Mindy Sue Cleveland Photographer

Mindy Sue Cleveland Photographer


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

You aren't the only one that thinks being a mom is hard!!

The sun has been out, and I can literally feel my heart sing.  I have spent the day playing in dirt, jumping on the trampoline, eating Cheetos, making chili, buying baby clothes for expecting friends and missing my husband.  He is only off to work, but I feel that I haven't seen him in a few days.  Having four kids can do that.  I am loving this time with my little munchkins and I am so looking forward to summer time and having them home.  I didn't always like being a mom you know.  Actually at first, I hated it!  I would talk to my friends and hear them say things like, "I just love being a mother."  And I would scoff and call them liars in my head, knowing perfectly well what it felt like to be a mother.  I really thought all my girlfriends struggled like I did but were just putting on a good face.
Unfortunately I had these struggles of Mommy hood for almost four years.  Don't get me wrong people, I loved my kids but I just didn't feel fulfilled in my role as a mother.  I felt lonely, tired, and bored. I did not want to feel that way.  I wanted to love being a mother.  I was not working at that time and my hubby was working on his Ph.D. and was gone a lot of the time.  So I think that solitude might have played a small role in what I was feeling, but it wasn't everything.  I remember looking at the clock and thinking, "When is Logan going to come home and take his shift?" And I was always perturbed when he was home late because I was so anxious to have my break.  I often found that I couldn't wait for bed time to come so that I could have some "me" time.  Poor Logan; I remember on more than one occasion throwing the baby at him the moment he walked in the door.  Saying things to him like, "Here take your kid."
I am so sad when I think back to the way I approached my identity as a mother.  I loved kissing them, cuddling with them, going on walks and baking cookies but….. but what I am not quite sure.  I just couldn't say that phrase that I so wanted to feel:  " I love being a mother."
I am not sure when the change happened.  I think it was more of a process then a sudden awakening of my mommy consciousness.  But bit by bit, I began to really enjoy playing legos and puppets.  I liked playing peekaboo and giving the kids baths.  Where in the past, these were all things that I did out of obligation - they were now becoming more and more things I enjoyed.  I payed less and less attention to the clock and what time Daddy would be home to relieve me.  Instead of finding the quickest book to read to the kids to get them in bed and be rid of them in fifteen minutes I began laying with them in bed and telling stories far past their bedtimes.  I was enjoying being a mom.
Now what was the change for me?  How did this change happen.  I don't know.  I prayed for it to happen. That I honestly feel was a a big part of it.  But other things that should also be included in this change are things like working part time and my diet.  Starting my photography business gave me an outlet that filled many voids that I didn't know were empty.  Like my ability to be artistic or the need of adult interaction.  I know that I am a happier mother when I am working.  I am still a stay at home mom, but now I get to talk to adults and create beautiful images.
My diet also has helped me.  I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in '09 right after my daughter's diagnosis.  We both cut wheat and other glutens out of our diet completely.  This complicated both of our lives.  Eating healthier and making smarter food choices (crazy idea I know, the thought that what we digest might alter us chemically) has also helped with my over all well-being and happiness levels.  There is something kind of important about being chemically balanced!
It is okay to love your kids and not love being a mother.  It is possible to love the little munchkins and to not love being a stay at home mom.  That being said, I am a lot happier now that I have found a way to merge loving my kids and loving being a mother.  If you struggle with loving your role, I encourage you to look at yourself and your voids to see what needs filled.  I know that filling my voids gave me what it took to help me find loving my role as Mother.


Jenny G said...

Love your wisdom. And that rain picture is TO.DIE.FOR. And that's the first time I've ever all caps'ed and period'ed after each word.

Stephanie said...

I loooove this post!

Heather R. said...

I love this Mindy. And I love you! You are such an inspiration to women.

Lane said...

OMG, that picture of you and your daughter in the rain is AMAZING! It looks like pure happiness!