Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Candid Look at Motherhood

I love my son more than I could ever imagine I would. He is the most incredible gift I have been given. I love that I get to spend my days with him and watch him grow and discover every second. That being said, being a mom is the hardest job I have ever taken on. The first year of my son’s life was the most exciting time in my life. It also was the most sleep deprived time in my life. I could title the last year as “A year with no Sleep” or “My Year as a Walking Zombie.” I pulled all nighters in college but this was months of that. You don’t truly value sleep until it only comes in one hour segments. My beautiful baby boy never wanted to sleep through the night. This I was told would last for just a short time, maybe a couple months at most. That was not exactly the case. Sleep became this elusive thing in my life. When I got even a small chance to take a nap I would choose that over any other thing such as showering, getting dressed, brushing my hair. When I would be walking around Target to pick up diapers or just to see the outside world, I would be shocked to see other moms who looked like they had it together. How did they find time to put on makeup? It is in those instants that I would wonder if I am the only one feeling overwhelmed. The only one who was having a meltdown because they couldn’t figure out why this little one was crying. The only one who couldn’t remember the last time I showered. The only one that couldn’t find the magic recipe that would get their child to sleep through the night. When I tried to talk about my lack of sleep with other moms I was usually confronted with advice about how I needed to just get my kid on a better schedule. This wasn’t that helpful. What I was really looking for was for someone to tell me I wasn’t alone. That I wasn’t failing as a mom because I couldn’t get my kid to sleep for more than a couple hours at a time. I also just wanted to hear that other moms had things they struggled with.

I think we as moms are totally in love with our kids and we never want to give anyone a reason to question or doubt that. So we end up only talking about the joys of motherhood and never really get into the other side of being a mom. The sleepless nights, the frustrations and struggles. I wanted to start writing this blog as a place to lay it all out on the table. I hope that other moms reading this might feel like someone else is in their corner and that it is okay to admit when things get hard. I hope you enjoy reading about how I navigate through motherhood.

Here are some honest truths of my experience as a mom:

I had a traumatic labor experience. I truly believe that Pitocin is the work of the devil. People always told me that labor is hard but once you have the sweet baby in your arms you will forget about the pain. Or they say that within a few days or weeks you will hardly remember the experience and will be ready to think about having your next kid. Let me tell you that I have a vivid memory of my labor and it made me seriously doubt whether I want to go through that again.

My son didn’t consistently sleep through the night until he was a one year old. We would get him sleeping for a little while and then he would get a cold or another tooth and it would pull the rug out from underneath us and we would be back to waking up several times in the night. Even now we have off nights where he ends up getting up in the night.

I was excited to stop breastfeeding. It was a hard skill to learn. Once I got the hang of it, things were fine. It was time consuming though and by 12 months I was ready to have my body back.

I am still struggling to find a balance in my life that allows me more time for myself. I have put my son first in every way this past year. My down time and time to be creative and work on my own artwork was placed on the back burner this past year.

I am tired at the end of the night. My son is on the go at all times which means so am I. When I get him to bed, I just want to take a breath. My to-do list isn’t appealing when I finally get time to work on it.


  1. Aileen, thanks for being real about motherhood. I'm with you on this. It isn't all snuggles and kisses. Life gets tough and I appreciate that you're being honest about life with little ones!

  2. LOVE THIS, Ail!!!! I can completely relate on most of what you said!! Micah didnt sleep through the night until about a year either. And he still wakes up now. He cried incessantly as a newborn also which was tough. I spent many days crying along with him. Motherhood is hard and sometimes you just want to know you're not alone....and you're not! Perhaps we shouldve talked more this past year ;) Can't wait to hear more about your life with the little man!

  3. You are not alone. I resonate with so much of what you have shared. Great thoughts! I still cringe when I think about birthing my daughter and the 6+ weeks that followed. You are doing a good job as a mom and I know that it is exhausting, REALLY! Keep writing. This is a great forum to processes it all.

  4. Yeah for mommy blogs! I read this at the exact right time this evening, as I laid Eloise down for the night. Swaddling isn't working anymore, so we're trying something new tonight. I pray it works! I believe teething has started in the Klemsz household. It is tough! I fear the night, I hate it, but I do. I fight back tears as I stumble to the nursery thinking, "not again!". Isn't it crazy how quickly you forget the night, when that smiling face greets you the next day? As much as I dread those sleepless nights, I think God for coffee, and thank Him that I get to be the one to see that face. My unshowered, morning breathed, messy haired, spit-up smelling self gets to be her mom. There isn't a job like it. You are such a beautiful, awesome mommy. We are very lucky, huh?