I recently taught Benton how to sign “more” and “all-done” to avoid grunting and screaming in the high chair. I haven’t gotten much further than that, but he picked up the signs in a few days and has been doing well. When he signs “more” for a game that we are playing or wrestling with dad, that is when I  pretty much die.

This post wasn’t supposed to be about signing, but whenever I hear the word “more” I picture B’s little fingers touching with an expectant look on his face. And then I lose my train of thought. You know when you read the same paragraph over and over again in a book, because your mind wanders elsewhere? This is much of my day.

More. The past year has been more everything. More happiness than I could imagine. More loneliness than I could have predicted. More worry than I would have liked. More victory than I expected. I have more love to give than I thought possible. More patience than ever before. More uncertainty than I’d hoped. More laundry. More mess. More work. More reward. More tired. More play. The good days are that much better. The bad days are that much worse. Everything is exponential.

I saw someone post on a new mother’s Facebook wall that she will “loooove being a moommmmy soooo much <3<3<3!!!!” I admire her friend’s enthusiasm. I too, love being a mom. But, that wall post only tells part of the story. I keep seeing it in my mind and it has started to irk me. Will this new mom feel sad when she isn’t loving every minute of her new life? Should she feel guilty for not loving each and every aspect of motherhood? Newborns are wonderful, but also such a mystery. In the heat of frustration, I hope she doesn’t feel like a failure if she isn’t loving being a mommy right at that second.

Maybe I am over thinking this harmless comment. I guess I don’t like when motherhood is portrayed so simply. Wrapped up in a neat happy package that and handed to a woman like:  “HERE! LOoooove it!” It doesn’t work that way for most people, and it perpetuates expectations that are impossible to live up to.

Yes, I am a happy mom. But if I stop there, then I am selling myself and every other mom (or mom-to-be someday) short. I am also a ____ mom. Fill in the blank with nearly any other emotion you can think of and multiply it by a million.

The exponential aspect of being a parent continues to fascinate me. My heart is certainly in new territory from so much swelling. I feel stronger and ready for more. 😉

Sorry about the winking emoticon. I have recently come to love it. “Doesn’t it scream, We are in this together and it’s all OK?” I like that sentiment.

13 responses to “More

  1. so true. Being a happy mom doesn’t always mean Happy Right In This Moment. Because… oh my there are moments. And I think that’s where the hard part is, avoiding the disappointment/feelings of failure when you realize huh. it’s NOT all rainbows and unicorns all the time!

    I have been working on Audrey with ‘more’ and ‘all done’ but she’s not there yet. I remember when Maggie figured it out, it made life SO much easier!! And, of course, adorable. Hopefully soon 🙂

  2. More everything. You said it so well. More beautiful than I thought, more of insane than I could have ever imagined. Love it & sharing it. 😉

  3. Yes, it is hard for a non parent to understand. It is so much harder than we could of imagined, but we wouldn’t trade it for the world.

  4. Carole Anne Hochstetler

    I only wish I had the grace and wisdom you apparently have as a writer Megan. I encourage you to keep writing. Your words are precious to me.

  5. This is so lovely, Megan. Tommy can say more now, but when he gets really excited for something, he says more while also doing the sign.

    The beautiful, strange thing about parenthood are that your struggles might not be the same as another mom’s struggles, yet knowing that we all struggle is sometimes all we need to keep moving.

  6. this is perfect, i often feel this way when i see comments like that. i think when people paint parenthood as flowers and bunnies it’s not… real. i’m deliriously happy but that doesn’t mean every moment is awesome. there’s a lot of worry and weird stuff in between.

  7. you’re awesome! thanks for being so honest and sharing all of these very real lessons of motherhood with the rest of us out here (who arent even moms yet 😉

  8. Those comments make me sign out of Facebook, slam my computer closed and curl up with Twitter. You guys are real. From the sparkly heart squee moments to the oh-my-god-I-want-to-die moments of motherhood. Invaluable resource/friend/sanity-savers you mamas have been. Keep writing. I love it.

  9. thank you for this, it’s so true, and so well-captured. it’s easy for me to get in a spiral of “what’s wrong with me?” around comments like that, and the fact is, I think feeling __________ makes a lot more sense and is better for us all.

  10. this is wonderful – just found your blog by way of a friend’s recommendation, and your honesty is clarifying. i love being a mom (most of the time) but don’t love motherhood. i love my baby, dislike my job. i love my family, dislike my role. it’s complicated… and so much MORE. Thanks for this!

  11. What a great post. It’s so true. I always find myself telling friends how awesome it is being a parent and how much it changes your life and all, but I never forget to mention the reality of how hard it is. Especially those 1st few weeks. When a mom doesn’t know if they will go back to work, stay home, etc. it is a big choice and not one that should be made in those first few vulnerable weeks where you’re still getting adjusted. It is a major life change and these emotions are normal. It is so utterly exhausting, amazing, heartbreaking and joyful all at the time time. And it’s so hard to grasp until you’ve lived it. Great post Megan!

  12. so true. i try to be real on facebook and twitter because … well, it’s not all snuggles and cuddles and giggles. gosh, that happens so rarely these days! i’m currently sitting here listening to a 4-year old whiiiiiiiiiiiiiine about how hunnnnnnnnnnngry she is. that’s motherhood, yo.


  13. Little fingers moving together for “more” is just about as precious as it gets. Hands rubbing the chest/tummy for “please” is a close second.

    Motherhood/parenthood is a doozy, yo, and there is no earthly way the emotions and successes and toils of it all can even be articulated to prepare someone ahead of time. It’s a sucker punch at its best AND worst.

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