To the mom in a hard season, it’s hard now . . . but it won’t always be.
I live in Minnesota, and February is brutal. Holiday excitement is long over, bitter cold, below zero temperatures are frequent, everyone is sick of winter, it’s too long, too dark . . . better spring days seem just out of reach.
The early stages of motherhood were my Minnesota February. Beginning when my children were about 5 months until about 2.5 years old, I was struggling—like big time. Not sleeping, not feeling like myself, losing old hobbies and friends, losing my sanity and that one pesky sock each time I did laundry. Every long day felt the same. Mothering turned me into a crabby person, and I didn’t recognize myself.
I deeply loved all three of my babies, and I knew that, but I had this constant feeling I wasn’t a good mom. I felt like I was never in a good mood. I wasn’t joyful. I wasn’t fun. It was just so hard. This season didn’t come easily to me.
It wasn’t my season.
I knew my own mom loved the phase of staying home with babies. I saw friends just rocking it, really enjoying it. I felt like such a failure because I was pretty miserable. I often wondered if life with kids simply was hard and bleak. Should I resign myself to the fact that I would never be fun again?
All of the sudden, just like a Minnesota February, one day it was over and things were better. It seemed to happen in the blink of an eye, but in reality, I see it was more gradual.
I now realize every phase of mothering isn’t going to be our phase. Having some space from my hard season (as I am out of the baby and toddler stage, just barely), I see we aren’t going to rock each phase of parenting and that’s okay. If you are in a stage of parenting and you are failing (the reality is you probably aren’t), your season is coming. I only wish I had known and accepted this notion as I was struggling.
Some phases of parenting will be harder than others, and it doesn’t make us bad parents.
I write this now to encourage you if you are really struggling with this season of parenting. Your happiness, your sense of self, your marriage—whatever it is—it’s not dead. Just like the lakes and trees in the winter, it might be buried, but it’s there, waiting to come back to life. Get yourself through this season and better things are coming. Promise.
My current season is what many refer to as the sweet spot. Let me tell you . . . it is. No more diapers, sleeping through the night, kids with a touch of independence but who still want to be with us. The perfect balance. We watch family movies from the 1990s and laugh, all three of my children have hobbies (amazing to witness), when it snows they sled in the yard without me, they all attend school.
I genuinely love being with my family and rarely feel like I need a break. Each day is honestly pretty great. The best part is I’m able to have fun and be fun—as myself and as a mom. I’m thankful for every minute and not taking any of it for granted.
It’s simply the best.
This season is my first sunny, 65-degree day in a Minnesota spring, and before you tell me “just wait until middle school,” I know.
But I’m not there yet, and I am going to soak in every moment of this season. A phase that I am rocking, and I’m proud to say it.