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THURSDAY’S THOUGHTS: Don’t Seize the Day?

by Sarah on January 26th, 2012

There’s an article which was written on Huffington Post that is circling amongst South African Moms at the moment. The general feedback I seem to be hearing about the author’s view is one of relief. “Finally there’s a mother who’s willing to admit how difficult motherhood can be”, is what most seem to say. When I read the post, though, something just didn’t sit well with me. In fact, ever since reading it, I’ve been feeling a little disheartened.

To me, the crux of what the author is saying seems to be that many of us put too much pressure on ourselves by wanting to always be happy and perfect. Agreed. That being a Mom  can be very challenging, and that there can be a lot of times where we aren’t enjoying  being a parent as much as we’d expected to. Agreed. By the time I’d read the whole piece, the overall message seemed to be that motherhood is difficult and draining, bedtime is the best part of the day, and that there are just tiny little snippets here and there where a Mom feels pure love and joy. Really?

What saddens me about a Mom telling so many thousands of other Moms that she’s stopped seizing the day, living in the moment, being aware, etc is that it’s encouraging them to settle for less. To live half a life. I never want to settle for a life where I’m stressed and in permanent in chaos, with just a few moments a day of joy, of fully appreciating my children. I guess if that’s how you choose to live your life, well then, that’s your choice. But I choose to continually strive to find a place where I’m more joyful than stressed. Where I appreciate my children more often than I don’t. And I also choose to cut myself some slack, to not need to be perfect. I believe it’s possible to do both, purely because we have the choice.

Granted, I’m still only a mother of one, not two, three, or four. And yes, I’m fully aware that more challenges and chaos lie ahead of me. But I seriously hope that when I do have more kids, I will still manage to enjoy myself, to enjoy my children, the good and the bad. If we’re just living for the day when the kids leave the house so that we can look back and say how great having kids was, I ask you, what’s the point?

I know that the times where I’m not enjoying parenting (I’ve written about this before) is when I’ve taken too much on my plate, spread myself too thin and yes, have put too much pressure on myself. But the days that I’ve managed my time, snuck half an hour for myself to do yoga, set aside a full afternoon to play with Lily and not rush around, read a book in the evening instead of watching TV, etc, etc, etc, those are the days that I love being a Mom. I loved it the whole day. Not just a couple seconds of it.

My suggestion to Moms who are feeling overwhelmed, chaotic, stressed and unappreciative of their children, is to do something about it. Don’t just accept it. Make different choices. It’s up to you if you want to live for the future, or to live a happy, fulfilled present.

PS. Something else I’ve learned over the last few years, is that those people who say things to you about parenting (or pregnancy) in the grocery line, they’re just making small-talk. I’m pretty sure that if you actually had a conversation with them, and asked them what they really meant when they said they enjoyed every second of being a Mom, you’d discover that there’s a lot more depth to them than just that one sentence. I’m pretty sure that they too had moments of good and bad when given the chance to explain.

  • Zoe

    Very well put Sarey! I agreed wholeheartedly with what you said! Motherhood isnt for the faint hearted but its what you make of it that really counts! Nothing is all “pink elephants and lemonade” life in general (not just motherhood) throws you curve balls you can either run with it – and have fun along the way or dwell on the bad times! And I know Im a glass is half full kinda girl and I JUST LOVE living in chaos with my two beautiful (not always well behaved) children! XXXX

  • caryn

    Love your post, feel its relevent to all aspects of life. Not a mama myself,I work with lots of children from all over the world and spend most of my time with kiddiewinks.I keep trying to remind myself to be thankful for the mess because it means healthy kids are running crazy. And truth be told, I love crazy;)