Friends. Let me qualify this blog post with the following disclaimers:
I love being a mom.
I would not trade in any children (at this particular moment!).
I am in awe and I truly do appreciate the vast differences in personality amongst my brood of four lively, strong-willed children.
I have four children. That’s just A LOT. Okay?? My last was born at 10 pounds 8 ounces. And yes, that big boy came out after his shoulders got stuck. Good times.
I think I get it now, you guys. At least things seem a little clearer to me after 10 years of this multi-faceted job. This mom job was pitched to me as “the best thing that’ll ever happen to you.” Moreover, people told me it was “the most rewarding experience this planet offered.” If perhaps you laugh and have these foggy synapsing brain receptors firing at the sentiment of those messages…then a BIG, HUGE “ME TOO” is coming straight outta my mouth!! I had NO CLUE that motherhood would be as challenging as it is. I had NO CLUE that, in reality, 75% of the time we are on a massive learning curve/teachable moment around here while 25% of the time there’s lighthearted, meaningful interactions to cherish. This job is tough people! Truth be told there are days that I just want to either scream or be completely silent out of exhaustion as I power through the minutes to bed time.
There are days that I happen to hug a little one and my heart thinks, “this IS a wonderful life.” But, 75% of the time I feel under qualified, under valued, out of my capacity to tolerate the madness. There are the fights, the tears, the “that’s not fair” struggles and every mom’s favorite, “we’re bored” pronouncements. Then there’s the company of on-lookers that remind you to enjoy it ALLLLL because it’s disintegrating before our eyes. To that, I rebuttal with this: maybe the point isn’t to enjoy it all now – because that’s impossible – but rather to feel comforted by the fact that there’s a day coming that we’ll look back with 75% fond memories and 25% “how did I make it through all of that?” memories. In other words: There’s A FLIP FLOP IN SIGHT for those very challenging, present tense ratios we’re enduring!
I have so many “me too” thoughts that I want to share, but here’s the bottom line if you’re in the midst of raising your tribe:
Sometimes feeling joy in the midst of being a mom is just difficult to summon: you feel tired, the house is filthy, and you’re out of milk which means your ‘cereal for dinner’ plan fails and you have to actually make something before the 4 sports events that criss-cross in 5 minutes from now (was that a RUN-ON sentence?). Feeling overwhelmed? Yeah. Me too.
Here’s the GREAT news: you have EVERYTHING you need. You really are ENOUGH of a woman inside to show up to the arduous task every day. I mean, you’re a sight to behold. All tired and stuff and mustering up one more french braid, one more cleaning of the pee filled sheets, one more breaking up of a fight…you got this. I do too.
You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit. Your kids ARE who they ARE. Shaping their personalities and immature responses is like molasses pouring from a bottle. Sit back and don’t take everything so personally. They’re not as much a reflection of YOU as they are of THEMSELVES!! That’s good news!! Truly, miraculously, we are off the hook for the off the hook kids – JUST DO YOUR VERY BEST. I will too.
No matter how many children you have – the whole show is just HARD. Hard. Hard. Hard. But have HOPE – the ratio of hard is slowly but surely flipping itself with every new day. That option to be on a beach someday sipping a bevy is nearer than you think. And one day, you’ll remember what mattered most… all the touching, impactful moments you got to be present for.
To my fellow moms, working hard everyday, giving your kids the best you have, you are AMAZING.
P.S.- Every now and again these kids come through for us with a nod of encouragement. They do see us. They see our efforts. They know what we do for them.
And if they don’t – there’s always Cool Whip you guys.