The Role of Motherhood

“The word motherhood defines women’s eternal roles;  it describes their nature as nurturers.  Nurture is a rich word.  It means to train, to teach, to educate, to foster development, to promote growth, and to nourish or feed.  Women have been given the great privilege and responsibility to nurture in all these senses of the word.”

-Quote from “Daughters in my Kingdom”

I often consider this quote and I can’t help but feel as if I fall short sometimes.

I can’t help but feel as if I don’t measure up to my highest motherly potential.

Each day brings new experiences and the emergence of new feelings.  Each day presents a variety of challenges that I am required to overcome.

Let’s take a look at today, for example.

My alarm went off at 5:00 a.m.  I immediately pushed the snooze button, knowing that the alarm  would continue to ring  every five minutes until I officially shut it off.  I usually push snooze three times and force myself out of bed at 5:15.  Some days are easier than others.  Mason woke up three times last night (the little stinker) and so I didn’t feel rested.  But I made myself get up anyway, knowing (from experience) that if I don’t get a morning workout in than I feel horrible the rest of the day.  Some days I ride our stationary bike, other days I do exercise videos.  Today was a 480 Workout day along with some abdominal work.  I couldn’t get into it and it felt more like a chore rather than a healthy hobby.  I reluctantly finished my workout, showered, and got dressed all before the clock struck 6:00.  By this time, Mason had been crying for 10 minutes.

Nursing Mason in the morning is my favorite part of the day.  I just love the way that his little body molds into mine and how he sucks so vigorously.  His little hands habitually grab my chest, my clothes, and my neck while he gets his nourishment.  Even after I run out of milk, he continues to suck and cuddle for at least 10 minutes.  To me, this is pure joy.  I’m never going to be able to wean this kid.  He has loved nursing far more than my other two kids.  I think it has something to do with the fact that I have allowed him to nurse on command since day one.  He has no schedule.  I am a walking, talking home-town buffet for him.

By 6:15 or 6:20 I know that I have to get the other two kids up and ready if we are to make it to Lizzie’s school on time.  This is when I can’t help but feel a little frustrated and somewhat jealous of my husband.  It doesn’t always bother me, but today I allowed it to get to me.  It just doesn’t seem fair sometimes how he simply has to worry about getting himself up and ready for work.  He gets to move along at whatever leisurely pace he feels like.  I don’t have that luxury.  I have to rush, rush, rush to get not only myself ready, but all three kids dressed and fed before 7:00 in the morning.

You see?  Feelings of jealousy towards my husband because he has it “easier” than me for a few minutes can’t be good, right?

I need an attitude adjustment.

As I have mentioned before, it takes us 20 minutes to get to Lizzie’s school.  After we drop her off, we generally drive the 20 minutes back, but today we went shopping.  I brought $60 in cash into the store.  It just happened to be the last of our money for the month before we have to start dipping into savings.  I made a shopping list yesterday including everything that we would need until we get paid next Tuesday.  The shopping trip was fairly uneventful.  I kept Mason happy feeding him puffs in the front of the shopping cart.  I gave Bryce a few gummy worms to munch on as he walked beside the cart.  He actually stayed with me today (his only bad choice was when he put his hands in one of the candy bins in the bulk section).  I was very content!  As I watched all of our groceries being scanned at the checkout line, I was mentally making a list of which groceries I could get rid of if we ended up going over 60 dollars.  Fortunately, I didn’t have to discard anything.  The total came to $59.60!  What a relief!

I felt successful for a mere moment.

And then we returned home.

I started “potty training” Bryce again this week.  I put that in quotations because I am realizing more and more that Bryce isn’t the kind of kid that will be fully potty trained within a few days.  Potty training, for him, is a process.  A very long and tedious process which I really don’t think that I have the patience for.  But I am ready to start allocating our money elsewhere.  I don’t want to spend our money on diapers for a 3-year-old!  Bryce fights the whole potty-training idea with a passion.  He did fairly well Monday through Wednesday, however, I couldn’t get him to sit on the potty today.  When bribery wasn’t working, I tried to be more forceful and he had a tantrum, ran out of the room, and promptly wet himself.  AAAHHHHHHH!!!  I really think that potty-training will be the end of me.

