“My anxiety begins the moment the sun rises and my son awakes. The constant pressure I feel to be playing with him constantly AND that I should be enjoying it. Most of the time I sit and stare at him and wonder what the hell we are going to do next. The clock strikes 8am and I’m already running out of ideas on what to do next. There are just some things that I truly don’t enjoy doing but I feel so guilty admitting it. As if one of the ways my value as a mother is measured is by me enjoying him bounce in his Jumperoo as he stares at me. Most of the day I’m so bored and my anxiety soars as I search for new activities to do or Mommy-and Me groups to get out of the house. They say ‘the days are long but the years are short’ where I feel I’m only at ‘the days are long’ part of all of this.”

Motherhood can make you feel like you’re stranded on a deserted island like Tom Hanks in the movie, “Castaway”. Your only “friend” is a volleyball that you named Wilson and you talk to it as if it’s going to say something right back at you. Listen, I’m here to relieve you by telling you that it’s perfectly normal to feel bored as hell when you’re staring at a blob that doesn’t do much of anything. You shake things at it, sing to it, baby talk to it, make funny noises at it, and it just sits there at times. You run out of ideas of what to do with it other than changing its diaper or feeding it. I think that’s why I’ve always hated bath time- it seemed more like a filler than fun when I ran out of things to do.

Part of my problem as a new mom is I felt I needed to entertain her ALL THE TIME. Each second she was awake had to be filled with something that was going to make her grow, thrive, learn, stimulate and create interaction. I couldn’t just leave her to entertain herself, otherwise I’d be a terrible mother. There was so much pressure that I created from what I would read, an app that told me what she “should” be doing, or reading on a Facebook page about all the things a friend was doing with her new baby. The comparison trap that I continued to fall into was getting bigger by the day.

It also didn’t help that I quarantined myself the first few months, it was a horrible winter, and I was afraid to bring her out of the house. There is only so much you can do within the walls of your home before you start getting cabin fever and need to bust out of the joint. My deserted island was preventing me from becoming the mother I was meant to be but I didn’t know there was a way off and that I didn’t have to be there. It was more of an “it is what it is” way of living and surviving.

Many would tell me to simply get out of the house, wear her, and do the things I want to do. 6 years later, I completely agree. I mean, that was THE best time to do things that I wanted to do. She was immobile, couldn’t talk, and therefore couldn’t complain or have a meltdown. At the time, I felt that was way too selfish to even think of doing something that I enjoyed doing. I mean, I was a mom now. It was all about her. There was too much guilt and anxiety when I attempted to do something that I wanted to do.

The personal neglect I had also contributed to the boredom. I wasn’t doing the things I loved to do before entering that hospital. I love music, concerts, reading, exercising, being outdoors, traveling, art, restaurants as well as reality TV. Every single one of those things was put on a bookshelf the moment I entered my home with her. My career was gone, so that was 10 hours of the day I had to refill. An hour or so of reality TV. An hour of reading. An hour of exercise. Going to a new restaurant, another few hours. My day consisted of at least 20 hours of baby. If I was lucky to have 4 hours of sleep that night.

The boredom can carry into toddler-hood and childhood as well. I realized I didn’t enjoy some of the games and activities that my daughter loved. The guilt would overshadow and swallow any courage to actually admit it to anyone. I mean, so many women out there were LOVING being moms. It was the best thing that has happened to them, and they savored every moment. “Oh, it just goes by too fast, so enjoy every moment!” OK then, I’ll try. Maybe I’m just a terrible mother? Or average at best.

There have been things I’ve enjoyed, yes. It’s not all shit’s creek but it’s also not all rainbows, unicorns and roses. The dialogue between moms needs to change where we are comfortable admitting when things suck, and it doesn’t qualify our level of motherhood. You can safely say “God I can’t stand tummy time, what the hell am I supposed to do while she lays on her stomach for 10 minutes?” Maybe you’ve been in your house with a snowstorm and find yourself more entertained staring out the window, wishing the hands on the clock would go just a little bit faster? Perhaps you’re at a mommy-and-me music class at the local park district with a bunch of moms you have no connection with as you realize you’re only there to pass an hour of time?

It’s OK to be honest about these feelings. You’re also talking about the things you are enjoying to mix it up and create a real story of motherhood. So let’s see, what have I enjoyed and had fun with in motherhood? Infancy was hard for me, but I did simply enjoy the quiet and her sleeping on me. Smelling her and listening to her funny noises. I loved when she’d discover a body part and stare at it with her eyes crossed. When she’d fart and not realize it. The times she would laugh, I could do the thing I was doing in her face for hours listening to that laugh. In toddler-hood, I enjoyed walks where we just paid attention to nature. Trips to our local arboretum. Time with family. A splash pad with her squeals. So see, there ARE things that didn’t bore me to death to blend in with the things that did. We are human beings regardless of the Mom stamp and we can be bored and still be decent human beings, and mothers.

Are you OK with admitting that motherhood can be boring at times?  How does all of this make you feel after reading it?


Michelle Mansfield Blog

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