Many people make the statement that “Motherhood is beautiful”. I’d like to amend that. Some days, motherhood is absolutely a beautiful thing that leaves me happy, content, and feeling like the most lucky person on earth. Those are the days of sweet children who get along with each other, who snuggle with me and give me hugs and kisses and say “Mommy, I want you”, and who go the whole day without biting, scratching, hitting, pinching, kicking, drawing on walls, and generally being little cherubs. Those are the days where my heart swells and I store away the good memories and fight baby fever. I cherish and treasure those days more than I can say.
Then there are the days where motherhood doesn’t feel remotely close to beautiful, where it feels like I might actually be losing my mind and a stay in a hospital for a few days sounds absolutely lovely. Is that my appendix hurting? I think it’s my appendix. Don’t bother running tests, let’s just assume it needs to come out right now, and can you impose a “No children” visiting policy? Those germ ridden little critters must be an immunological threat to people recovering from surgery and illness. Those are the days
where I grit my teeth so hard I literally think I might actually chip or crack a tooth, where I
spend a good portion of the day muttering “Children are a blessing. Children are a blessing. Children are a blessing.” under my breath, where I think fondly of daycare and dream of being on an adults-only cruise with a strawberry daiquiri in hand while I alternately snooze, read, and watch MY shows and movies (more than 5 minutes at a time) and let my vocal cords recover and sleep 8 hours a night (or day) with an uninterrupted nap thrown in for good measure. Those are the days where I finally give up keeping track of who hurt who or even scolding them and tell them to referee their own fights unless there are copious amounts of blood, broken bones, or impending death.
Some days are a combination of both, and maybe the back and forth between the two leaves you feeling like you have a case of mental/emotional (and possibly physical) whiplash and thinking “What just happened?”. The exhaustion is not just physical but also emotional and mental. And even I, who love hugs and friendly
physical contact (mutually consensual of course), end up “touched out” by the end of the day (and sometimes an hour into the day), and even my child wanting to brush my hair makes me cringe because all the touching and needing has completely drained me. And then there’s the guilt for feeling “touched out”. And sometimes I can’t get enough of my children’s hugs and kisses. And sometimes I feel confused and bewildered and that emotional whiplash from feeling both.
Motherhood can be beautiful, wonderful, rewarding, and fulfilling.Motherhood can also be frustrating, exhausting, aggravating, and leave you feeling like a total failure. But it’s not just one thing, and it’s not always one way. So my fellow moms, whatever motherhood looks like for you today, or even just right now, it’s ok. Motherhood is beautiful, AND awful, AND wonderful, AND terrifying, AND fulfilling, AND draining. Just focus on surviving whichever it is right now, and know that it might not be the same tomorrow, or it might be exactly the same (for better or for worse). If you’re in need of a pick me up (or in need of a reminder that it’s not always fields of tulips and rose gardens), I recommend a glass of wine or ten and a dose of Bunmi Laditan‘s Facebook page.
This was first published on my Facebook profile. Feel free to head on over to the post and join the conversation there.