My whole life all I wanted to do was grow up, find a good paying job, marry my soulmate and become a mama. The catch? There’s a lot of things they don’t teach you about in high school, and at the forefront is what motherhood is really like.
Motherhood is lonely. I’ve lost contact with most, if not all, of my friends. The friends that don’t have children just don’t understand why a mom does what she does, and the friends that do have children understand my absence and don’t reach out. It’s a vicious cycle. I’m desperately looking for some adult interaction, yet I don’t take the time to message my best mom friend and vent about the crap my kids got into that day.
Then, there are the Mommy Wars: Breastfeeding. Bottle feeding. Baby led weaning. Potty training. Cloth diapers. Circumcision. I’m always questioning if I’m doing something the ‘right way’ and constantly criticizing myself for a decision I made. And when I’m finally at peace with a decision, someone comes along and makes me feel like I risked my kid’s well being. It was just a hotdog for goodness sake. No, it wasn’t organic. Yes, they’ll probably eat it again tomorrow. Back off.
The house is trashed. Whether I stay at home, work outside my home, or work from home, it’s impossible to keep up with the everyday demands — not to mention the extras. The dishes stack up, the floors are sticky, the washer is starting to get a funk from forgetting to swap the laundry around, and the dryer is on it’s 5th air dry cycle because maybe the dryer will beat the odds and fold the laundry for me. (A mother can dream, right?)
And let’s not forget postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety — they are real, and they are struggles. Motherhood is hard enough trying to navigate when I’m feeling good about myself. Add in hormones, the aforementioned Mommy Wars, and everyday life stress and you can forget it. Life feels like an endless tunnel with no light or hope waiting for me at the end. Those days are just so, so dark.
Trying to maintain some sort of intimate relationship with my husband is almost comical. “Has it really been a week since we did the deed? Are you sure? Ask me again tomorrow night.” And on the off chance there is an opportunity, I just can’t shut my brain off because we’re either hiding in a closet while the kids eat chicken nuggets and watch cartoons, or I’m listening for crying and tiny feet to hit the floor from the nearby bedroom.
Ultimately, however, this is a season of life that I so desperately yearned for and am so blessed to have the privilege to experience. It’s late nights, little sleep, and early mornings. It’s exhaustion. It’s begging the clock to speed up so bedtime will arrive. It’s crying myself to sleep. It’s driving myself crazy with the what-if’s. It’s chasing around tiny tyrants. It’s yelling and then apologizing to these tiny souls that just don’t understand. It’s getting to experience life through my children’s eyes. It’s being vulnerable. It’s completely losing myself to raise strong, independent, intelligent, incredible little people.
It’s scary. It’s overwhelming. It’s stressful. It’s depressing. It’s wild. It’s fulfilling.
This is motherhood.
Dakota is part of the Contributing Writer Network at Thirty On Tap. To apply to become a contributing writer, please click here.
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