The Challenge of Motherhood

Please join us in welcoming Kim to Mama Might!

Motherhood, for me, has been a struggle. Or, I should say, learning how to enjoy being a mother has been a challenge.

I always knew that I would have children. Even when I was a child, I knew I would be a mother and I knew – deep down in my bones – that I would love having babies. I didn’t know how many I wanted but two or three sounded good at the time. Like every other child in history, I was going to be a “way-funner-mom” than mine was!

I have two boys, currently 7 and 4. After my first was born, I had a fairly rude awakening. I loved him more than life itself, I really did (and still do) but this motherhood thing was really hard. I’d like to say that I rose to the challenge, but for the first year or two of his life, I really was a very unhappy soul. I just couldn’t figure out how to balance shift work (I’m a nurse) and housework and the baby and my husband and everything else that needed to get done. I had big dreams about going back to school to be a Nurse Practitioner and I was so overwhelmed with motherhood that I thought that would never happen. More than once, I thought: “Maybe we should have waited. Maybe I wasn’t ready.” Of course, this made me feel  guilty. How could I have any regrets when my child was perfect and healthy? Why couldn’t I just be happy? Wasn’t this what I wanted? Would I ever feel like I was ready to have a second child? I wanted another child, but the idea of anything else on my plate seemed like insanity.

After a particularly rough month where I seriously feared for the integrity of my marriage, I sought help and began counseling. It helped enough that we were able to make the decision to have another child. After my second son arrived, I began to get overwhelmed again, much quicker this time. At three months, I began taking antidepressants and started counseling again. It all came as such a huge surprise to me. While my postpartum depression was mild, it still took me by complete surprise. My life was going according to the plan I had set out. Why couldn’t I happy with that?

Motherhood is the most life-changing thing that has ever happened to me. Even happy events can be stressful! I didn’t really prepare myself for the stress of it all (I’m not sure that there is a way to prepare for it); I just daydreamed about it and fantasized about it. I didn’t really consider how much my life was going to change. How full my heart would feel. How difficult it would be to go without sleep day-in-and-day-out. How a smile from your four-week old baby at 1am can make the sleep deprivation worth it.

I didn’t really consider how much of a learning curve it would be. I just thought I would know what to do and that I would love it right away. I didn’t know that it would take time, like any other skill. I have been a mother now for seven years and I am still learning how to be a mother, every day.

Displaying me.jpgKim is married with two boys (age 7 and 4). She lives in rural Nova Scotia. She is a Registered Nurse and is currently studying to become a Nurse Practitioner. She has always wanted to write! She loves laughing, reading (especially Outlander!) and spending time at the cabin (where things seem much simpler). She has a blunt outlook on life and thinks it is important to both see the bright and dark sides of parenting.

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