Motherhood. It is by far the most challenging thing I have ever done and probably will ever do in my life. The nine months of morning sickness, the traumatic labour, the sleepless nights, the loneliness, the helplessness, the loss of identity, the loss of your body, the loss of your old life and often friendships. There is a lot of loss and it all seems to happen in the early years of motherhood.
The thing is, motherhood is hard. It is challenging, and it can bring us to the brink of insanity and breaking point at times.
I remember my mum saying many times “you kids are driving me insane” and now I know why.
I don’t know what it’s like in your household, but this is what drives me insane at mine sometimes.
• No one ever wants to do the same thing. One person will want to go out, others want to stay home. So you end up just debating what you are going to do for the next three hours and end up doing nothing.
• No one ever wants to eat the same thing. You cook one meal and basically force everyone to eat it. One person is stoked as it’s their favorite meal, another person did love it but now hates it, and another will not be hungry and not want to touch it. Meal times can totally suck.
• No one ever made the mess, broke the thing, or knows where they put it. It’s always some ghost person called “Idunno” who lives in the house that did it (or one of the pets of course).
Rinse and repeat, this is the daily life of a parent. Groundhog day at its finest.
I often imagine what parenting would feel like if you were to nail it. You’d cook the perfect meal that everyone loved and craved every day for every meal.
Your weekends and free time would be filled with laughter, good times, great people and loving, kind and respectful conversation. Everyone in the house would pull their weight, clean up after themselves, and look after their belongings. There would be no wasted energy managing everyone, mums would be relaxed and chilled. We wouldn’t be feeling like a computer with 100 tabs open with no more room on our hard-drive. Life would be amazing.
Can you imagine it? Close your eyes and imagine motherhood like that.
There would also be unicorns, rainbows and sparkles, money would rain from the sky and there would be world peace, no hunger or disease, and of course happiness and laughter for all.
All jokes aside, motherhood is of course wonderful and despite its challenges, it’s one of the best things I have ever done in my life. It’s given my life purpose, it’s made my life about serving others instead of myself, it’s made my life more valuable, it’s made my time more valuable, and it’s made my relationships more precious (or non-existent), and of course it’s brought more joy to my life. Motherhood certainly puts everything into perspective about what is important and what is not.
Even though parenting is not all rainbows and unicorns all the time, the little arms around your body and the adoration and pure love you get from your kids makes it all worth it (even when it’s mixed with tantrums and sleepless nights).
At the end of the day when they are sleeping peacefully in their bed, your heart swells, you breathe a sigh of relief the day is over, but then you often regret the day wasn’t what you had hoped. The stress of the day is forgiven, you kiss their foreheads with a vow to make tomorrow better. This my dears, is motherhood.