I was not prepared for resentment to be a part of my motherhood experience. Resentment is like Motherhood's dirty little secret lurking in the shadows of unsuspecting places. I knew motherhood would be hard and require sacrifice, but I assumed I'd joyfully sacrifice for my little ones and that they, in this ideal scenario, would quickly and perfectly respond to my efforts to quiet and calm them.
I knew that I would sacrifice sleep as my little ones would wake in the night with needs ranging from hunger and diaper changes to soft, comforting words after a bad dream. I was so unprepared to resent them for stealing my precious sleep from me and then being so uncooperative by not returning immediately to sleep. I was also unprepared for the resentment I'd feel toward my darling husband who can peacefully sleep through just about anything.
I find myself resenting the constant need for attention every detail of my life seems to require. The moment my mind takes a break from even the smallest detail it immediately requires my full and undivided attention. I woke at 5:00 am with a stuffy nose, unable to breath, and heard the heater running. My fuzzy brain seemed to recall seeing the thermostat set high because yesterday was a cold, wet day. But when I went to bed, I didn't think to check the thermostat and reset it for a comfortable night's sleep. I resent the dumb thermostat that is ridiculously difficult to set and therefore requires daily, even hourly, attention during the volatile spring weather we have in Utah.
I didn't realize that I had so many hobbies and interests that are not directly related to caring for my babies. I also didn't realize how little time I would have to devote to them, or even to enjoy them on occasion. I resent that it takes me a month or more to read a book, if I even have the energy to get my hands on a book I want to read. I resent the ordeal associated with trying to sew and that by the time I have everything set up and ready to go, it's time to clean it up and make dinner.
And even though I am choosing to be a stay-at-home mom while my husband works and goes to school to prepare for his career, I resent that he gets to leave the house carefree each day. He has only himself to get ready and then he's off to his responsibilities. Whereas I have three people to get ready in order to leave the house and it's always a production, from missing shoes to dirty diapers to messy clothes to one more trip to the potty. And when we finally find ourselves walking out the door, I look down to discover I am wearing my slippers!
I resent that all this came flooding out of me on a Sunday morning when I would much rather enjoy the peace of the Sabbath day than vent my frustrations. I was not aware that I would find it so difficult to make time for my spiritual self. While getting ready to go to church still fills me with the anticipation of the calm and strength I find there, it is also a busy, chaotic rush to get ready and I miss the quiet time of getting ready by myself that allowed me to also prepare spiritually.
But I would choose it again. Even as I wrote all these moments of resentment, I smiled as I remembered the sweetness of my precious little ones and the kindness of my husband, who, upon returning home, shoos me from the kitchen so I can have a moment to myself while he finishes dinner.
I don't know how this story ends, but I think, I pray I've reached the climax of this chapter.