Dreary and Dark Vs. Cheery and Bright

I was going to talk about the awards I have received lately, but I can’t.  Not today.  Today is a day for reflection.

I was glancing through my blog stats,  smiling over the Google searches that landed some unsuspecting soul into my blogging world, when I saw a phrase that caught my breath: tired of being a mother.

I was instantly transported back to the day I wrote that post.

Motherhood, for me, is like a roller coaster.  Once I have begun that thrilling ride down the ramp, opened my eyes, lifted my arms confidently, I reach the bottom and look up, terrified by the apex of the roller coaster.

I had reached the bottom that day.  I felt deflated.  Unsure of where to go, who to turn to, and how to handle the cries of my babies.  I did the one thing I knew would bring relief: I wrote.  I described the emotions tearing apart my sanity.  I, unknowingly, cried out for help.  And I found comfort.

I have been sailing down the ramp these past few weeks, feeling confident in my mothering abilities.  Yet,  that day has hovered around my consciousness.  Reminding me that I will inevitably feel its tortuous bond, cutting deep into my psyche, leaving me to limp slowly around my apartment, unaware of my babies’ needs.

Today, though, I look around my messy apartment.  Frowning that I picked it up just yesterday and smiling at the proof entropy’s existence.  Irritated that I put Manly down for a nap, only to have him wake up moments later, ticked at me for putting him down rather than holding him.  Glad that the Queen is happily engaged in “reading” her favorite story book.

Negative emotions, positive emotions, each coming and going.
Reminding me that I am human, that I am alive, that I am blessed.

To that lady who is tired of being a mother, I promise that it will pass.  Find a friend (or a dozen!), shed a few (or a hundred) tears, and take a nap.  Forget the messes for a day or two.  Listen to your child giggle.  Take a picture of your child’s eyes.  Snuggle, snuggle, snuggle.

It may take a few days to recuperate from a dark day, but know that the sun will greet you, wipe your tears away with it’s rays, and hug you tight with its warmth.  A community of wonderful mothers (and fathers) can be found on-line.  I know because I have found them.

The dreary days stand as a stark contrast to the cheery days.  A contrast that I welcome.

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36 Comments

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36 responses to “Dreary and Dark Vs. Cheery and Bright

  1. Dad

    Yep, that about sums it up. Isn’t life grand! 🙂

  2. Eva

    “Negative emotions, positive emotions, each coming and going. Reminding me that I am human, that I am alive, that I am blessed.”

    Yes! So eloquent, so true. Life is both incredibly difficult and incredibly rewarding. The cloudy, gray times are so hard, but I remind myself that it’s worth it in exchange for the sunny days with a slight breeze and the smell of freshly-mowed grass in the air. Life is hard, but it is worth living!

    • Oh, Eva, you captured the essence of this post! Life (and might I add mothering or any role) is worth living, even with its ebbs and flows. That’s what makes life life, right? Really, we would not cherish the good if we didn’t have the bad. Opposition is a must. It is hard but oh so worth it.

  3. I want to quote the same passage as Eva, but with one addition: “Negative emotions, positive emotions, each coming and going. Reminding me that I am human, that I am alive, that I am blessed.” That I am a parent! 🙂

    I am glad that you seem to be finding the cheery and bright days a bit more often – and I join you in giving thanks for this community that helps make the dreary and dark ones a little more bearable.

    • I love that addition. True, so true. Parenting is all about the ups and downs, isn’t it?

      I think this community has given me more than I have given it. I am constantly amazed by the people I have interacted with. People like you, Kristen.

  4. Well said! The most beautiful paintings are the canvases liberally strewn with both the light and the dark…

  5. I taught a lesson in church yesterday to a bunch of young children (called “Primary” — I’m LDS, not sure if you are?). I brought some lemon juice in and some Pop cereal. I had one guinea pig child come up and taste each one.

    The bitter and the sweet, both compose life. We know one to know the other.

    All the same, here’s to more sweet.

    • Haha, yes I am LDS. Probably scared all of my Mormon readers away with my last post. : )

      When writing this post, the scripture that guided my reflections happened to be in Alma (?) in which Alma discusses the necessity of the Fall “for they would not know the sweet without the bitter” or something like that.

  6. Nicki

    Eva and Kristen have it right! This is life as Dad said. You are wonderful to respond to that search. Someone will be very happy to have found your blog.

  7. And I soooo hope the sweet soul that typed “tired of being a mother” into Google bookmarked you and found today’s post. What a beautiful, beautiful response.

    • Thank you, Jane. I almost cried reading that search. The memories, the poignant memories attached to that post. Yet, I am here. Thriving. At least for now. : )

  8. Yes, it is definitely a roller coaster ride! With many more steep drops and upside down’ loops than I could’ve ever planned for.

    But you are so right.

    When it gets hard, just let go of the junk, pull your kids onto your lap, and love them. Even if the messes don’t get cleaned up, even if dinner is less than you imagined. Just let go, give yourself some time to relax, and love them.

