Motherhood is a work of contradictions. It is a unique and solitary experience in many ways, but it’s also universal and common among us. We are painting our own pictures with various techniques and brush strokes, but each canvas shows families, struggles, triumphs, failures, and consumed hearts. We comprise the unique working parts in a machine of continual progress that produces happiness, fear, elation and even confusion. Motherhood is a moving and working entity, constantly changing and evolving so that we are never quite caught up or finished. When we finally understand, we are quickly left behind once more.
To me, Motherhood Is:
Being crowded out of your own bed (and running into a plastic Lego bin on your way to seek refuge in another room).
Your vegetable garden being turned into a monster truck dirt track.
Having your heart ripped from your chest and stapled on your arm for the rest of your life.
Catching vomit in your hands, without spilling any, and not really thinking it’s all that gross.
Adoption, caesarean section, stitched up vaginas, and everything in between.
Rushing to daycare to retrieve your little angle only to have him say, “I want Daddy.”
Wearing the same pants for, um, several days in a row and not giving a damn. (Hmmm, what’s that white stain on the knee?)
Accidentally putting orange juice in your coffee instead of milk because you’re just so tired.
Getting up before daylight EVERY. DAMN. DAY.
Wanting your child to be loved and accepted for exactly who they are.
Worrying that the worst will happen to your child and you won’t be able to stop it.
Having your boobs RUINED. TOTALLY RUINED.
Reading the same stupid Lightning McQueen book over and over and over and over…
Crying on the first day of kindergarten.
Cheering on the first day of kindergarten.
Getting peed on. Several times.
Getting pooped on. Several times.
Snoozing while junior watches cartoons.
Learning to pick your battles.
Learning to cut other parents a little slack.
Going to the grocery store without a bra.
Drinking wine at night in front of the TV after a rough day.
Wishing you could drink wine at lunch.
Needing a break from your children.
Missing your children when they are gone.
Feeling like you will go bat shit crazy if one more person says “Mom!”
Pretending to poop so you can get 5 minutes alone.
Pretending to poop and then ending up with someone in your lap anyway.
Cooking 3 different dinners.
Loudly cussing the pile of laundry that never seems to stop growing. (Didn’t I just wash all this shit?)
Cleaning up the dog poop for the dog you didn’t want (and then realizing you actually love the damn dog, too).
Putting on band-aids.
Giving hugs and kisses freely and without warning.
Embarrassing your kids.
Losing your cool.
Keeping your cool.
Driving lunch boxes to school.
Sometimes missing your kids while you are at work.
Sometimes wishing you were at work when you’re staying home.
Getting sick and having to tough it out.
Giving the one eyebrow raise that means, “I’ve about had it with your shenanigans.”
Going to soccer practice, piano lessons, baseball games, art shows, dance recitals, etc. and being proud when sometimes you’re really just bored.
Taking a bazillion pictures.
Praying that (insert child’s name here) will take a nap so you can too.
Sitting in the car pick up line.
Waiting at the bus stop.
Thinking you are f*cking up everything.
Hoping you are doing at least something right.
Staying the course no matter what.
I cannot encompass how all of us feel about motherhood, but the point is that we are doing the same thing. Everyone needs to stop beating each other up over breastfeeding versus formula feeding, private school versus public school, working or staying home, etc. The list could go on to infinity, methinks. Mind your own glass house and have a little compassion for the mom next door.
Motherhood is choosing love, accepting others, picking your battles, and learning when to keep your mouth shut. And sharing sanitary wipes. A lot of them.
What does motherhood mean to you?