*This post was what I wrote and submitted earlier this year, it wasn't chosen to be published, but I was still proud and wanted to share it.*
It was 117 degrees as I stood in front of the Sphinx. Yes, the missing nose monument that comes only after the pyramids when thinking of Egypt. In total I spent three weeks in Egypt with classmates, and my professor told us, “You won’t remember the heat.” Every day for twenty-one days was over a hundred degrees. I distinctly remember thinking there was no way in hell I was going to forget this heat.
Talking to fellow moms that are in the trenches of baby and early toddler years I heard their guilt for not enjoying every minute. Some struggled with infertility and miscarriages for years before having a child, and now they feel immense guilt for not being in love with their baby every minute of every hour. They are disappointed in themselves when they’re stir crazy from staying home every day. They hide from their spouses that they really just want one night to sleep through the night and not wake up for the 3:00 am feeding. They want every day to be the diaper commercial of the mom snuggling their baby looking completely fulfilled.
That’s not reality. Whether you tried for ten years for that baby or it was a complete surprise you weren’t prepared for, you’re not going to feel joy every minute. You’re not going to be a perfect mom by your own standards. There will be moments when you lay a screaming infant into their crib and walk out onto the porch because you’ve overwhelmed. There will be times you scroll your Facebook feed bitterly jealous of your college girlfriend who was just promoted at work and is vacationing in Cozumel.
But take heart, because those moments aren’t what you remember. Take it from a fellow mom who is now out of the baby years and into the preschool years. When I think about those days, I think about my toddler saying “straw-baby” instead of “strawberry.” I recall sweet moments cuddling instead of tantrums and refused naps. Those good memories, those moments of contentment and joy, outweigh the moments of feeling inadequate, feeling overwhelmed, or just being discontent.
Stop tearing yourself down for having minutes, hours and days of not loving motherhood. Start focusing on the minutes that you are happy. Because when I think about the Sphinx, about the wonder of it, and remember standing in front of that history, as crazy as it may sound, I don’t remember the heat.