It’s a universally acknowledged truth that motherhood is stressful in many ways. I mean, there’s a reason why there's a stigma about moms and wine; the idea of a relaxing moment with an adult beverage is appealing when most of your day is spent looking for toy trucks, soothing minor cuts and bruises, and wiping yogurt out of someone’s hair (and those are the easy days. Let’s not talk about the ones where a kid ends up skipping a very necessary nap).
Of course, that’s not to say that there aren’t plenty of great things about motherhood, including but not limited to how generous young kids can be with their smiles and hugs, and the euphoria that comes from hearing them pronounce a new word, only to quickly pick up two-word to three-word phrases. (As you can probably tell, my son is still pretty young.) My son's a little over two years of age, so I know I still have a lot to learn about school and sports and friends and dating and when I’m actually supposed to feel comfortable with the idea of him watching rated-R movies.
Still, in the meantime, I’ve already discovered plenty of things that raise my stress level. Motherhood is awesome, yes, but it can also keep one up at night (and not just because the glow of the monitor is shining right on your face or your kid is having trouble sleeping again).
Lack Of Sleep Makes Everything Worse
It’s one thing to wake up early and stumble to the coffee maker while my toddler tugs on my face. It’s another thing to do it after only two hours of sleep.
Sometimes, There Are No Clear Stages Or Definitions To Help You Figure Out What's Going On
Just when I think I have some specific element of parenting under control, my toddler throws me for a loop and picks up a new habit, or enters a new developmental stage. It’s cruel and beautiful at the same time, kinda like parenting in general.
There's A New Language To Learn (Twice)
It only took me two years to grasp all the glossary words regularly appearing in my email newsletters and on the parenting websites. Now, I’ve got to decipher the gibberish syllables my toddler adorably passes off as words.
You're Constantly Thinking About The Future
What will our country be when he’s old enough to understand certain social constructs? What will our relationship be like? Will he have access to a good education? Will I manage to enroll him in preschool by the appropriate deadlines? I don’t know. I can only hope.
You Never Know Where The Damn Diaper Bag Is
On the surface, it may not seem like this could be a seriously stressful topic. However, until you’re already twenty minutes late for a well child visit and the diaper bag is nowhere to be found, you can’t deny the agony it causes.
If You Choose And Are Able To Breastfeed, Remembering Which Side You Breastfed On Is Impossible
Thankfully, there’s an app for that. Still, being without your phone and trying to figure it out? That’s the stuff nightmares are made of.
People Always Ask You About Things You Had No Idea You Were Supposed To Know
Most of the time, I’m sure they (usually) have the best of intentions, but sometimes, I have to wonder. Especially if they give me a judgmental look after I don’t know the current percentile of my kid’s head size, Sheila.
Every New Cough Or Sneeze Makes You Think The Worst
And, please, don’t even get me started on dry drowning. I just can’t.
Google. Google Is The Worst.
I’m thankful to live in a time and place where Google is readily available. I’m also super depressed by like half of what I read on it, but you know what? Tomato, to-mah-to.
What Is On Your Kid’s Shirt? There’s No Way To Know.
Is it dried spaghetti sauce? Blood? Mud? If only I was a forensic scientist, this parenting would be so much easier
Trying To Remember Names Of Other Moms You Met At The Park Is A Pipe Dream
If I wasn’t already sweating from the three blocks we just walked, now I’m expected to recall a name I heard six weeks ago, that was only delivered once while my kid tugged on my pant leg? What kind of sorceress can actually do that?
Everything Is A Potential Hazard
I thought I had done a good job baby-proofing. However, my son just took it to the next level by attempting to scale the inside fridge shelves when I opened it to grab milk for him, so I’ve got some work ahead of me still.
Keeping Another Person Alive Is Kind Of A Big Deal
So. Much. Pressure. Obviously I take raising a human pretty seriously. I’m not even good with plants, guys, so of course this brings me stress. Of course, it's worth it.