The trials and hardships of motherhood seem to be on display front and center more than ever lately.
It seems like everyone's writing and talking about how hard it is to be a mom. How much anxiety and worry there is. How hard it is to understand us and what we're going through. How different we are than everyone else. How our bodies have never been the same. How our marriages aren't either. How guilty we feel all the time. How our house is covered in toys and cheerios and we don't think we'll ever stop finding cheese between the couch cushions. How we never get to eat. To sleep. To drink hot coffee. To see a movie in the theaters. How we used to be fun and now we don't have time to be. How heavy our love is. How it might just break us in half. How we're exhausted, depressed, confused and depleted.
And I get it. I think most of it comes from a good, and true place. And I think it's so important for mother's (and anyone) to feel identified with, understood and not alone. And often when we're being our most vulnerable, it's usually about tough, difficult things. But lately, I feel like I'd be hard-pressed to find more than an handful of posts and discussions about how wonderful motherhood is. It just seems like the message lately is that motherhood is nothing but hard and how we have to watch closely in the little moments to find any good in our day.
And that couldn't be further from the truth.
Mommas! Where have all the good times gone? Where are the joys, the laughter, the smiles, the magic of motherhood? I know it's still there. Why are we not talking about it? Because if I were to judge motherhood and whether I'd want to step foot into it by what I'm reading, I'd be petrified.
And the reality is - as much as we like to say we are - we are NOT covered in poop all day. Hooray for being able to change shirts! And for children growing out of the newborn-blowout-every-five-seconds stage!
Guess what else? Moms actually do sleep! Crazy, right? Yes, there comes a day when most moms, most nights get at least 6-8 hours of sleep IN A ROW. Shocker, I know. You'd never guess from all our talk of tired eyes, sick kiddos and dreaming about getting more sleep.
And plastic toys that make our eyes sore? They can be hidden in these marvelous inventions called baskets. Cheese and cherrios can be *usually* relegated to the high chair. And sometimes? We only clean up the same mess three times a day instead of commonly reported 6,000.
Oh and eating. Yes, we do have time to eat. It might not be the long, luxurious, drawn out dinners lingering over a glass of wine whenever we want like it used to be. But we find ways, don't worry. Sure, there are seasons when we don't get to eat when we want to or at the temperature we'd like to, but we do eat. Beyond keeping those children alive, our other priority is keeping ourselves alive - and that includes eating. Contrary to how we make it sound, food is apart of our daily routine.
There are lots of hyperbolys that we mothers like to lament about. And there is a seed (or more) of truth to all of them. But what I wish we would talk about more is how motherhood pretty much takes the cake for the most fun thing you can do in your life.
Hearing your kid laugh for the first time will make it your daily mission to make them laugh again, and again, and again. And you'll keep having that feeling even when you hear them laugh for the 52,000th time. Seeing them crawl, then walk, then run, then jump and on and on will make your heart more full than anything this world has to offer. Listening to their stories, whether it's just jibberish coming out or a full-on elaborate fairy-tale they made up is something you'll find you prefer over watching any T.V. show or reading any book. Snuggling with them in the middle of the night is far better than snuggling with your pillow. (Okay. Fine - usually. Only if they too actually want to snuggle. Not when they want to roundhouse kick you in the face - er, play.)
Watching them kiss their stuffed animals 432 times in a row, sing into a fan and freak out over getting to play with a box and styrofoam packing peanuts is way more fun than anything I ever did as a DINK. Seeing my son smell - not just flowers - but leaves and grass and trees and garden hoses and shovels, because he thinks that's what normal people do - makes my day. And don't even get me started on the joy of seeing other people enjoy your kid and think they're as funny as you do. Now that will fill up your love-tank to run for a loooong time.
If you're a soon-to-be mom, or someone who's thinking about being a mom, please know, that motherhood is SO FREAKING FUN. And veteran moms - you know that too. I know you all know it - so why not talk about it more? Yes, there is a place for us to support each other in the hardship, to find hope and friendship through the trials, because motherhood isn't a cake-walk - and there are days that the things I mentioned above do feel all too true - but let's balance our woes with all the other awesome things we get to do all day. Let's tell the expectant mom that she's about to have the most fun she's ever had in her life and it's gonna be one wild and awesome ride. Let's give motherhood a good name and inspire other people to want to become moms.
Most days are so, so good. We do wear clean clothes. We do have time to brush our teeth, wash our hair, eat our breakfast and drink our coffee. It certainly looks different than it did pre-children. But I'm a firm believer that the new look is a whole lot better than the old.
Where have all the good times gone? Nowhere. They're right in front of us. Each and every day. Running circles around our legs and giving us more fun than we've ever had before.