I read a post this morning off of the “Mommy Doesn’t Lie” blog and it really resonated with me as a mom (I encourage you to read the post). In this blog, the mom referred to herself as a broken crayon and went on to rather poignantly support her analogy. I loved it. I loved reading about another mom’s perception on how her life is now, because it only seeks to highlight that we as mothers share a commonality that together gives us a great strength and purpose.
Most days I consider it a win if I make it through the day where no one has cried (much), myself included, no one has gotten in trouble, I haven’t yelled (much), homework got done with minimal whining, we ate dinner by 6, everyone showered without an argument, and got into bed by 9. I look in the mirror at the end of the day – which for me is usually around 11pm, and try to give myself a pep talk about doing it all over again that next day.
Motherhood is the hardest thing I have ever undertaken. It is a true test of one’s mental strength, one’s patience, one’s selflessness, and one’s physical stamina to function on little or no sleep. Granted the payoffs are priceless – first smiles, first words, first steps, pictures they color you, every time they say “mommy” or tell you that they love you, hugs they give, and moments in which they succeed at anything that they try. Yet payoffs come intermixed with the general handwork of raising them. Then there is the messiness (lets face it, kids are sticky, sloppy little tornados of disaster), the whining, the meltdowns, the snotty looks, and snarky remarks (if you have older kids). As a mom you have to be on top of everything – did they do their homework? do their chores? brush their teeth? use shampoo in the shower? You are also the chauffeur, the taxi service, the human ATM, the fix-it person, the maid, the cook, the nurse to illness and boo-boos, and any and all other required skill sets. You are known only as mom. Not “Jennifer” or “Michelle” or “Jill” but mom. It’s as if you didn’t exist until that first child came along. Gone are the days when you got dressed up, wore make-up as an every day occurrence (instead of on a special occasion), worried about who might see you if your wore sweats, cared if you showered before school drop-off, and had a closet full something other than yoga pants and T-shirts. Gone are the days when you “used to be fun,” took random shopping trips to the mall with your best girl friends and spontaneously would “go out for a night on the town.”
Sounds grim – it kinda is. But then you realize that almost every other mom out there is going through similar struggles and similar challenges. You are not alone in how you feel, how you respond, and how you now are. And that it is what makes motherhood a force to be reckoned with. We as moms need to embrace the commonalities of what we share and use them to regain our identities as women – not just moms. Imagine who we could be if we merged the woman we once were – you know, the one who’s buried down deep, with the woman we are at this very moment. Man – we would be a force to be reckoned with. A force so strong and so unstoppable that all would take notice.