When I was pregnant with my first daughter, a friend told me "it's the hardest job you'll ever love." I didn't know yet quite what she meant, but I'd soon find out. I love being a mother more than anything and I'm grateful every day for my two beautiful girls. However, there are days that I want to run out the front door screaming. You know those days... You wake up with your baby next to you (because she won't sleep in her crib) and you discover that sometime during the night her diaper exploded and now you're lying in a puddle of baby pee. While you try to mop the floor, both kids whine and one dumps out most of the potting soil from the largest plant in your house. As you try to make dinner, your toddler clings to your leg while you stand at the stove and ends up pantsing you when you reach for a spatula.
Most days motherhood is wonderfully fulfilling and non-stop fun. But on those rough days, I realize that motherhood is not something that can be done alone. I need support. When I'm feeling particularly drained, I call my mom and compare notes about the horrible things I did as a kid. I schedule a playdate with a like-minded mom so we can trade war stories. I post the gross and hilarious stories to Facebook and Twitter. On the very worst days, I call my husband and cry.
There was a 6-week period last summer when my older daughter was a mischievous 2-year-old on the cusp of being ready to be potty trained. Every day while I was pinned down breastfeeding her baby sister, she would poop and then dump out her diaper all over her bedroom floor. Every day for 6 weeks. At about week 5 I cracked and called my husband at work sobbing, wondering when it would end, how we could make it stop, why it was happening and could he please buy dinner tonight. Thankfully I have a very supportive and understanding husband who listens and helps me when I need it, and I couldn't do it without him!
When moms complain or vent, people should listen, without passing judgment or as Tina Fey put it, "eating their face." We have the best, most rewarding, most fun, most important AND hardest job in the world, and we do it often while working other jobs, while wearing other hats. Work this important can't be done in a vacuum (though it is often done while vacuuming).