I shouldn’t feel so frustrated, right?

Bryce had a lot of tantrums today.  Sometimes I feel so alone in the day.  I want to video tape my day for my husband as I don’t think that he fully understands the magnitude of Bryce’s tantrums.  Jon can’t receive text messages when he’s at work, but I sometimes text him anyway just to vent.  This is what I texted him around lunch time today, “I’m about to become an abusive mother.  Bryce refuses to sit on the potty and he is having the most annoying, whiniest tantrums ever.  AHHHH!!!!”.  Even though I know that Jon won’t get the message, it somehow feels good to vent.

Although I obviously don’t abuse my children, isn’t a horrible thing that I even wrote that to my husband?

Bryce wanted macaroni and cheese for lunch.  I told him that he had to eat chicken nuggets instead.  He had carbs for breakfast as well as for snack and he needed some protein (and some veggies as well…but eating veggies is another subject in which Bryce refuses to cooperate).  He promptly had another screaming tantrum and woke up Mason.  Poor Mason.  It seems like he can never get a good nap.  It seems as if Bryce has the worst tantrums when Mason is sleeping.  I desperately need Bryce to participate in “quiet time” of some sort.  He just refuses.  I have tried putting him in his room so many times for “quiet time” and he bangs his door and screams and screams like I actually had abused him.  When I try leaving his door open and tell him that he needs to simply stay in his room for some alone time, he refuses to stay in his room.  “Quiet time” is supposed to be a break for me.  It’s not a break when I have to either keep putting Bryce back in his room or else listen to him bang, scream, and throw toys.

Why am I so desperate for some quiet, alone time?  I am a Mother.  Shouldn’t I have a burning desire to be with my children every single second of the day?

Somehow the morning flew by really quickly and I felt as if I didn’t accomplish much.  This often seems to be the case, especially since having baby number three.  I feel as if I haven’t gotten my life “put together” since Mason was born.  I feel like I’m always busy, always running from here to there, yet I have no idea what I accomplished at the end of the day.  Like I’m running a race with no finish line.  Why do I feel this way?  It’s not normal for me.  By the time both Lizzie and Bryce were 9 months old (Mason’s age), I was craving another newborn.  I can’t help but feel as if something is wrong with me because I just don’t feel baby hungry in the slightest right now.

This is a new feeling for me.  Shouldn’t Mother’s always have a deep yearning for more children?

We left to pick up Lizzie.  Bryce has a tendency to act like a broken record.  Often, on the drive to Lizzie’s school, he repeats the same phrases over and over again.  The most common phrase is,  “I’m thirsty, I’m thirsty, I’m thirsty, I’m thirsty, etc.”.  I give him a sippy-cup full of water when we first get in the car and he finishes it within a few minutes.  Then he starts his “I’m thirsty” mantra.

I definitely need an attitude adjustment.  Today I felt as if I were focusing on all of Bryce’s negative attributes.  This needs to stop.

Sometimes I wonder if I should even have more kids.  I can’t even handle the three that I have.  I don’t want my future kids to suffer because of my emotional instability and inability to handle even the simplest of situations.

After picking up Lizzie, we stopped by Kaiser to get our flu shots.  I’m not a fan of the flu shot and rarely get it.  Our pediatrician recommended that our kids get it this year, however, and so I decided to follow her recommendation.  So I lugged all three kids into the walk-in-flu-shot clinic.  Fortunately, there were only a few other patients there.  We all got our shots without shedding a tear.  Success!

Right after we arrived home, Jon called me.  He never calls me when he’s at work.  Ever.  In fact, this may have been the first time in 6 years.  He told me the good news that Lizzie will be able to get transferred to a closer school!  Hooray!  I haven’t mentioned this on our blog, but I have been trying to get Lizzie transferred to a closer school.  The long drive there and back, twice a day, is just too much.  The school that she got accepted to is rated the same as her current school (a high rating)  and is 4 miles closer to our house than her current school.  It is still a commute, but it will save us a lot of driving time.  Not to mention gas money! 🙂  I was elated.  I still have to fill out some paper work, but she will be able to transfer within the next few weeks.

