Seeking Happiness in Motherhood

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While this might be a loaded post title, I’m willing to go deep anyways. A few months ago, I posted this picture of myself taking some time to read a book, something that I cherish because I don’t always have time to do it, on Instagram:

What I received in return whenever I ended with the question “What do you do for yourself that brings pure happiness?” from Mamas all over this social platform was an outpour of responses. While most were positive on Instagram, this post fed through to my other social networks, where I got a lot of mixed responses. Most of them being that they wished they had time to do things that made them happy. I thought about this for a while, and am finally able to let my response flow.

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First, I get it – motherhood isn’t always sunshine and roses. But, we wanted to have children for a reason, to embrace motherhood and take on the challenges that it brings. I think that whenever we are pregnant, we hear so many people telling us how hard being a mother truly is, but all we can feel is excitement. Then, baby comes and the hard side of motherhood is VERY apparent. And though there is also more happiness there than we could ever imagine,  it doesn’t make the hard stuff any easier. We then silently mourn the perception of motherhood that we had envisioned for ourselves.

Then, the happiness part comes into play. We don’t have as much time to do the things that we loved so much before motherhood, so we perhaps resent it. I can’t speak for everyone and generalize the experience, because everyone has very different and specific motherhood experiences, but I can say for myself that I have had some tough times. Sleepless nights when Branden was younger, arguments and fighting as he got older, feeling like he doesn’t listen to me AT ALL. Those aren’t happy moments in motherhood.

Are you seeking happiness in motherhood?

Were you one of those Mamas who turned to me and said, “I wish I had time to read or do what made me happy?” If so, I’m going to give you some tough love and you can think I’m an asshole for it if you want, but this is the truth that I have come to realize – you are using motherhood as a crutch. You are hiding behind motherhood and making it an excuse. Yes, I said it and I stand behind it.

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Now don’t get it twisted, I’m not saying that I’m not guilty of it -we ALL do it from time to time. We make the excuse that motherhood is the reason we don’t have time to do what we love, but this isn’t the case. Remember when you were younger, before bank accounts, before relationships, and you wanted something expensive at the mall or to go do an activity? You didn’t let anything stand in your way! Don’t lose sight of that. Carry that skill with you.

Happiness is literally all around us. I’m on a journey myself to be a happier mom, balancing doing the things that I love for myself and the things that I love in motherhood. None of us are perfect and we won’t always live perfect moments, but make time for yourself so that you can show your children what happiness looks like. They are going to look to you for that example, so don’t sell yourself short, or your kids,  either.

What do you think? I would love for some honest Mama feedback!

Fashionably Yours,

Allison

Comments

  1. Robin (Masshole Mommy) says:

    I get SO much joy from just watching my kids. Being a mom is the most amazing experience in the world.

  2. This is just great! Being a mother is hard but if you’re doing it right, it’s also the most rewarding thing ever! Yes, there are hard days but you have to learn to look for the joy even in the tears.

  3. I get my joy from what the interactions between the kids. While it isn’t always laughs and great times for the most part they are so close and share some of the strongest bonds I’ve ever seen.

  4. My only child is almost 18, so our relationship is completely different than it was when she was little. She understands that mom needs to have a life outside of the home and that time with friends and social outings make me happy – but she gets it because she also likes to spend time with her friends. 🙂

  5. I’ve beem going through some extremely difficult health issues with one of my daughters this year but I wouldn’t give that up for anything . I’ve cried the most heart wrenching tears of my life but I am grateful. .. for through this all I am learning how strong I am, how powerful love is and how unwaring my faith is. Motherhood is all consuming. But it is the greatest gift of all! I do crave time to just breathe these days and I am the only one who can make time for that. Yesterday I made a commitment to myself to make it happen. I did a 20 minute workout and followed thst with a 30 minute walk with my 8 year old and our dog. It was ah-ma-zing! Life is what we make of it. We cannot control everything that happens to us and our loved ones but can always control our response.

  6. Amanda says:

    Sanctimonious today, aren’t we? After seeing all the happy photos from your blog and learning about your healthy child, loving and present husband, blogging accolades, as well as your obvious education and abilities, it’s clear that you come from a place of privilege. You do not have a sick child, an absent partner or money issues. (With lines like ” I know it’s a little on the expensive side, almost $300, but you will be very stylish so that’s all that matters!” I feel like I can safely assume that you are not grasping at every dime. Either that, or you’re the kind of person who encourages people to spend a lot of money on things that you would never spend it on yourself.)

    Now, this is not to say that I agree 100% with the folks who were getting snippy on your IG post; clearly, they have enough time to be on social media that they must have some sort of spare moments for themselves. However, you assume that all mothers have the same journey, the same skills level and the same benefits as you. They don’t. I think a mom that is struggling with 2 jobs, 3 kids, an absent partner, a sick child, etc. is allowed to look at a picture of a well put-together mother and say, “Wow, I wish I had that.” If you think that is someone using motherhood as a crutch than maybe you should be thankful that you are able to stand on your own two feet instead of blaming someone for her limp.

    If you are confident in your walk and your journey in motherhood then maybe condescending blog posts about how others should feel when faced with your idealized life should be left on your hard drive and not uploaded to further berate and shame those that are most likely struggling.

  7. I think that in the early years of parenthood, when you’re still on the strip side of the learning curve and babies are most demanding, it is most difficult to make time for yourself. I had to find small moments when I could, mostly by prioritizing my happiness and giving myself more realistic expectations around the house. I agree, you need to set an example for your kids of what it’s like to be a whole, happy person. Thanks for going deep on this one – great post!

  8. Being a mother is the toughest job, I believe. I also believe in the saying that if you don’t take care of yourself, then you won’t be able to take care of anyone else.

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