It is one of those days. Where the kids are driving you crazy, the laundry is piled up, the baby won't stop crying, you are just all around not feeling this motherhood thing, and you wonder to yourself "OMG WHY DID I HAVE KIDS?". Trust me, I've been there. I've had those days.
I want you to ask yourself that question, for real. Why did you have kids? What kind of mother did you think you would be, you know, before you had kids? Believe it or not, as a mother of five children, I wasn't even sure I wanted to have children. I was the youngest in my family, and I didn't even hold a baby until my first nephew was born (ps Happy Birthday today Dante!). Kids just weren't my jam. I liked to travel and spend a weekend away seeing my favorite band and spending my money on things like bags and jeans and Sephora. So much Sephora. And then one day I thought, well, maybe it might be nice?
I decided I would be the kind of mom that never yelled, that baked cookies for them when they came home from school, the kind that sewed Halloween costumes from scratch just like my mother did. I would breastfeed for at least a year because how hard could it be really?? My kids would never have snotty noses or dirty faces and would be well behaved and I would never be that mom in sweats at the grocery store looking like she hadn't showered in who knows how long. Not me. No way. I would never "let myself go" after I had kids. I would give birth with zero drugs totally naturally and my husband would applaud my "warrior" status at birthing children.
Then I actually had kids.
And I yelled. I sometimes bake. I can't sew to save my life, seriously even buttons are a challenge for me. Breastfeeding? Yeah, hard sometimes. As far as cleanliness? I TRY. But snotty noses are snotty noses and if you can get away with never having a snotty nosed kid then more power to you lady. I type this as I sit unshowered, again, (sometimes I tell myself I am being environmentally friendly by not showering and hats are my GO TO accessory and please don't ever ask me to take one off in public it will not be pretty). I have learned to accept my body, whatever it looks like, because for f*#k's sake I BIRTHED HUMANS and that is incredible no matter what my breasts might look like now. And while there were drugs involved and a road I didn't plan on taking when I gave birth, I think I'm still a warrior, and I have the scar to prove it.
So, pretty great but sorta messy, right? Parenting, that's what it looks like. For everyone. Don't let anyone fool you.
Now I want you to revisit that person you were before you had kids, with all her judgments and expectations and hopes and wishes and cute little ideas about white couches and clean cars and never losing her temper. Say hi to her, and pat her on her sweet clueless little head and say goodbye to her, because just as our children are born and grow, we are born and grow as mothers. We change, we adapt, we learn, with them. For them. Because of them.
Now I want you to think about why you really, really wanted to have kids. Visit that real idea that grew in your head. Chances are it had nothing to do with matching outfits and instagram pictures, nothing to do with judging moms in the checkout line or expecting perfection from yourself. Chances are it was this tiny little seed of love that you recognized as new and different and you somehow knew it was there for that little human you brought into the world.
When you are having one of those Why Did I Have Children Days, remember that. Go to that. Puke can be cleaned up, toys can be put away, cranky children will eventually fall asleep somewhere, and all these hurdles that sometimes feel like are burying you can instead build you up. Jump over them or crawl over them, but get over them and add them as notches on your mamahood belt (I imagine mine as looking like one of those ginormous WWF belts, all big and shiny). Find your strength to get through the tough days (weeks, months, hell, even sometimes years) by knowing that at the very heart of all that modern motherhood entails, you were meant to be this person's mother, this person's guide, and this person was brought to you for a reason. Now go take a shower, and get back to mothering as only you can. xoxo