I am superwoman, but I am not really superwoman
Parenting is one of the most blissful, stressful, and breathtaking (literally) experiences. My mom told me once before that it doesn't matter how well you prepare for a child, you are never ready. I didn't quite understand that until I had my own. Going from only having to take of yourself to doing everything for another human being….lol shambles. It truly doesn’t matter how much money you have or what kind of house you live in, your world will be shook. If you are splitting the help between a partner that takes quite the load off. However, if you are like me and have changed nearly every diaper, made every bottle, and gotten up every single night by yourself, I am sure that you’ll feel this on another level.
I am learning that as a single parent or just a parent in general...it’s not possible to do everything. This has been a hard pill for me to swallow as I am raising a world leader and all. I set high expectations for not only myself as a parent but for my daughter. I knew for a fact that my daughter would be speaking fluent spanish, potty trained, and would know every letter in the alphabet by now...jokes on me, we are still learning to not put everything that crosses our path in our mouths. Part of it was unrealistic because though she is my child, I can't force her to do things that she's not ready to do. The other half was unrealistic because I may be superwoman but I am not really superwoman.
I was blessed to have the opportunity to stay at home with my baby for the first 9 months. I had all the time in the world when I wasn't doing school work. We would have daily photoshoots, read 100 books, the house would be clean and so on. Now, we are lucky if she has on matching socks and if my eyebrows are even.
Once I went back to work, I had a whole new appreciation for motherhood. It took a lot of getting used to and adjusting. I started to feel terrible because I was missing out on big moments (still feel terrible sometimes), I couldn’t read nearly as many books or do any creative activities. I was finding myself exhausted after work and would feel guilty about taking an extra hour to go to the gym.
Honestly, I was remorseful because I thought I was failing as a parent which lead me to believe that I was failing in all others areas of my life. Then, guilt took over because I would start thinking about how much easier it would be if I wasn’t a single mom and started to hate myself for getting into this position. Regrets poured in with the thoughts that I wasn’t giving G the best that she deserved because I was trying to do so much all on my own. Safe to say, it was a downward spiral that just seemed like a never ending pity party.
One day, I had enough of feeling bad for myself. Though I may not be able to hang out with my toddler all day, I stopped focusing on all the time that I was missing out on and took advantage of the time we had. I made a rule for myself that every evening to put my phone away for one hour and have uninterrupted baby time. I started waking up earlier in the mornings so that I would be ready to go once she woke up. That has granted us more time together in the morning and allows us to start on a positive note instead of stressful.
The biggest thing that I stopped doing is blaming myself. My mom also told me that, no one ever ask to be a single parent. Those simple words run in the back of my head on the daily basis. I didn’t ask for this but I also can't control it. All I can do is appreciate the process. The only person that I can control is me. I stopped spending so much time focusing on what was or wasn't being done by others and focused on me. I reevaluated myself as a parent and what I was bringing to the table. My daughter was a seeing a stressed out and sad mama and that wasn’t not fair to her. She never asked to be in this situation and though neither did I, it’s my responsibility as the adult to make the best of it.
I am writing all of this to simply say to all the moms, single or not, as long as you are doing the best that you can do….you’re amazing. We aren’t perfect creatures and parenting is a hard freaking job. Take time for yourself and don't feel bad. You need to put yourself first because to be honest you can't pour from an empty glass. Instead of blaming others, look at what you are bringing to the table. Don’t go searching for the time but make the time to be the best mom that you can be. Give your babies tons of kisses, tell them you love them, and always tell them how special they are to you. Make yourself a place of warmth and comfort and be sure to check yourself before lashing out at them because you are stressed in other areas. I know easier said than done when your world is truly ending and your toddler is throwing a tantrum because you gave them the wrong colored cup.
Parenting is something that so many of us take for granted. There is a person who you literally created, they are half of you. We all can get so caught up in the everyday process of life that we forget to appreciate just that….life and the beauty of it. We are so blessed to have mini humans who look up to us as the best things on the planet. Who want nothing more from us than to be showered by loved and appreciated. So do just that, shower them with love and appreciate them. No one is the perfect parent nor will anyone ever be. Just do your best. Give your mom a hug and let her know how awesome she is. If you see a mom give her a hug and let her know that she’s great. Moms need love too. (Shoutout to all the moms in my life, wouldn't be here without you all).
If you are a parent, what are some crazy expectations that you’ve had? If you aren’t a parent, what are you looking forward to the most when the time comes? Let me know in the comment section!