Part Time Parenthood

My day usually starts off, if not at 3:00 or 4:00 am, then at least by 7:00 to the sound of my baby screaming from his crib like he's withering away and never been fed before.
I don't even really think about it anymore. I don't lay there and wish he'd go back to sleep, or put my pillow over my head to drown out the noise. I just get up and get him. Sometimes I'm halfway to his room before I even realize I'm awake.
I didn't use to be a morning person. But it's hard not to be when one of the first things you see is the cute face of your child smiling at you.

I really do love it. Not in a grin & bear it, we'll get through these tough years kind of way. In a wow, I didn't realize how much I'd love this kid kind of way. In a "does everyone think my kid is as cute as I do?" kind of way. In a I will read you bedtime stories every night even though I seriously doubt you understand a word and would rather eat the books than read them, kind of way.
But lately, I feel like all I see are articles about how tough parenthood is. About how you need to take time for you, about how you should try to enjoy parenthood, but you probably won't, so get a sitter and go out and find yourself. About how being a mother doesn't define you, and you are still in there somewhere.

And the thing is, I have a huge problem with that. Because I don't view motherhood as this break from "finding myself", or as a huge distraction from my "me time". I don't feel the incessant need to leave him at his grandparents so I can go away for the weekend just to get away from him. It frustrates me that the world wants me to almost be ashamed of being a mother. It shouldn't be the only thing I ever accomplish. It just isn't enough to only be a mother.
Is being a mom hard? Sure. There have been days I've had to set him in his crib and let him cry while I went outside and did the same. There have been moments of frustration that I felt I couldn't escape from. And I definitely don't spend nearly as much time writing, or doing photography, or any of the other things I used to love.

But I don't feel like I've lost myself. On the contrary, I think that motherhood has made me more me than I ever was before. It has brought out the best in me in every way.

A few months ago I saw someone post an article about how much mothers complain about motherhood. They said, "if you want me to have a baby so bad, then stop telling me how much I'm going to hate being a mom!" I completely agree. Of course there will be challenges, but why do we tell parents to prepare for the worst? For every person who was excited for me during my pregnancy, there were five more people telling me how much sleep I'd lose, how insane I'd feel, and to give them a call when I had just reached my wits end and needed a break.

I concede: I only have one child, and he is a pretty awesome one. But this whole parenthood thing has been so much better than I ever could have imagined. It's not all sleepless nights and dirty diapers and wanting to pull your hair out in frustration.

It's a little laugh that is truly the best sound you've ever heard. It's sharing this little person you both love so much with your spouse, and strengthening your marriage through them. It's knowing them so well, being so in tune with your child, that you almost always know what they want or need. It's leaving them with a babysitter, and missing them every second that you're gone. 
It's ok to have other goals and dreams. 
But it's also ok if raising this child is the best thing you've ever done.
It's ok if the biggest thing you ever accomplish is raising your child to be a strong and happy person. 
It's ok if the moment you hold your child for the first time, everything else falls away, and all those dreams you used to have don't seem quite so important anymore.
A lot of the world doesn't agree with me. They will tell you that you need a degree, a career, a large house and new cars, endless money and fancy vacations and all the things that would be ruined by sticky little hands and the years it takes to raise a baby.
But I am here to tell you that it is ok. It is ok to want those things. It's ok if the happiest you've ever felt isn't from making a six figure income, but from getting a hug from that tiny human you put your heart and soul into. 
Don't be afraid of parenthood. You won't lose yourself. You will still be there, and you may be surprised to find out who you thought you were isn't who you are at all. 


  1. Fabulous and so very true! I love that you put how I feel into words!! I love your 'mother heart'! And I love your perspective