This is going to get blunt. It might not agree with you. It might seem rude.
Such is my life. Here we go, anyway.
I am getting very weary of motherhood masochism.
Lack of sleep.
Seriously. Very tired of all of that.
I used to think it irritated me because I was on the outside of that world; I was a working mom. Of course I was burning out and feeling awful, because I was in charge of 25+ children that were not my own for 10 hours a day, then coming home to my own. What on earth were stay-at-home mothers complaining about?
But now I’ve been there.
I am in the middle of the trenches. In year 2 of staying home full time, with two children (boys, no less) under the age of 3.
And it is even more annoying to me, now.
Motherhood masochism seems to be very prevalent across social media. Women bemoaning their daily lives, their choices, their children. To be completely honest, that’s what it is – fishing for sympathy using negativity and cynicism about their children.
You chose to have these children. You chose to be home with them. You choose to spend each day the way you spend it. Stop whining.
If that seems a little strong, consider how you would speak about your job if your children were listening.
If your kids are poorly behaved all day every day, it’s up to you to teach them differently.
If your house is a mess, it’s up to you to figure out a better chore schedule, cut down on possessions/clutter, or enlist help.
If you’re tired, it’s up to you to create routines that allow you to sleep enough at night.
If you haven’t been out of the house in months, it’s up to you to plan activities for your family where you get out and about. Or to send a letter. Or make a phone call.
If you feel unfulfilled/unchallenged, it is up to you to treat motherhood professionally and pour your gifts into it.
If you are not satisfied with your spouse’s contributions, your physical appearance, your pet’s training, your debt… it is up to you to discover new ways of doing things that improve your family’s relationships, health, and comfort.
That is your job.
Your job is not to be a babysitter. You are not just a warm body to be present in the house and hope emergencies don’t arise. You don’t just churn out a few meals a day and occasionally scrub a toilet and try to keep children/creatures barely alive. That is simply not enough.
My goal is not mom-shaming.
I believe in lots and lots of grace, many mistakes, plenty of flexibility.
Different approaches work for different families.
There is certainly a place for discussing your challenges with other moms, receiving emotional support, fresh ideas, and love.
My goal is that you realize that there is no place for martyrdom in this wonderful, intense, messy profession. Anything that is dissatisfying is yours to fix. You are the master of your domain, the mistress of your house, your own boss. That means you can change anything! You can recreate whatever you need to! You can innovate and experiment and research to your heart’s content.
Perhaps the actual problem is that you have way too much on your plate. God does not call us to stand on the edge of sanity. Simplify your life. Cut down activities, possessions, and schedules until you can do your job well. Until you can serve your family wholeheartedly (most of the time) and proficiently (most of the time.)
Enjoy your glass of wine after the kids go to bed. Just stop broadcasting on Facebook that you need it to survive your children.