Crying at the Kitchen Sink

One night a few weeks ago, after L had been put to bed and before E had come home from work, I was doing my nightly routine of dishes.  It had been an incredibly challenging day, one where I was standing at the kitchen sink, crying, questioning everything I did that day in regards to L.  Some days, her and I don't get along.  I knew there would be some day's where her personality and my personality would not mesh and Mommy would end up feeling defeated.  This was one of those days.

My inner monologue looked something like this:

"...Did I reprimand her correctly for continuing to stand up on the couch and the chair?  Did I comfort her enough when she fell OFF the couch and hit her head on the floor?  Is she going to be okay?  That was hours ago, but do I need to check on her here in a an hour to make sure she is breathing?  Why didn't she eat that much today?  Am I really potty training her at the right time?  She seems very interested and wants to be a big girl, but she isn't consistent.  Are people right?  Am I doing this too soon?..."

Tears, tears, tears.

And lastly, "My God, am I bad mother?  I don't want to be.  I try very hard.  This is all new to me.  I wasn't going to be a mom, now I have a daughter, and Jesus, please don't let me screw her up!"

This happens a lot at the kitchen sink.  I look at it this way:  If I cry enough and get all of this out, I can make it all go away when I am finished with the dishes when I pull the sink stopper.  Sometimes it works.  Other times, not so much.

*sigh*

Why do we do this, ladies?  Why are we so insecure about our abilities as mother's?

I posed this question on my personal Facebook page and got some really interesting answers.  Everything from parenting magazines, milestone trackers (I used to check those all the time), society in general, the media, and even our own insecurities.  Someone even stated that she believes that, "as a whole, Mom's are the most judgmental group on the planet." I tend to agree.  Have you ever been shopping with your child(ren) and seen the "other Mom" look at you as you reprimand, console, calm down, etc. your child(ren)?  Have you seen that look on her face?  It is either, "Oh girl, I get it, I have been there," or it's, "Oh my God, you are doing that totally wrong.  What the hell are you doing?" I have been met with both.  The latter is not an easy pill to swallow.  At first, I was hurt and angry that I was being judged by someone who doesn't even know me or my child!  Then, as L has gotten older and I have had more instances to deal with this kind of behavior, I let it go.  If they have nothing better to do than judge me from afar, that is their problem.  My child is my child.  I will discipline, reprimand, console, etc. how I deem fit.  You take your judging looks somewhere else.

Once I started wrapping my head around that, I was able to almost completely ignore the judging ladies at the store.  However, I am still struggling with being hard on myself.  I am constantly reminding myself of something my own mother said to me in the early stages of my pregnancy.  I was going on and on about worrying about this and that in regards to my pregnancy, raising her, etc. and she laughed and said, "I'm not worried.  If you weren't worried about all of this, then I would be worried." Every time I hear her say that in my head, I stop.  She's right.  If I didn't worry about being a bad mom, that would be a problem.  If I wasn't questioning myself, finding better ways to do things, etc. I may have something to be concerned about.

It is in my nature to be hard on myself.  I beat myself to death with school before (and after, even) L was born.  I was constantly trying to make things perfect.  I was constantly trying to think and write and explore and learn.  It was exhausting.  I drove my husband nuts.  I know I did.  I would get upset over a B on a paper because I knew I could do better.  A B is fine, but I wanted that A!  School was constantly beating my head against a wall.  It was hard, but I did it.  I did it myself, even though I almost drove myself crazy, I am proud that I graduated with the GPA I did.  I worked very hard.  I proudly display those certificates on the wall because, for the first time in my life, I finished something that I started.

I take the same approach with motherhood.  I beat myself up, I am constantly researching, learning, exploring, and thinking.  I get upset when things that I have come up with don't work.  I am still beating my head against the wall, but now it is in regards to my child.  This is motherhood.  It is one of the biggest, most important jobs in the world.  I am molding a human being here.  I am responsible for her health, well-being, education, development, morals, etc.  That's a lot!  I am still learning some of those things about myself!  I am still learning and developing.

It is all so overwhelming sometimes, so I cry at the kitchen sink.

I'm a mom.  That is what I do.  I won't ever stop.

I was granted a gift.  Someone upstairs granted me a gift.

And if I have to spend nights crying at the kitchen sink because I am overwhelmed, then that is what I will do.

Because I am L's mom.

She is my gift.

That's what mom's do.

Until next time,






4 comments:

  1. Stopping by and had to read this post and relate so much. Motherhood is such a journey and makes us so vulnerable... never before have I questioned my words, actions, thoughts so much before. Thankfully, what our kids need is just us being present... you are an awesome mom! Keep pushing on :) Enjoyed checking out your blog!

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  2. Thank you for your kind words, Keri! Also, thank you for visiting my little corner of blog world!

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  3. Hey Sara,
    Sounds like you're doing it all right to me! Tears are cleansing, Tears are a means to an end. As a Grammy and an Auntie now I am in awe of the gifts God has given me for not messing up the first time around. Trust me it will all be worth it and someday, when Lynzi is all grown up with challenges of her own, you'll be there to comfort her and you'll hear your mother's and grandmother's words spewing forth from your mouth. Words you swore to never repeat. Love reading your stories. Thanks for sharing <3 Kim

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for your kind words, Kimberly! Have a great weekend!

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