Many of us dream of being a mother; sometimes even before the 2 little lines pop up on our pee sticks. The fog of morning sickness gives way to the “glow”, the growing, and the tiny little kicks. We spend astronomical amounts of time pouring over name books, picking out nursery decor, and washing all those teeny tiny clothes.
Eventually the day comes when, one way or another, our baby makes his or her way into our arms. If you are anything like me, sitting there holding your newborn for the first time you begin to think….. “WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO NOW?”…… but you figure it out.
Fast forward a bit and you are a diaper and bottle slinging expert. You can swaddle like a champ and you might even have the superpower to shoot breast milk across the room if you need to stop an evil doer — semi-Spiderman style.
The more active our little ones get the more effort it takes on our part. Once upon a time, we could clean our kitchen in 15 minutes while on the phone with our best friends. Now, I can barely remember my friends’ names. My kitchen looks like something exploded in there and although my kids are a bit older, they mysteriously need ALL THE ATTENTION when I attempt anything that resembles cleaning.
Throughout the years I have been both a stay at home mom and a working mom. Even spending 12 hours shifts saving lives and providing medical treatment doesn’t compare to the sheer exhaustion and stress that comes from motherhood.
I can not think of any other job I would do for free, without a vacation, without appreciation, and without any training at all. In fact, we get pooped on, puked on, bit, and screamed at most of the day. Time off is rare, if ever, and we may not even be allowed to sleep. If motherhood was ANY other job, we would quit the first day. In fact, we probably would have never accepted the position in the first place.
Assuming that those of you reading this are Mama’s, you can probably relate. You are probably sitting there in your comfy leggings with coffee in hand trying to get a little “me time” in before the tiny boss realizes you are slacking. You are probably tired. You are probably stressed. You probably have things around the house you need to get done… but you just need those precious few moments to just breathe. And you know what, that is totally OK.
I read somewhere awhile back that a recent study had shown that motherhood is equal to two-and-a-half FULL TIME jobs. If you think about it… even if we only had to be Mama’s from 6am – 9pm…. That is 15 hours a day. That comes up to 105 hours per week. Now, that does not even account for the bad dreams and middle of the night feedings we have to take care of. So, yes, being a Mama is HARD and it is OK to feel overwhelmed sometimes. It is OK to take a break on housework or go grab lunch with a friend while your husband is hanging out with the littles.
So much pressure is placed on woman to be the perfect mother, the perfect housewife, always look our best, and just keep it all together. I fail at it every single day…. And I am perfectly OK with it. I don’t know how to be perfect, but I do know that my kids love going on adventures and we are always making silly memories. I don’t know how to keep my home spotless, but I do know that we are all safe and comfortable here, and my REAL friends won’t judge when dishes are in the sink or toys are out. I don’t even know how to create the best outfits and makeup combos, but I know my kids faces light up when they see me….even if I look like a troll when I pick them up from school.
After all the hard work and many hours we put in…we will eventually get a reward. They start out small, first words and steps, then school plays and sports teams. Eventually it is graduation and college acceptance. After that comes watching our once tiny babies blossom into amazing human beings that have a chance to make a difference in the world. Maybe if we are lucky, we may even get grandkids one day. All the work that we do now is to grow them into adults that know how to love, be compassionate, and overall just be good people. We all have different goals for them and without us, it would be awful hard for them to reach them.
Next time the kids have you on the verge on insanity, take a breath, take a break from the things that don’t matter, and remember that you are molding the future with your hands… and that is hard work.
– Blessings, Samantha