Motherhood has been all consuming for me lately.
All consuming as in an angry fire devouring a beautiful forest and there will be nothing left. As in I think I’m going under and I won’t survive this.
I’m starting to resent “those” mom bloggers (including myself) who look like they have it all together: “I’m just a mom, I cloth diaper, stay home, I never feed my children Cheetos or bribe them with Oreos, and I even have time to post all my healthy recipes with beautiful photos to boot. Oh, and I’m beautiful and happy too.”
Actually I can’t stand those bloggers now that I think about it (again, including myself) and I hate that I often (in my happy moments) portray my own motherhood that way too. And motherhood absolutely does have those fleeting moments where you don’t burn the chicken and the children are actually playing with each other instead of yelling, and you actually did wash (and brush) your hair today. But the truth is being a mom is hard work and recipes of the perfect Rice Krispi treat, homemade play dough and ’27 reasons why everyone should cloth diaper their children’ as the pinnacle achievements of our lives trivializes motherhood in the worst possible way.
As mothers we are raising, feeding, caring for human beings. I quickly learned my baby was not a craft project with a detailed list of materials needed, illustrated directions for care and a beautiful expected finished result. Oh dear no, motherhood is messy, aggravating, joyous, hilarious, pushes me to my limit and then some. It brings me to my knees. I have seen the worst and best side of me only in the context of being a mother. I have lived the worst fear: failure. I have yelled, bribed, threatened, ignored, pretended to be asleep and punished unnecessarily. I have hated (can I say that?) motherhood sometimes, the demands and the fact that it never. lets. up.
I know, I know..we have to savor the moments, we have to enjoy, we have to take a zillion pictures and remember everything, and we do. I do. And there’s not really a whole lot I would trade motherhood for, except maybe, an easier version of the motherhood I’m in now. But then if it wasn’t hard- gut wrenching hard, painful and challenging, requiring sweat, sleep, blood and tears- it wouldn’t be motherhood (and fatherhood) would it? We’re in the trenches. We’re in the business of shaping human hearts and souls, fragile, tender, overflowing with potential greatness and love. With so much fragility is it any wonder we sometimes fail, break, fall, make a mess?
I have so much to learn. I wish that I didn’t have to learn it with my children’s hearts on the line. But I’m trying (oh, how I’m trying) to remember that children are resilient and maybe, just maybe, the most powerful thing my children will see in me is my weakness. And that we’re all just human together. We’re all a big mess. A beautiful mess.
Maybe that’s what I need to be reminded of. And that after an all consuming wild fire, with what seemed like only death all around, new life hides in the fertile black soil, ready to spring forth.