When you become a mother everyone is quick to tell you all the perfect sitcom versions of what motherhood will be like. The love you’ll feel, the joy they bring to your life. They tend to tell you some sugar coated version of what motherhood actually feels like. Now my kids do bring me joy and I do love them, but that is such a glossed over description of what I actually feel. Why can’t we be honest about motherhood without feeling guilt or worrying someone is passing judgement. What if we could all just be brutally honest and then listen to another moms honest version of their experiences without needing to be right or wrong?
(Snot bubbles, meltdowns and the occasional body art! File this under things your children will do😜)
Here’s my truth about motherhood. For starters there are not enough books, blogs or experts on this planet that can actually prepare you for being a Mom. It’s true it is an unconditional love I have never felt before. The moment I held each of my children I felt a love that was unmatched to anyone I’d ever loved before. Here’s what no one tells you. That kind of love is fucking scary. It’s a love that is so intense and deep seeded that it can actually hurt. Sounds terrifying right?? Uh yeah it IS terrifying! You love these little tiny humans so much that it scares the hell out of you! You start to replay all those stupid things you’ve done as a teenager. All the awful things people have said and done to you. You worry about all the things you know will come as they get older. You see the news and contemplate never letting them leave your arms. There will be nights of tip toeing to a crib to be sure you see a chest moving up and down. The early years of motherhood brings an exhaustion that will bring you to the brink of insanity. You will begin to wonder if you will ever sleep consecutive hours again. I can remember sobbing some days because I just wanted to sleep or take a break, then crying more because I felt guilty I wanted a break from my own baby. That exhaustion eventually gave way to busier schedules and school stress. As they get older it’s a constant battle of protecting them and allowing them to gain independence. Learning how to love them through the hard stuff. You are learning along side your children it’s just a different lesson. Sometimes the days feel really really long. You’ll have some that feel like bedtime will never come. Then bedtime comes and you sit there and feel like shit replaying all the times you yelled or lost your cool.
You can be a good Mom and not enjoy your children every second of every day. Those long days are hard and you’ll feel like you’ve got nothing left to give, but you’ll keep showing up. The years go by fast, that part is true. It’s a weird thing, time and motherhood. You are so exhausted during the phase you’re in that one day you wake up and find yourself longing for what once was. Motherhood is a real mindfuck folks, it’s a storm of highs and lows no one can prepare you for.
(Your kids love you regardless of how often you think you failed. They wake up every day just happy to see their Momma)
It’s kind of crazy how life comes full circle. You start to finally understand why your mom was on your ass about leaving a note saying where you’d be. (Yes I said a note!!! There were no gps trackers or cell phones in my day) or calling when I got to where I said I was going. I can remember thinking what is the big deal anyways? I’m fine why does she need to know where I am all the time? I get it now, and can only imagine how many times her heart sank worried about me. Sorry Mom, I know I was a real shithead! I look back and realize I should’ve just listened to my Mom. She was always right! (I laugh thinking of 16 year old me reading that statement haha!) I hope someday my own kids will look back on their childhood and see what I see now. A Mom who has loved me every single day of my life.
(1980: My mom holding me)
My best advice for a new Mom would be to lower your expectations. That goes for you, your baby and your partner. Don’t try to compare yourself to anyone else. Know that the early days are going to be hard. When you question if you’re good enough or doing everything you can know this….You love your child and you’re doing the best you can each day. That is enough! Some days loving them IS the big thing you did, it’s the ONLY thing that will ever be constant….that and the fact that it’s all worth it.