Motherhood is a tribe. When you become a mother, you feel that you can conquer the world. You become part of this immense group of women who have somehow done at all. Some of us have been able to carry our own child and bring it into this world after hours and hours of labor. Others have cried themselves to sleep and this night thinking about when it will be their turn to have a baby. Some women are lucky enough to adopt or foster child that needs a home. And while yes, motherhood is a tribe intended to lift you up, it can also tear you down.
Motherhood is also isolating AF. People talk about all the beautiful things that being a mother is about. They talk about your baby looking into your eyes and saying mama for the first time. They mention those delicious snuggles in the middle of the night and those cheeks that you can’t stop kissing. They talk about watching your child to grow up with pride because you made that human and that human is perfect. But no one really talks about how hard it can be on you. Not just as a mom, but as a woman.
I personally love being a mom, but that doesn’t mean that it’s all rainbows and sunshine. Sometimes, very often in fact, there are no rainbows or sunshine. There are tears, yelling, hiding, begging for help…
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, I got really lucky in the husband department. Santiago is an amazing father and an amazing partner. He changes diapers, does middle of the night feedings and makes sure the kids are well fed if I’m not able to. He truly is a partner. But you know what is super annoying? Everyone telling me that he such a good dad because he changed a damn diaper. I change diapers every single day and no one gives me a medal. Why? Because “it’s my job.” And you know what? That’s sexist.
When you’re pregnant, everyone wants to know everything. What’s the babies name, what’s the babies gender, when are you due, how was your delivery, how did you feel after… ??? But really once they hear your birth story, they don’t give a crap about you anymore…it’s all about the baby. It’s a horrible shift from when you’re pregnant. Everyone wants to be part of your story, your happiness. But, as soon as you get home from the hospital and get a couple of visits, your new life starts to sink in. You’re at home with cracked nipples crying into a pillow because no one has slept in over six weeks. Everyone else has gone on to live the rest of their life. No one’s calling in to check on how you’re feeling, no one’s calling to see if you need help taking a shower or a second to eat dinner. People will go on your Instagram and comment on how cute your baby photos are, but no one is there to ask you how you are. And you want to know why? It’s because they don’t care.
I carried both of my boys to term. I was actually kind of lucky they came out a week early at 39 weeks, but that’s a really long time. That’s almost 10 months of having a child grow inside of you, taking all of your hormones twisting them in your tummy and then shoving them out of your vagina. Your body changes, your hair changes, your skin changes, your view on life changes because now you’re not just worried about yourself—you’re worried about another human that you love more than anything. And people expect you to give to put a smile on your face because hey guess what,you just had a baby. How dare you feel alone, sad, depressed?
Every single time I have complained about motherhood, I have been flooded with both encouragement from moms that feel the same, and hate from moms who think I complain too much. I know there are families out there who struggle to have what I have. It is not lost upon me that I am extremely blessed. That doesn’t mean that I’m not allowed to feel or express my distaste for how I feel sometimes.
A lot of times I feel great, happy, blessed. A lot of times I feel overwhelmed, tired, fat, ugly, tired (again). And you know what? It’s ok, because being a mom isn’t being perfect or loving life 100% of the time. It’s being who you are for your child. And guess what? Who I am is someone who yells “oh crap” 15 times a day, who wears workout clothes to do groceries and who, no matter what, kisses her sons before going to bed. I always thank God for making me their mom, but I also ask him 100 times a day why he had to make them so loud and needy sometimes.
I am strict and lenient. I yell and laugh. I help make messes and help clean up. I’m still learning who I am as a person and as a mom. I’m new at this, remember?
I may not be the “perfect” mom, but I’m the perfect mom for them. For me, that’s all that really matters.