sleep until noon the next morning. I miss non-animated movies. I miss time alone with my husband. I miss long weekends with my girlfriends. I miss my pre-kid life.

But, guess what? As much as I miss all the freedom that came with life before kids, I couldn't imagine never experiencing Angel's infectious laugh or Victor's incredible smile. I used to come home to an empty house (since The Hubs often worked later than I even did in our pre-baby life). Now, two tiny lunatics scream "MOMMY!" at the top of their lungs as soon as my key hits the lock. I love a few nights of uninterrupted sleep on a business trip, but the room is always too dark and too quiet for me to sleep well the first few nights, and I can't wait to get home to the madness that is my post-baby life after three or four days away (hey, I'm no saint - mama likes a bed to herself and room service as much as the next gal...).

Yes, there are times that I resent the changes I've made to my life since having kids. At times, I allow that resentment to color my interactions with my kids and cloud my perspective. I'm not proud of this, but it's true.

The good news? There is so much more that I absolutely adore about my post-baby life than the things that make me crazy. If I can focus on these things more than the crazy-making-moments, I hope I can yell a little less, cuddle a little more, and enjoy every moment of this crazy thing called motherhood. 
Jo said...

I definitely feel ya! My middle two were at an age where I could at least go back to sleeping in on the weekends, but once my husband and I got married and had a little one, sleeping in is my biggest fantasy. Forget Brad Pitt, or even my poor hubby some days. I just want more than 5 uninterrupted hours of sleep. And when I hear "MOM!!" from all 3 within the same five minutes I want to run & hide. But my oldest boy is now 20 and I swear I was just rushing him off to daycare the other day. It sure doesn't seem like it at the time, but it goes so fast!

Rita Arens said...

I felt that way. Now she's eight and she's started asking to eat dinner at the neighbor kids' house every night and I've found myself begging her to eat with me. I say that not to make you feel life's too short but to say there is a light at the end of the tunnel! You'll get those things back -- I saw them starting to return the minute my girl entered kindergarten.

Bethany said...

I so hear you, and yes I've felt that way too, still do sometimes even though mine are 5 and 10 now. I can't resent them being around all the time now either, it was my choice to home school! Taking regular time for myself goes a Long way towards eliminating the bouts of it, which are few and far between now. Nothing can prepare you for the drastic changes of parenting I don't think, and some resentment is natural. It might be taboo to talk about it, but it shouldn't be, it's an honest part of this all-consuming thing we do. Thanks for putting your thoughts out there!

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