Aug 082012

About halfway into my three day labor ordeal, a nurse came in the room and started talking about her daughter. “I’ve enjoyed every single minute of motherhood” she gushed. “Even when I had to get up in the middle of the night. I never once thought I’d rather be doing anything else.”

Well, I have news for you. I would rather be sleeping.

And that nurse’s words did little to help me in my transition to motherhood. Though I knew there were plenty of moms who didn’t enjoy getting up multiple times in the middle of the night, I did wonder if there was something wrong with me on the days motherhood didn’t seem very enjoyable. And I felt pressure from some empty nesters to cherish each and every fleeting moment.

But the truth is, it’s okay if we don’t enjoy every minute of motherhood. Or marriage. Or life for that matter.

There are simply things that aren’t that enjoyable. And I’m not even talking about the obviously heart wrenching moments of life.

While we can learn to find joy even in the mundane, it’s okay if we don’t particularly cherish the incredibly repetitive and boring game our two-year old just made up.

So let’s take not-enjoying-every-single-moment off our guilt inducing list.

Have you ever felt pressured to enjoy every moment? Or guilty because you don’t?

Photo Credit

 Posted by at 12:01 am

  14 Responses to “It’s okay if you don’t enjoy every minute”

  1. This is so important, and something I don’t talk about enough, unfortunately. You always hear about how everyone loves being a mom—heck, I say it too—but you don’t hear often enough how there are moments where it’s not fun. And you’d rather be elsewhere, or doing something else, and right now your toddler is irritating the heck out of you.

    I think I’m guilty of falling under the pressure of feeling like I have to enjoy motherhood every single moment. I’ll admit: I don’t. Especially in the younger days, but even when days feel so repetitive. It’s like, “Really? I have to prepare breakfast every single day now for this little guy for years?!” It gets overwhelming to say the least!

    • I’m glad I’m not the only one. :) I think it’s important to remember that loving, enjoying, and being incredibly grateful for our kids doesn’t mean we have to enjoy every single moment. Or pretend we do so we don’t feel guilty around other moms…

  2. I feel you! I had someone tell me that they enjoyed the *experience* of being a mother so much. Not every moment, but the collective whole. There are all kinds of studies that say that people who have lower expectations (i.e. don’t expect their kids to toot rainbows and glitter) are actually happier in the long run because they’re not immediately setting themselves up for a disappointing experience. Boo for guilt!

    • “I had someone tell me that they enjoyed the *experience* of being a mother so much. Not every moment, but the collective whole.” And I can fully embrace that! I hadn’t heard about the studies and expectations. Interesting. Thanks for your comment. And yes, boo for guilt. :)

  3. This is such an important post. I’m so grateful that I have close friends who are mothers that were honest with me about motherhood before I had my son. It made a world of difference. Your post also reminded me about this article I read a several months back addressing the same idea

    • Yes, honesty goes a long way to give us realistic expectations of motherhood. And making us feel less crazy when it’s hard.

  4. As a child I was raised by a mother who thought of her children as burdens, and motherhood, a chore. Now that I am a mother, I never want my son to feel as though I have something else better to do than be his mom. In the year and a half since I got pregnant/had a baby, I have seen countless articles, such as this one, excusing mothers for not being their best, ect and almost mocking those mothers, such as myself, WHO TRULY DO LOVE every second of being a mother. You don’t want to be judged for not enjoying it; I don’t want to be judged because I do. Every day. Even midnight feedings. Even vomit on my new sheets. And yes, even 15 rounds of my son’s newly invented game.

    • No mocking intended – I can see how it might come across like that. I’m glad you enjoy every second of motherhood. And just to clarify, I love being a mom and enjoy it immensely. But I don’t think my claim that it’s okay not to enjoy sleep deprivation is “excusing mothers for not being their best.” If sleep deprivation or repetitive games caused me to resent my child then it certainly would be an issue.

      My concern in writing this post is for moms who are exhausted in the middle of the night and wishing they could sleep, thinking they are bad moms for wishing they could sleep or even for wishing their child would pick another game.

  5. Oh, yes. And it is soooo important that we support each other in these common-bond feelings! Great post.

  6. Definitely true. Overall, I enjoy being a mon immensily and at the end of every single day, I am grateful that I getty to spend it with my little girl. But it can be exhausting and even boring at times and those are the moments when I try to remind myself how lucky I really am. I also think about how much my husband would love to be there but can’t because someone has to work. But that doesn’t mean that it’s always easy.
    Thanks for sharing this, I am sure many feel the same way.

    • “I also think about how much my husband would love to be there but can’t because someone has to work.” That’s a very good point and one I think about too.

  7. [...] It’s okay if you don’t enjoy every minute [...]

  8. […] judge the mom who says she doesn’t enjoy every minute of parenting. Because we do enjoy it. What if instead, we are simply grateful we enjoy every […]

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