“Can we discuss the monotony of motherhood? I Googled it (hoping to find a funny graphic about how I feel) and that was a mistake. I stumbled upon blogs that made me feel crappy for saying that motherhood is monotonous and rather unexciting at times. I need to hear someone tell me that it’ll be all right. Motherhood and being a SAHM is downright mind-numbing sometimes. Just keep swimming. Or something like that.”
A HUGE turning point in my life came one day, when my older kid was about 15 months old, and my highly-educated SAHM cousin (who is my parents’ age) said to me, “The dirty little secret is, being home with small children isn’t all that intellectually stimulating.”
WHAT?!?!? I wasn’t a bad mom for being bored off my ASS most days? I wasn’t a horrible uninvolved mother because parenting magazines made me want to gag, and I wanted to talk about something—ANYTHING—other than diaper brands, breastfeeding concerns, or when to start solid foods?
Parenting—especially of really young children—can be excruciatingly boring. Young children learn through repetition, and I have the attention span of a fucking gnat. Do you SEE the recipe for disaster there? I knew I SHOULD be on the carpet playing blocks with my toddler, but I wanted to clean the bathroom.
Did you read that?!?! I was so bored I WANTED to clean!
Of course, in my motherhood newbie-ness, I didn’t compare myself to other moms like me—people who came from careers that did not involve small humans. Oh no, I compared myself to women born to be professional mommies. Women who went from teaching pre-school or nannying to being SAHMs.
These women were in their element at home with toddlers and pre-schoolers. They were so happy to be doing what they loved with their own kids. They did toddler-friendly crafts with their kids, while I threw Tupperware and wooden spoons on the kitchen floor and called it good. They’d listen to kids’ music CDs and happily sing along to Old McFuckingDonald for the gajillionth time, while I subjected MY kids to 90s classics that reminded me, wistfully, of my party days as a single girl (some days, I had to remind myself that there really was, at some point in time, a pre-Mommy-Theresa). They enjoyed reading board books. Over. And over. And over. It’s a fucking triangle, and it’s orange. Let’s move on.
I remember having a conversation with one of these women, whose children were a bit younger than mine. She was going on and on and on about her moms’ group and what they did at every. fucking. meeting. The holiday-themed crafts, the new games they learned, new information about which toys stimulate different parts of a child’s brain (note: I stand by my Tupperware and wooden spoons). I clearly remember thinking, “Thank god she’s not telepathic, because if she could read my mind right now, all she’d hear is, ‘this is the most boring conversation I have ever endured.’”
I’m not picking on moms who love those years. More power to you. What I have learned is that different women love different stages with their kids. I LOVED that first year. I loved things about it that you may have hated: I loved having a baby strapped to me in a sling, I loved nursing, I loved sleeping in a bed curled around a little one. I didn’t even mind diapers—until solid food came into the picture. *HORK*
But if they had boarding schools for 2 to 4-yr-olds, I probably would have whored myself out to get someone else to do the potty training. Those years with my little princesses definitely aged me.
It is mind-numbingly boring at times. It is repetitive and monotonous. But… it does get easier. They go to school! They get friends—and have play dates you don’t have to stay for! They learn to entertain themselves. They do NOT stay physically attached to you every waking moment.
Annnnd, eventually, they HELP with the housework!! Which, my husand likes to remind me, is the whole point of pro-creating anyway.
So yeah, SAHMs and SAHDs who are bored out your minds, just keep swimming. And re-read Kerstin’s post, 5 min ago you were a BABY! WTF happened!?!? just to keep things in perspective.
It does get better. You’re NOT alone. And you’re not a bad parent for being bored! Some days, you just need a little extra sumpin’ sumpin’ in that valium-laced latte.