I have a love/hate relationship with being a mom. On one hand, I love my kids so damn much that it physically pains me. On the other, they drive me absolutely insane sometimes. Parts of motherhood are peaceful and pure and precious, but others are infuriating and sticky and exhausting. Like most moms, I'm in love with my children and could list a thousand things about each of them that I absolutely adore, but the list of things moms would be happy to never do again is a long one, too (at least for me).
I have my moments when I don't want to parent anymore. Usually they happen when I'm standing waste-deep in a room filled with dirty laundry and singing toys and angry toddlers who are tossing their tiny plastic cups in the floor because they wanted a green cup, and I mistakenly and unforgivably gave them a blue cup. I know, the horror. These moments make me feel like I want to quit this whole parenting thing, and that feeling makes me feel guilty and like I'm, somehow, unfit to be someone's mother in the first place.
I'm not a perfect parent, but that's OK, because I won't quit trying to be, and I'd argue that no mother will. However, I think I can speak for many moms, if not all moms, when I say that I'm more than ready to quit the following things...
Change An Explosive Diaper
Explosive diapers are pretty much the norm in most parents' lives and until your kid is potty trained, but I don't know if anyone ever really gets all that comfortable tending to them. I definitely won't miss gagging while changing an explosive diaper after my kid eats a quesadilla.
Change Any Diaper. Ever.
Yeah, changing diapers in general is something I've been ready to quit doing since day one. I think it's safe to say that no one will long for the days when they had to wipe their kid's butt, one they're out of diapers and capable of doing it on their own.
Have Sore Boobs
For some women, it's normal to miss breastfeeding their children, but I seriously doubt they miss engorgement or cracked and bleeding nipples or having boobs that are so sore, even a slight gust of wind makes you want to cry.
Combat A Public Tantrum
Among the smug things I said before I became a parent, was that I'd never be that parent with that kid who was throwing a fit in the middle of the grocery store but, of course, the aforementioned came true. Multiple times. Every mom is that mom at some point, but I'm looking forward to the days when toddler tantrums aren't routine.
Search For Tiny, Missing Socks
Moms (and all parents, regardless of gender) are forced to do weird things while doing laundry, mostly as coping mechanisms, but they aren't capable of conquering the hatred we have for tiny socks. If adult socks are elusive, then toddler socks are some damn magicians because they put on a disappearing act every single time I do the laundry.
Console A Teething Child
Teething is a normal part of growing up, but it's also extremely uncomfortable and painful for babies. My wisdom teeth weren't removed like they were supposed to be, so a few years ago, when they started to break the skin, I realized exactly how it feels like to be a teething baby. I get it now, kids. Teething sucks, and I don't ever want to have to try to console a helpless, teething baby again.
Be Followed Into The Bathroom
I'm sure that one day, my kids won't want anything to do with me, but right now they're so obsessed with me that they follow me into the bathroom. Even if I shut the door behind me, my oldest has learned how to breech the child lock, and insists on the door be open when I pee. Just two minutes of privacy sounds like a vacation to me, so I'm looking forward to being able to pee alone again.
Repeat Yourself 27 Times
My toddler and I play "21 questions" multiple times every day. Our version, however, of the game includes him asking me the same question 21 times. I'm happy to teach him about the world and to answer his many prying questions and to foster his curiosity, but sometimes I feel like I should just record myself telling him why the sky is blue or why he can't touch the hot stove, so that I don't have to repeat myself over and over and over again.
Share All Of Your Food
I'm (mostly) happy to share my food with my kids, and consider it a great way to watch my calorie intake, but sometimes I just want to eat without a tiny hand stealing the last bite of my bread stick.
Cook Food That Our Kids Refuse To Eat
I've made a valiant effort to cook healthy meals for my family since becoming a mom. I haven't always been the healthiest eater, but I want to be an example to my kids, so I've changed my nutrition up quite a bit since bringing them into the world. Now, if I can just get them to actually eat the food I cook, we'll be good to go, and I won't have to fill our dog's bowl up with the entire contents of my children's supper every night. Side note: my dog has a super healthy diet now.
Not Get More Than Two Hours Of Sleep At A Time
Even though I've got two good sleepers, I still don't feel like I get enough sleep. I'm either staying up late to work, or getting up early to prepare for the day, or getting up in the middle of the night because my toddler fell out of his bed or my baby decided he wanted a snack. Even when I do sleep, it's light because my body has trained itself to wake up at the slightest sound, since I brought my babies home.
Potty training is the worst. It's gross and sticky and smelly and frustrating, and I'm going to put on a damn parade with giant floats and Rockettes dancing down the street once my kids have conquered it.
Discipline Our Kids
Disciplining my kids breaks my heart, but I know that it's a necessary part of raising my boys to be kind, positive and compassionate members of society. I really, really hate it though. I don't see the need to discipline my children disappearing any time in the foreseeable future, but hopefully, once they're out on their own in the adult world, I'll no longer have to put my foot down.
Feel Mom Guilt
No matter how great of a day my family has, I almost always still go to bed feeling guilty about something. I feel guilty about working and not paying enough attention to my boys. I feel guilty about playing with my boys and not paying enough attention to my work. I feel guilty about working while also taking care of my boys and not paying enough attention to my spouse. The guilt is professional and maternal and financial; it's from not having enough hours in the day to be everything to everyone, and, some days, being too exhausted to be anything to anyone.
Mom guilt, like potty training, is the worst. I'm getting better about not feeling like a failure, but I'm afraid that this is going to be a life-long battle.