Being a mom is exactly like the rest of life. Sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s really hard. Typically, the hardest times are when you cannot accept the things that are out of your control. I can hate life if I cannot accept the fact that I have to wake up in the middle of the night to nurse, clean the kitchen several times a day, go grocery shopping, make dinner, and take a shower so that I don’t frighten people by my lack of personal hygiene.
We all have bad days, with or without a baby. The difference is that when you have a baby, if you allow yourself to wallow in your shitty day, you’ll feel ten times shittier than before. When you have a baby, whenever you are a sorry excuse for a human, you feel guilty about it. I know any time I am not at my best, I feel like I’ve failed as a mom. Logically I know I haven’t, but I can’t stop thinking that one fit of tears or burst of rage could condemn my child to a life time of drug abuse and bad relationships.
Then, there are things that are just undeniably bad, like serious financial problems, illness, and/or death. Luckily, in times of true adversity, I tend to get really calm and have that rare (for me) can-do attitude. When life is truly challenging and it seems like things are so bad that you might actually have to seek professional help, all that’s left to do is let it wash over you – like a massive wave that you know will beat the shit out of you if you try to swim to the surface too soon; It’s just a matter of riding it out. If you really don’t think you can get through it, it’s totally acceptable to seek professional help. In fact, it’s really the only time you can do that without being judged. You can’t seek professional help because your baby is crying for the hundredth time over a crappy diaper. I mean, you can, but people will judge you.
The same approach must be applied to every day annoyances and the new set of issues that come with being a new mom. If possible, I find a way to enjoy the crappy household chores and the endless demands from that little fungus that is my baby (don’t forget, a fungus can also be delicious)!
I find a way to lovingly wash the dishes. I do this by focusing on how much I love my dish soap and crisp new sponge (the blue one is for dishes, and the yellow one is for counter tops). If there’s a really tough pot that wasn’t soaked the night before, I let it sit in hot soapy water, and ten minutes later I climax over how easily the stubborn burnt chicken juice comes right off! I transform the mundane act of dish washing into an experience. This may sound unbelievable or like I’m pulling your chain, but I swear I’m not. Don’t even get me started on my lovely, well washed, highly absorbent, soft cotton striped dish towels that I only allow my husband to use for drying. They have not a spot on them!
I relish in the new ways I can find to distract Liam during a diaper change, rather than obsessing over how irritating he can be when he’s flopping around on the changing table like a goddamn Mexican jumping bean, seemingly trying to wipe his ass on every surface he can find. It is pure ecstasy when my wipes dispenser has just been loaded and warmed the wipes to absolute perfection! A brand new tube of honest company diaper rash cream can be life changing.
Cleaning the floors can fill anyone’s afternoon with joy. My secret is a napping baby, a Miele vacuum that I found on Craigslist, a brand new vacuum bag filled with perfumed vacuum beads, a Sh-mop (that’s the name of the mop I use), and honest company all natural/baby friendly/earth friendly/make you feel like a better person floor cleaner.
I could go on…
I know I should probably be talking about how I do these things for my little family because I love them, and I do. But a big part of it is my on going love affair with cleaning products and diaper station gadgets.
NOTE: I do not make money off of any links to products that I may provide, and my enthusiasm for consumer products does not reflect a lack of meaning or spirituality in my life.