Yep. It’s true. This mothering stuff… it’s hard. And no one likes to talk about the hard stuff. But I’m tired of all the blind-siding I’ve been feeling, and I’d love to know you are a little more prepared for all of this than I was.
You know what? I always wanted to be a mom. It’s ALL I ever wanted, actually.
In Kindergarten, when they asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I answered “a mom”. In 1st grade, same answer. By 2nd grade, I learned my lesson (the ‘mom’ answer was not the ‘right’ answer) and I made up something different each time. But inside, I was always shouting “a MOM! I just want to be A MOM!!”.
And guess what? I’m here! I’m exactly where I have always wanted to be. I am MOM.
That is no trivial thing. I am beyond blessed with my not-so-little family and every day I am blown away by these little people God has entrusted me with.
I know so many people who are struggling with the longing to be parents. And please don’t get me wrong, I feel their pain. I feel it so deeply. And I am in no way saying I don’t want this hard life… I LOVE this life. Hard, or easy, I wouldn’t change it for anything.
But I do wish I had known a tiny glimpse of how hard it would actually be.
You see, no one likes to talk about the dirty stuff. When people talk about pregnancy, it’s all flowers and roses… not stretch-marks and hormones. When they talk about birth, it’s all blissful and life-changing… not postpartum and p**p!
When they talk about newborns, it’s all squishy bodies and that new baby smell… not giving up sleep for the rest of your life and never being clean for more than 5 minutes again! When they talk about toddlers and preschoolers, it’s all fun and games… not tantrums and infinite messes!
Ok, ok… Negative nelly here for sure. And all that “flowers and roses” stuff is so true too, of course! And I get that no one likes to talk about the bad stuff, because we all know the wise words of Thumper’s father.. “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all!”
But you know what? I’m not ok with that anymore. I know it wouldn’t really change much in my current stage of life, but I would have loved to have been a little more prepared for all this hard stuff.
I wish I had known that I was going to be terrified of going #2 after having my first baby (Terrified! Tears, trauma… Googling you guys!) and that most everyone is and it will be ok.
I wish I had known that I would never sleep again (I really think I would have fit in more naps in my pre-kiddo life!).
I wish I had known that this beautiful, intense, all-consuming love I have for my children can also be so painful at times. There is so much truth to the saying “my heart is walking around outside my body”, and you know what? When your heart falls down… it hurts. When your heart has to have anesthesia and the nurse takes him from you… beating farther and farther away until you almost forget what it feels like to be in your chest anymore… it hurts. When your heart loves someone who doesn’t love them back… it hurts.
Would knowing have made that pain any easier? No. Yes. Maybe. If nothing else, there is peace in knowing you are not alone. That others have been there, generations and generations before you, and they have survived. And thrived!
I could go on and on and on…
But ultimately, I just wish I had known how HARD parenting is. I guess I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but I honestly didn’t think anything in this world could be THIS hard.
I thought I was prepared for this. I had the desire, the dream. I had years of experience being a nanny. I had a great mom, grandmas, friends. Wonderful female role-models for this journey I’m on.
But they all kept quiet about the hard stuff. And I wish they hadn’t.
I don’t think this is ‘wallowing in the negative’ or being a pessimist or anything like that, I just think this is real life, and I like to know what I’m in for… as much as possibly anyways.
So here it is:
This mothering stuff? It’s hard.
All of it. It’s hard.
It’s beautiful, it is life and soul and heart-changing, and it is hard.
The wait for children is sometimes long, and oh so painful. The pregnancy and birth is not always roses and butterflies. You may hate being pregnant, no matter how much you long for it. Birth is beautiful, and it is so SO hard. The hardest thing you will ever do maybe.
Newborns are hard. They are so perfect and yet so needy and so demanding of our selfishness-natures-that-just-want-to-unplug. Toddlers are hard. They kick, and bite and scream for no reason. They p••p and pee and throw up and spill and basically ruin every nice thing you have (please don’t buy nice furniture until they are older! And no carpet!!).
And I know the older years are hard too. The years I haven’t experienced yet.
Mothering is beautiful. Mothering is all I ever wanted. Mothering is hard.
So, am I scaring you? Or did you wish you had known some of this hard stuff too?