I’m five months into this mamahood thing and there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye. Limits have been tested, challenges overcome and tears shed – both happy and sad. So this cowgirl and ranch mama is laying it on the line and sharing my truth and realizations about mamahood.
– I constantly struggle with guilt. I feel guilty when I take her to daycare in the morning. I feel guilty when I want just one hour to ride my horses or go for a run. I feel guilty when I stop playing with her so I can fold some laundry or do the dishes. I feel guilty when I take her to my mom’s house so that I can go on a party bus to play bingo. I am sure that I’m not the only mama out there like this but it’s so hard to want to be everything to her but also not lose sight of myself and how to have fun. I want the balance but I also want to love on her every minute.
– I consider the question “How is she doing?” very difficult to answer. I mean, she’s eating and sleeping and happy, so in my very limited experience that seems pretty great! But people always seem to want more than that as an answer – am I the only person who has this issue?
– Although I have cared for her by myself countless evenings while the Ninja travels for work, my biggest fear every time he is gone is that we will have a bad sleep night. Before she started sleeping through the night, I would pray and pray and pray for her to sleep for a 2-3 hour stretch. I can remember feeling so strung out and helpless at the end of his first work trip after she was born (5 days, 4 nights- welcome to reality, mama). At that time she was still waking 1-2 times per night to eat; after she got past that she hit her four-month sleep regression while he was out of town. To say the least, I am very happy that she sleeps for 10 hours on a regular basis (I hope I have not jinxed myself just now). I was and continue to be so thankful for my family and friends who help me get through every day and night of this challenging new chapter with encouraging words, love and support. It takes a village to raise a child and my village rocks.
– EVERYTHING takes more time and preparation. Even something as simple as going to supper requires a ton of gear OR if we leave her with a family member, I end up stressing out about whether or not she is behaving while we are gone. I am hoping this will subside soon.
– Looking back at photos from the day she was born, she really wasn’t very cute. I mean, I LOVE her but she looked like a squishy potato; same as every other newborn. However, it only took a few days for the squish face to become utterly adorable.
– Hormones are heinous. Even the most “level-headed” people can be affected by anxiety, depression or both. If you feel sad, don’t be embarrassed; talk to your friends, family or health practitioner. I felt like the walls were closing in on me as soon as the sun started to set; I dreaded the nights. It’s not a weakness to ask for help during this trying time so please, put your self care as a top priority.
– I have yearned, several times, for my previous life and freedom. Does that mean I don’t love my little cowgirl with all my heart? Absolutely not – but I do miss my carefree days when I did whatever I wanted, whenever I wished. And any mama or parent who doesn’t admit to feeling the same thing at least once is probably not being very honest. Just sayin’
– I am figuring out how to take time for me and do things I enjoy again. I have learned how to ride my horse and do all the chores [when I’m home alone] before she needs her bath and bottle for the evening. It involves a playpen, several toys and some serious speed on my part but we get the job done. She’ll be heading to her first barrel race this weekend and I think we’ll be fine.
– I am not willing to spend a small fortune on baby clothes. I want her to look cute but good Lord, I can’t bring myself to spend $25 on a pair of shoes she can’t walk in and $30 on one shirt she’s probably going to annihilate with poop or drool (actually, both). She’ll just have to suffer through life in hand me downs and garage sale finds. Poor thing.
– My life is even more full of joy than it was before now that I have her. I have said many times before that I had an awesomely enviable life before she came along but I am positive that she has enhanced my life ten-fold. I’m sure it will only get more difficult from here but she’s so damn sweet, smart, adorable and lovable that it will be worth the ride.
Alright my fellow mamas, what are your truths? What keeps you up at night worrying about this parenting gig? What are your triumphs and proud moments?
High-fives to all of us for getting through this time of our lives – it ain’t for the weak of heart!
Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~
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