You know that thing that mamas do where they get all gushy and talk about how nothing in life has ever fulfilled them like motherhood, how they never knew love until they met their babies, how the birth of their children were the very best days of their entire lives? How life was basically meaningless before their kids and how they are just. So. In. Love?
I hate that.
I hate to admit that I hate that. But, I hate that.
It always feels a little braggy to me, sitting over here on an afternoon where I haven’t showered in three days and my toddler’s middle name is Tantrum or “Why?” or I-don’t-feel-like-napping-today or Lets-play-playdoh-for-another-seven-straight-hours-and-I-will-mix-all-the-colors-and-90%-will-end-up-on-the-ground-in-tiny-crumby-pieces. That all the “enjoy this” and “a clean house can wait, I’m rocking my babies” and “There is no place in the world I would rather be than up with my newborn in the middle of the night” feels like a neon sign pointing to me saying “why don’t YOU feel this way?” Because the truth is I don’t enjoy it all and sometimes I’d rather be cleaning and a LOT OF THE TIMES I’d rather be sleeping. Because the day I had my daughter was probably one of the more traumatic and definitely most insanely painful and scary days of my entire life. Because one time a friend asked me in front of a group of other women didn’t I feel like life was just so, so much better now that I had kids and I said in a really scared way … no, not really. Because my life was pretty amazing before kids and now it’s a different kind of amazing where sometimes the amazing thing is that I am surviving at all.
Sometimes I just feel like those other moms are in a club that I haven’t been invited into. And that their sweeping, grand declarations of perfect love and feeling just so MADE FOR THIS ROLE as a mother are sort of a little slap-y in the face-y.
I feel like I am a really, really good mama. I feel that I am doing a really, really good job. I know without a single doubt that my daughter is deeply loved by me and her daddy and all her family and that she KNOWS IT in her core, without the slightest hesitation.
But also? I feel its really, really hard. It doesn’t come super easy to me. Its work. Its more sacrifice than I’ve ever known. Its reaching the I CANNOT DO THIS ONE SINGLE SECOND LONGER and then doing it, one single second longer. Then another. And then another. Until you realize you did it, you crossed that part you thought was impossible.
I have been a little annoyingly lucky in life with all that has come so easily to me – academics have been a breeze my whole life, I apparently get pregnant with the snap of my fingers, and sometimes I feel like my obnoxiously easy, happy marriage makes me sort of kind of really unlikable and unrelatable. Well, then here came motherhood, to set me straight, keep me humble, slam me way way wayyy out of my comfort zone. And sometimes I worry that “mother” is SUPPOSED TO BE our most IMPORTANT gift. That all of my other gifts don’t matter nearly as much as my skill/talent/giftedness at being a mama. I have to WORK at that shit. And it sometimes feels like that’s a shameful admission.
The mamas who make my heart sing are the mamas like me, or the mamas I think are better than me and then they confide they are exactly like me. The mamas who aren’t afraid to say this is hard and sometimes I hate it and sometimes its not all cute Facebook photos and baby giggles.
So to those mamas who make me laugh, who tell it like it is without leaving out the ugly parts, to the ones who make me say I am not alone and I am doing ok and I am enough – thank you for being a part of my mama tribe.
Some of the virtual women who make me feel all of the feels and for other mamas like me looking for their tribe:
And to join me as I navigate this motherhood thing, find me on Facebook.