I am happy that Lizzie will be able to transfer schools, but I can’t help but feel heartsick.  She loves her teacher and she loves having her cousin in her class.  Am I ruining my child?  I seriously considered homeschooling again a few weeks ago but it still didn’t feel right.  Ultimately, we simply can’t afford the gas to take her to her current school.  And I’m going insane with all of the driving (just ask my husband).

We have to do what we have to do, I guess.  I just hope and pray that our kids will be resilient.

I haven’t quite figured out my role as a mother with a child who is old enough to attend school.  Lizzie is now learning things from someone else.  She tells me that her teacher is really smart.  She tells me that I am just a babysitter.  I have a college degree.  But to be honest, I don’t feel very smart these days.

Well, let’s talk about dinner time.

I am trying to use our leftovers as much as possible when I make our dinners recently.  We had some leftover angel hair pasta in our fridge today.  I didn’t quite know what to do with it.  I decided to throw in some fresh basil from our “garden”, a chopped up bell pepper, some spices, and 3 eggs.  I mixed it all together and fried it up in a pan.  After it was cooked, it didn’t look too appetizing.  So I poured a jar of Trader Joe’s spaghetti sauce and some mozzarella cheese on top.  And that was dinner.  I made the entire meal while either holding Mason, or feeling him pull up to stand on my leg.  And listening to him cry.  He cries a lot when I make dinner.  It’s that time of the day, I suppose.

Jon, Mason, and I ate what I had prepared.  Lizzie and Bryce only managed to eat a few croutons off of their salad.

After dinner, we did the usual clean up and bedtime routines.  Only we forgot to read scriptures with the kids today.  Oops!  We try, but we are nowhere near perfect.

And that was my day, in a nutshell.

Every day is different, yet oddly similar.  I yearn for some consistency, but I can’t seem to find it in the chaos.

I try hard to live up to my potential, but I can’t help feeling guilty when certain negative feelings and attitudes ooze into my thoughts.

Oh well.  I’m going to hit the sack…and try again tomorrow.

I’ll be more positive tomorrow.

Perhaps tomorrow will be the day in which Mason takes two solid naps, Bryce stays in his room for one hour of blessed quiet time, the sink is void of dishes, and I actually finish folding the laundry.

Here’s to hoping! 🙂

And here’s to trying.

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3 thoughts on “The Role of Motherhood

  1. This was beautiful Andrea. I know it doesn’t help, but we all feel this way and I keep thinking someday I’ll get adjusted, too 🙂 You have to remember that you can ask for help and that I am always here for you. You are an amazing mom and a great example to me and you always do what’s best for your family.

  2. This post was very interesting. I’m sorry you have such busy, hectic days. I know we can all relate to that. I enjoyed your questions you posted about what mothers “should” be/do/know/expect, etc. I’m always very impressed with your posts and what you do for/with your kids. In fact, I always think, “oh, I should do that. Andrea is such a good mom. Wow, I’m so behind her.” I promise I’m not making that up! I don’t think you’re a bad mother for not wanting another baby right now. In fact, I think that’s completely normal! Every mother definitely has their “limit” of what they can do physically,emotionally, and mentally. Everyone is different. You have A LOT going on in your life right now. When you wanted another baby, your situation was different than it is now, so there’s nothing wrong with not feeling that way, your situation has just changed. I also think as moms, we live in the moment. The kids are being cranky, fussy, ornery, etc. So of course that’s what we focus on, because that’s what we’re dealing with…all day! Lol. I wish I had some great advice for you and that things would magically go smoother for you. When I start to get frustrated with my kids, I try and just focus on their good qualities and give them extra love (after I’ve had some time to get over my frustration). You’re a great mother and you do so much for you kids! 🙂

  3. Pingback: Everything Usually Works Out Just Fine | Sister Mommies

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