“Motherhood is a blessing.”
“Enjoy these moments.”
“You’ll miss the messes.”
And on, and on, and on.
These are the things that we moms hear oh so often when we’re in the midst of trying to maintain our sanity. And you know what? I hate it, and I’m sure many of you do too. It completely undercuts our emotions and plants a tiny seed of guilt for being honest with ourselves when we say: MOTHERHOOD IS HARD. We can love our children and the stage of life we’re in and still be able to say what a struggle it is! Why do we have to feel guilty for looking forward to a day when our kids can wipe their own bottoms or get their own snacks? I don’t think anyone has ever said, “I miss blow-outs and teething so much! My favorite stage was the 18+ months of sleepless nights! I really miss only getting two hours of sleep a night.” Want to know why? BECAUSE IT’S HARD!
The other day I was out alone with the kids. I was wearing my youngest in the Ergo, and I was trying to maintain a grip with my 3-year-old’s hand, while pulling my 5-year-old’s hand, since she was getting distracted by a pretty cloud in the parking lot. An older woman approached me and said, “It’s so hard. I know, I had five.” And for the first time in FOREVER someone was actually honest and understanding. She didn’t try to sugarcoat how difficult this stage of life can be, or make the mood worse by telling me how much harder it gets when they’re teenagers. She was just honest about this exact moment: having young children is a challenge. She did tell me the ages of her kids and how they do quickly grow up, but she kept reiterating how challenging young kids could be. Her words were like a cold glass of water on a hot day; they were welcoming and refreshing.
We need to stop lying about this. We are allowed to ugly cry over a glass of wine about our struggles. It doesn’t make us any less grateful for the gift of motherhood. And it sure as heck doesn’t mean we don’t love our children! It just means we’re being real just like the beautiful capeless emotional hero in my story. I’m not sure when it became en vogue to plaster a smile across our faces, but I’m sure it was around the same time the first canon was shot during the Mom Wars, and suburbanites started downing ADHD meds just to keep up with the Joneses. It’s unhealthy, it’s counterproductive, and Karen, WE KNOW YOU’RE HAVING A HARD TIME! We all hear the tantrums little Stevie throws! Just be honest with us: THIS STAGE IS HARD!
With that little rant out of the way, I’m going to say this: It took TWO hours today to walk a mile with my three kids. And during that walk, my daughters had roughly 647 arguments about whether or not they should hold hands, who could walk the fastest, and whether or not it was a good idea to pretend a wall was a balance beam (yes for the 5-year-old, no for the 3-year-old). And the baby? He’s teething.
Everything’s fine. This is great #blessed.
Today is a tough one. But being honest about it sure is freeing.