Mother — it’s a title that I so desperately longed for, prayed for, cried over, and begged God to give me. While my journey to motherhood wasn’t particularly tragic or long in comparison to the journey of others, it felt long and hard to me while I was going through it. Each month that I didn’t end up pregnant, I wanted to punch everyone in the face who *was* pregnant. And if you had kids and you complained about them? Well, there was a special place in hell for you, my friend. (Can you imagine how fun I was to be around back then?)
Fast forward almost 8 years. I have a beautiful, strong-willed, smart, caring daughter and a rough-and-tumble, yet tender son. I love these two little humans with every fiber of my being, but WOW, the title of Mother is not what I thought it would be.
Motherhood is…a Blessing
We all head into motherhood thinking it can’t be as hard as everyone makes it out to be. They’re just kids after all. I prayed for this, remember? God BLESSED us. Yes, yes He did.
My enneagram 6 self so desperately wants to protect myself and anyone I love from pain and loss. I want to have all my ducks in a row, make the world a better place, be creative, kind, and caring. I was going to be that mom, you guys. I envisioned myself doing all kinds of fun crafts, baking muffins (healthy, but also delicious, of course), going on fun-little picnics, and listening intently when my child was talking to me. I am totally that mom….1.8% of the time.
Motherhood is…a Mixed Bag
Motherhood is complicated, isn’t it? It’s a mixed bag of emotions. One minute you’re staring at your child wondering how they got so big and trying to soak in every moment that it almost brings you to tears. Imagine a record scratch sound effect when the other sibling yells down, “MOM, THE DOG POOPED IN MY ROOM!”
You can’t wait for them to go to bed and stop touching you, talking to you, and needing you. But one day all-too-soon, they’ll be grown up and gone and you’ll miss these days. Right now, though, you’re exhausted. So very tired.
I’ve always been a very black and white person. It was either this or that. There was no gray. With the grace of God, and some shit that went down in the church I called home my entire life, God has opened my eyes little by little over the years and has shown me that there is a lot more gray that I ever wanted to acknowledge. So, when motherhood is amazing and also the worst thing in the world, my brain can’t comprehend it. It’s like an error screen pops up and is like, “umm, how can this be awesome and suck at the same time?” That just comes with the gig.
I’ve always been a working mom. Notice how I didn’t say a “work-outside-the-home mom” here? Yeah, it’s because deep down inside, I prided myself in my work. I knew stay-at-home moms had tough jobs, but it was like, “Yeah, but they don’t WORK like I do.”
This summer I had the opportunity to stay at home with my kids. I went into this summer with all of these amazing plans and dreams of how I was going to be present and kind and patient. We were going to have so much fun while being budget conscious and create the world’s best memories.
So, why did my kids spend 75% of everyday complaining and the other 25% of the day asking for snacks? HELLO, offspring, your MOM is here for you! Why are you not falling at my feet in adoration? This is now how this was supposed to be? This shit is hard!
You need coffee to survive this craziness, but coffee makes you poop, but if you go poop, somebody is going to hit somebody and a Hunger Games-esque fight will ensue. You can’t win.
Needless to say, I ate a lot of humble pie this summer.
Motherhood is…Important Work
I find the physical and mental part of motherhood exhausting, but then you add in the emotional and spiritual and by the end of the day, you just want to crawl into the bed and zone out on Instagram for an hour. While you scroll, you think to yourself, “Am I being too hard on them? Am I not being hard enough? Am I stimulating their minds adequately? Am I raising good humans? Should I let my kid say butthole? Is organic food really that much better? And if it is, how do I fit that into the budget?”
When you think about it, we are raising the next congressmen, leaders, doctors, teachers, lawyers, and most importantly bakers and chefs — the ones who will give us the food. That’s also a lot of pressure, right? I want to raise one of the aforementioned things and not the US’s most prominent female prison gang leader.
Motherhood is such important work. So why does the pay suck, the vacation time non-existent, the working conditions poor, and the hours long AF? How the heck is anybody supposed to be good at this important job when you have to hold in a poo for 7 hours?
You’re Doing Great, Mama
If you’re still reading this, and you’ve nodded your head along with me a few times, I see you. I get it. Motherhood is almost never how we pictured it in our heads. Everyone warned us and told us, but you can’t hear it until you’re there. Motherhood is exhausting, wonderful, amazing, hard, lonely, frustrating, and tireless, but it’s a gift. Next time you feel like you’re not exactly nailing it, just remember, you’re doing the best you can. And that’s all we can ask of anyone.