The Oxymorons of Motherhood

Have you ever heard of an oxymoron? It’s defined as “a figure of speech in which contradictory terms appear consecutively”. Phrases such as “good grief”, “original copies”, and “plastic glasses” are all oxymorons. I’m here to tell you about the oxymorons of motherhood, AKA all of the contradictory things we as moms experience on a daily basis.

Oxymoron #1: Wanting alone time, then missing the kids as soon as you’re alone

Does this ever happen to you? I’m a stay at home mom so I spend all day, every day with my kids. Most of the time, I absolutely JUMP at the chance to have some alone time. Of course, half of my alone time consists of me flipping through pictures on my phone of the kids and wondering what they’re doing. I can’t wait to get away, and then I can’t wait to get back to them!

The Oxymorons of Motherhood

Oxymoron #2: Craving some peace and quiet, then becoming immediately suspicious when it’s quiet.

There are days where I am so inundated by different noises that I can’t even think straight. I can’t tell you how badly I want a little peace and quiet around here sometimes, only to become very worried when I haven’t heard a peep from the kids in a few minutes. 90% of the time, when the noise stops, the mischief really begins.

Oxymoron #3: Wanting them to grow up ASAP, wanting them to stay little forever

The potty training days are always the ones I want to get through the quickest. I find myself thinking that as soon as they can handle their own personal hygiene, life will be SO much easier! I’m also aware that once they reach that level of independence, it just keeps going. Soon my babies won’t need me to hold them all the time and I will miss being their everything. 

Oxymoron #4: Teaching them obedience while also helping them develop critical thinking skills

It’s when you’re teaching them manners and the next day, they’re reminding you to say “You’re Welcome!” Or when you’re chastised by the three-year-old who caught you in the pantry eating the good snacks when you just told the kids snack time was over for today. You’re simultaneously proud of their dedication to the rules, while also being a little annoyed when they use those rules on you! You want to raise them to be able to intelligently and respectfully challenge authority, but it’s not quite as awe-inspiring when it’s YOUR authority….

Oxymoron #5: Constant insecurity that you’re not the optimal parent while also believing no one can parent your kids like you can

We’ve all been there. Those days where you wonder if you’re messing this whole parenting thing up. But of course the first time Grandma watches the baby, you have an entire list of things for her to remember! Motherhood is an ebb and flow of confidence and a constant learning curve. It’s almost uncanny how one day you can feel like you’re absolutely killing it as your kids’ mom, and the next day you accidentally peel out in your minivan in the preschool parking lot (guilty as charged) and wonder how on earth you could have let that happen! It’s like the day you leave the hospital and can’t believe they’re letting you just take this baby home, while simultaneously knowing that nobody loves that baby as much as you do.

Oxymoron #6: Losing yourself daily, finding yourself daily

Remember that person you were before kids? So much free time, so many hobbies, much more social. I used to introduce myself by name and job title. Now I’m most often referred to as “Someone’s Mom”. It used to bother me a little, that struggle between keeping my own identity while also being fully immersed in motherhood. All I know at this point is that I’ve never felt more “me” than when I’m spending quality time with my kids. The old me had a lot more energy, less wrinkles, and wore jeans a few sizes smaller. And yet, I like the new me so much more. 

Oxymoron #7: Your heart could burst with all the love it holds, yet it always finds room for more

Okay, okay, it’s a little cliche. But truer words have never been spoken. With every additional kid your family adds, your heart finds a part to fill that you didn’t even know was there. You think you can’t possibly love your kids more until another year passes and you absolutely do. (I haven’t parented through the teen years yet if you can tell, so no spoilers!) All jokes aside, it’s amazing how your heart sometimes hurts with all the love it holds, yet the love gets bigger every day. I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

What did I miss? Any other motherhood contradictions that come to mind? Leave them in the comments below!

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Alicia is a stay-at-home mom to Claire (5), Drake (4), and Kate (1). After growing up in western Iowa, Alicia ventured east to attend the University of Iowa and graduated in 2014 with a Political Science degree, and a minor in English. When she isn’t chasing kids, she loves finding time for scrapbooking, going on walks around the neighborhood, and watching any and every home renovation show! Alicia loves staying involved in her community, mainly through spending time in her church and volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters. With three kids under five, her advice to moms with young kids is: “prayer, coffee, and then a little more of each!”