    • Ah, there is no such thing as planning when it comes to parenthood, is there?

      When I look back on these memories, what stands out the most is what I did with my children. Was I more focused on the housework, or their tears? I hope the answer is tears more often than not.

  9. You’ve hit it right on the head. The dark days are always followed by bright ones (eventually, if we just hang in there). I, too, hope your process and experience has helped that other mother.

    • “If we just hang in there.” Motherhood is all about endurance, isn’t it? And, I hope I helped that mother too. It can be a sad and lonely world when one is feeling down.

  10. Yes. The contrast, the ups going WITH the downs, it’s what makes each day possible to get through. I know that tomorrow may be different. That the ME I am right now in this moment with this mood, right now in this moment, is not the “forever ME.” It is just right now. And it will pass.

    Your eyes are wide open, Amber. It delights me every time I stop by.

    • Sheesh, thanks Sarah! I am blushing! : )

      I love the profundity in your statement, “[this] is not the ‘forever ME.'” We have our bad moments but more often than not, we have many good moments. Our kids forgive us, we need to forgive ourselves.

  11. Contrast is beautiful isn’t it? We need the bad days to truly appreciate the good!

  12. The baby pics are adorable!!!

    • Would you believe if I said it’s from a crappy camera? After 2 1/2 years of this camera, I have finally figured out how to take photos!

  13. Excellent post. Sometimes it’s very difficult to see past the dark days, but if you put one foot in front of the other and keep going, it will brighten. I’ve certainly tired of being a mother along with all kinds of other responsibilities in my life many times over. And many times over I have found the joy in those things again.

    Thanks for the reminder!

    (And thanks for stopping by my blog this last few weeks! I’m finally getting around to visiting blogs again!)

    • My mother told me this week that it is not the bad moods that define us, we all have those. It is how we get back up that matters. Yes, we mothers know how tiring the role can be. But, it is more rewarding than anything* I * have ever experienced.

      Thank you for stopping by. I know how busy you have been!

  14. Amber, remember that having been there, in that dark place, you now have the wisdom and compassion to help another mother who is feeling the same way and reaching out a hand for a connection. There’s a reason for everything in this world, and maybe that was the reason for what you went through: so you could help someone else.

    • Shoot, Linda! Your beautiful statements often make me cry. In a good way. I agree with you. Wholeheartedly. Sometimes we are given challenges so that we may lift another person up. I can only hope that mother has come back to read all these comments.

  15. My dad would often say that the day-to-day is often unexciting or even hard. That is why you HAVE to make the effort to find joy in the little things.
    I know it can be hard. You get worn down and out, through and through. But then you dust yourself off and try again.
    Its not always fun to keep trying over and over and over again, but there are so many wonderful things you would miss if you didn’t.
    Love this Amber!

    • “Dust yourself off and try again.” This reminds me of one of my favorite quotes (from Batman Begins…) Why do we fall? So that we might learn to pick ourselves up.

      I stumble in parenting daily. Often I fall. Bumps and bruises cover my spirit. But, I am learning with each fall. Learning and growing.

  16. Negative emotions, positive emotions, each coming and going.
    Reminding me that I am human, that I am alive, that I am blessed. – Beautifully said. I love this post. It is heartfelt, full of love, honesty, and emotion…bravo!

  17. If the search was today, it might have been my search. 😦 But like you, I turn to this wonderful online community and find my strength again because so many of us go through the ups and downs each and every day. As we all have stated so many times, we need to have those low days to appreciate the beautiful ones.

  18. Yep. A roller coaster indeed. And then you look up years later, at a tall kid, who is willing to give up years worth of savings to defray the extra cost of a foreign student living in your household for a few weeks. And then you see him spend his weekend, and then another night, tired from homework, but cleaning, organizing, vacuuming, scrubbing, mopping, hauling trash, lifting. And without a complaint.

    That’s a pretty high “high,” and just one example of what makes that roller coaster worth every minute.

  19. Melanie J

    I don’t think I’ve had a day where I’ve been tired of being a mother yet, but on Friday night I was so sleep deprived from the night before and so incapable of coping with ANYTHING that I barricaded myself in my room WITH A CHAIR under the door to keep the toddler out. (The lock doesn’t catch). I let the ten-year-old watch him. That was a first. But it’s okay. Three days past and the whole thing is already funny.

  20. Enjoyed your thoughts . . .

    I have moments when I’ve told my kids I want to quit my job today! 😉 I don’t want to make any decisions or wash any more clothes or pick up any more messes . . . That is when I am so glad I can go to bed and wake up refreshed for a new day. Somehow things always seem better in the morning!

  21. I loved this – because it’s such a good reminder that “this too shall pass” and there are ways to cope. Good ways. Tears and snuggles, the most cleansing and filling activities 🙂

    (thanks for stopping by yesterday – I’ve seen your name around as well, cannot believe i hadn’t been here before!! Subscribing before I forget!!)

  22. You are right. It is the downs that make the ups so precious. Without the contrast we would couldn’t compare.