Challenges of Motherhood

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As I shared on my blog Defining Motherhood, since the birth of my third child nearly ten months ago, I have felt as though I am functioning at-capacity, that I have little wiggle room in my day to take on anything other than the essentials. As I said in the post “Motherhood Matters“:

When I was pregnant with our third, I knew that the first year of our baby’s life would be a difficult juggling act. To prepare, I set one goal for myself and that was to not set any goals or high expectations during that first year. There are plenty of things I would like to accomplish both at home and in my professional life, but I knew that the first year of being a mom to three was not the time to do that. I thought I was giving myself a bit of a reprieve, but what I didn’t realize is just how at capacity life would be in general, even without setting new expectations. …

Some days it feels as though all I do is manage naptimes and mealtimes. But along with that, there is writing to be done, housework to complete and exercise to do. Don’t forget about the kids. I want to take time to talk to them, read to them, play with them, cuddle with them. And then there’s the dog who would appreciate a walk, or at the very least a few minutes of being petted. Thankfully the cats mostly just ask for a full food bowl. What has been so surprising to me is how these tasks are just daily tasks. They aren’t lofty goals. And they fill my day in a way I have never before experienced. …

This year has been more challenging at times than I could’ve predicted. I have felt spent in ways I didn’t know imaginable. I have had to make choices and decisions and decline things I’d really enjoy. But I owe it to my kids, my husband and myself to not overextend myself. This is a life stage, a moment in time when my kids will demand more of me than at any other point. I will be tested. I will be tried. I will be exhausted. I will be at capacity just trying to make meals, pay the bills within a reasonable amount of time, make sure we all have clean clothes and get a bit of work done in the process. But what I do matters. What every mom does matters.

I got some great responses from this post from moms who feel they are “stretched way too thin” or are “struggling to get past the ‘at capacity’ stage.” Their words reminded me that I’m not alone. The first year especially can be tough and challenging in ways we never could’ve foreseen. Sure it’s full of cute moments, like baby belly laughs and pruney post-bath toes, but it’s also full of deeply challenging times.

So tell us, what was that first year with your baby like? When did you get past the at-capacity stage? Or, are you still waiting for that moment to come?

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