January 11, 2011

There’s Super Mom and Then There’s Super Mom

I am trying to learn that it’s ok to be a little overwhelmed as a mother. I have such a great mother. She stayed home with us until we went to pre-school. This was old-school four-year-old pre-school. And I loved it. I grew up wanting to be at home with my kids. Now that I have a 19-month-old terrorizing me, I sometimes question this whole “at home with mom all the time” thing.

It’s hard for me to compare my situation with my mother. And in truth, when we’ve spoken about it recently, things were not so 50s sitcom perfect as I understood them to be as a child. But part of the reality of being an Air Force family is single parenting. I have a wonderful, loving husband who is a good, attentive father. He’s just not always in the state/country.

Life as a stay-at-home mom is entirely doable when your husband lives in the same house as you. We are extra lucky because Josh often comes home for lunch, providing us an extra break. The ability to make dinner without screaming or wearing a baby is huge. Getting to sit quietly while Daddy and baby have bath time is re-energizing. Then you have the weekends where there is the actual possibility of sleeping in one day.

None of that happens when your husband does not live in the same house.

I’ve come to know that I’m good for about two weeks before the constant mothering starts to tear significantly at my patience. This makes me feel like a bad mother. Somehow I think that I should be able to take all the moods, fussiness, boredom, and destruction every day, all day. No one can.

I don’t know why, but I have this idea of mom equaling super hero. Of course, as a mom you are a super hero to your kids. You sing songs, fix boo boos, play games, and rock to sleep like none other. You are number one when it comes to hugs and kisses. But that doesn’t mean that you have to like doing all of it all of the time.

We have a challenging time right now in our family. Josh is going to be gone pretty much for six months. There are going to be a lot of times when I just want to lock myself in my room and cry. But, damn it, I don’t have to do it all! I’m giving myself permission right now to stop trying to do it all.

I am going to do everything I can to find a caregiver once a week for a few hours. A break is so revitalizing for me. The three hours at night that are filled with dirty diapers, dirty dishes, and frantic laundry do not cut it. And wanting a short break from my beautiful, wonderful daughter doesn't make me a bad mom. The thought of spending uninterrupted time with a latte and a book in a coffee shop sends shivers down my spine.

I remember in Date Night when Tina Fey fantasizes about “a quiet room, where I can eat my lunch with no one touching me. And drink a Diet Sprite.” You get me, Tina Fey. You get me.


  1. Oh dear J .. 6 months!?!?! and here I am fretting over the potential for a week husband-less. And I am TOTALLY feeling you on the 'not liking it all the time' thing .. in fact frequently right now I just want to give up, put my LO down, go outside and cry or run away with the circus! Some days its all I can do to get by till "daddy comes home" and I'm very scared of not having that for a week .. here's hoping for the best for both of us during the trying times!

  2. I just had one of these moments last week - after a few days of breaking down in tears! And it was partially alleviated by making a trip to Starbucks BY MYSELF for 45 minutes to drink a caramel macchiato and read a non-parenting book. And my hubby comes home at 3:30 every day!

    Thank goodness that our kids aren't at the age where they'll remember these days when they're older!

  3. So, I obviously understand on EVERY level. I think I'm going to look into finding someone to watch the boys every now and then, too. They actually LOVE having a babysitter, and I LOVE the way they love me when I return. Hang in there, and know that I'm right here with you every step of the way. Oh--and it does get better. I remember when I was where you are (in the number/age of children way), and it is A LOT easier now. =)

  4. One of the major reasons my husband and I do not have kids is that I fear I will be unable to meet the expectations I have for myself as a mother due to the flawless example set by my own mother. I appreciate your insight that our rose-colored memories do not necessarily jive with reality.

  5. Oh yeah, right there with you girl.


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