I know you mean well.
I know you’re just trying to convey the joy you think you experienced when you were pregnant decades (or maybe even a year) ago.
I get it. I really do.
But if you tell me one more time to “enjoy this time”, I may throw a sippy cup at you.
First, let me preface by saying that I’m not one of those women who thinks pregnancy is magical. Sure, with my first kid I loved the weekly updates on my pregnancy app, telling me what fruit my baby’s size could be compared to or feeling every little kick and hiccup.
But this is my third pregnancy. And it’s hot. And I have two other kids who are intensely stubborn (gee, wonder where they get THAT from?!) and are at the age where they are testing EVERY. SINGLE. BOUNDARY. Plus, one of them is in the throes of potty-training. Which means lots of carpet cleaning/underwear rinsing. I’m struggling with self-esteem issues, frustration at how I’m unable to do workouts I could do pre-pregnancy, and my brain is in a constant fog.
I know countless women would LOVE to be in my shoes. I have family members, dear friends, and close acquaintances that have felt the devastation of miscarriage, the hopelessness of infertility, and even the pain of adoptions falling through. So please do not think I am making this out to be a “why did I do this?” type of post.
I love my kids. They are my world and I would do anything for them. But man, I’m tired. And not just physically. I’m tired mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I’m constantly keeping track of other people’s potty habits, when they last ate, making sure they don’t have too much screen time and also balancing Tot School and taking care of the house.
I’m struggling just to get normal “stay-at-home-mom” things accomplished. “Can’t your kids help out?” you may ask. Sure, they can. But do I want to have my five-year-old do in an hour what it takes me to do in five minutes? “Well, what about your husband?” Trust me, he helps. He also has a high-stress, full-time job and I believe he should come home after a long day to a (semi-)clean, welcoming home rather than a disaster zone.
“Just make sure you take care of you,” says the cashier at Target as I bite my tongue and try not to tell her that “the dishes can wait” is a nice sentiment until we’re all eating off of Frisbees.
Well-meaning folks try to make me feel better by saying to “enjoy my pregnancy” but what if I don’t want to? Tell me, which should I enjoy more: the burning round ligament pain, insomnia, or the debilitating hormone headaches that creep up at a moment’s notice?
Trust me, when this boy is born I will forget alllllll about that stuff and more. The memories of Braxton Hicks and extreme heartburn will fade away when they lay that precious blessing on my chest. But right now, I just need some understanding. I need to hear more of: “I know it’s hard being pregnant when you’ve got others to tend to” or “You do what’s best for you” or “You’re doing a great job; this motherhood thing is just rough sometimes”. Even a few “Solidarity, Mama” head nods would be welcomed.
But telling me to “enjoy this time” or “enjoy every moment” makes it seem like if I’m not enjoying it all time, then I’m not good enough. This is what I compare it to: a person could have their ultimate dream job and still have parts about their job they don’t like. Why? BECAUSE THAT’S LIFE. Life is hard. Life is messy.
What I need is to know that it’s okay to feel blessed but also frustrated, exhausted, and overwhelmed at the same time.