No one tells you that the instant you become a mother you begin a relentless juggling act. You juggle love, sanity, and your very soul simultaneously. And of course the whole damn parenthood thing in general is one giant contradiction. A damned if you do, damned if you don’t way of life. The most beautiful disaster you will ever live through. And you wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Whether you have one child or five, when you look at them you will feel an overwhelming surge of love; unconditional, unwavering, intense love. A love like none other you will or can ever feel for anyone else. A love that would make you run into a burning building, or shield your child from danger with your own body. You can look at your child and almost cry with the joy of amazement that you created this amazing being. They come above all else and you would have it no other way. They become your very heart.
And coupled with that love is the stuff no one talks about. That there are other times you look at your child and feel more annoyed than could seem physically possible. That the very sound of their voice calling your name makes you want to stick a pencil in your ear. That at times you wonder why you didn’t just own a dog, or a fish, or perhaps just a nice new car instead. Of course these thoughts are fleeting, but we are human and we do have them. It’s not all unicorns farting rainbows out there folks.
Having children will also bring a calm to your life like none you’ve ever felt before. Their little hand in yours, their head resting on your shoulder, and all’s right with the world. Holding your baby in your arms and smelling their hair. Sitting with your teen and starting to relate with real life stuff. It will bring a sense of well being and peace. Content awareness. Nothing else can be going right, but you’re ok just for having them. There is such comfort in that.
On the flip side, these same children can be the storm to your calm. That feeling that if they touch you one more damn time you’re gonna lose your shit. If they need one more thing from you you’re going to go lock yourself in the bathroom with the water running so you can’t even hear them. When you can’t even listen to the radio in the car because they keep talking and asking questions. When they just don’t shut the fuck up! You can pretend you don’t feel this insanity sometimes, but we both know you do. In fact, if you don’t ever feel it please do share your secret.
Lastly, having children changes the very fiber of your being. You become more than you ever were before. You become superhuman; you created LIFE for shit’s sake. You have this greater purpose just by raising these tiny humans. You grow in more ways than you ever thought possible. Through trial and error you become a master of -if nothing else- trying. And sometimes that’s all you can do. And with that you learn to never give up. You become an amazing machine of a person.
And of course with that comes the other side. You gain but you also lose. You lose part of yourself and who knows if you ever get it back. Motherhood drains part of your life force. You get sad and lonely and feel like a failure. You question if you’re screwing them up, shit you question if the whole thing is screwing you up. You wonder if you ever will have time to yourself again. Time to BE yourself again. And then feel like shit for wondering such things.
And therein lies the contradiction that is motherhood. No one wants to talk about the bad stuff for fear of being judged. For fear it makes them a “bad mom”. And everyone thinks they’re an expert, yet at the same time fear they’re failing. A juggling act. The truth is, we are all doing the best we can. We love our kids; deeply. And yes, sometimes it’s really hard. And that’s ok. Motherhood at its finest…. and worst.
Motherhood being motherhood.