I don't love being a mom. I adore my daughter, don't get me wrong, but this motherhood business sucks.
While watching a new child take in the world with wonder and excitement can be magical. You know what else is magical? Drinking the left side of a cocktail menu with your best girlfriends, a weekend hiking in the mountains, a long run with your best running friend, going to a movie. . . All the things I used to enjoy without any thought of rushing home to rescue my grumpy husband from a grumpy baby who desperately wants to latch herself onto my body from the second I walk in the door.
I've always been one to make the best of things. Perseverance with a positive attitude is my strong suit. I *enjoyed* Army Basic Combat Training, for goodness sakes. But I can't say I'm embracing motherhood. I'm dedicated to my family. I work a full-time job away from home so my husband can be the stay-at-home dad he said he wanted to be. I've breastfed our daughter the whole first year and am continuing to do so, because I know it's best. I've restricted my diet, kept dairy and sugar to a minimum, limited myself to one cup of coffee in the morning and one glass of wine at night. I've struggled with hard questions of whether to get this vaccination, that one, or none at all. I've read dozens of articles and several books about baby development, teething, walking, and fevers. I've spent hours trying to pick the right books and toys to raise a culturally sensitive, compassionate, and literate child. I've sucked snot from my daughter's noise through a goddamn straw. I'm not complaining. I'm bragging. No matter how much I'm not crazy about all the burdens of motherhood, I'm handling them like a boss.
It's hard not to be a little resentful when my husband sends a text saying that he's going to the bar to play trivia with a group of people I used to know. It's hard not to be jealous when he tells our daughter how much he loves her but he hasn't told me in weeks. But I'm not bitter. I'm not jealous. I know this is all temporary and I'm making an investment in the long term wellbeing of another human. Every parent has high hopes for their children. But I have high hopes for what I can do for my child. I want to show her how to be strong, to be determined, to persevere with a positive attitude. I want to inspire her to work hard. I want to model kindness, compassion, and honesty for her. I want her to know she is loved.
Love requires sacrifice. I'm committed to being the best mom I can be, even if it's not what makes me happy. I can be joyful and content with my choices. I will make the very best of what my life has become. That's what I do.
I'm hosting a party today to celebrate my daughter turning 1. It's at a brewery, because I have earned a beer. We survived one whole year as parents, and have a healthy, strong, spirited baby to show for it. You better believe when my child turns 21, I'm throwing one hell of a party, for me.