Motherhood is not what I expected.
The first thing that comes to my mind is that motherhood is hard. Here’s the thing, there is no handbook given to us when the baby is born. You’re simply expected to know what to do with another human’s life. You’re expected to know how to feed this tiny human, hold them, change them, know their cues, and keep them alive. That’s a big responsibility! It should come with a tutorial or at least an experienced adult to bring home from the hospital. But it doesn’t work that way. Here’s your new baby, thanks for stopping by. Now go home and figure it out. BYE!
So, we do. I mean, we don’t have another option. Before having my baby, I pictured life going a different way. I imagined us sitting around her, cuddling her, taking cute Instagram pictures, eating nice dinners around the table while she slept in her swing. You know . . . “motherhood.” But none of this happened. Well, sometimes it does. But we are lucky if more than one of those things happens in a day.
Motherhood is Unpredictable
Most days, naps are short, we don’t understand her cues, we don’t know how to entertain her for her two-hour awake window, and trying to pump and feed her on a schedule has proven to be a mathematical dilemma daily. And this is just newborn life. Guess what? They grow up, and every month, every year is so different from the next, and it’s all unpredictable. All of it!
Motherhood looks different for everyone because every child is different. They all have different needs, different personalities, and different developmental stages. This is also not fair! Shouldn’t having one child make the next one a little easier? Nope! It seems to start all over again, and now you have two completely different personalities, mouths to feed, and roommates to figure out. It’s hard.
Motherhood is not what I expected.
I thought I would figure it out quickly. I didn’t think it would be this exhausting or that I would lose myself and my personal time to this extreme. I didn’t expect to want a break from all my kids. I didn’t expect to have to parent so much because that’s what moms do. I didn’t expect to be beyond exhausted, nor did I expect to feel sad and angry at times too. I have everything I ever wanted in front of me, but some days I just want to hide in my closet and come out the next day. This isn’t what I expected. Where are my Pinterest moments, my pretty lunches and dinners? Where are all the smiles and the cuddles?
As much as I didn’t expect how hard it would be each time, I also didn’t expect to have this much space in my heart. I didn’t expect to love another human this way. To constantly worry about them. I didn’t expect that putting myself last was going to fulfill me. I didn’t expect that caring for these little humans would allow me to sleep better at night (metaphorically, of course). I didn’t expect that a hug, a smile, or a brand-new laugh or coo would make me cry so many tears of joy. I didn’t expect that even without a shower, a fresh set of clothes, or a real meal in days that I would still feel put together, that I would still feel so complete, so needed. I didn’t expect motherhood to truly fill my cup.
It’s hard, but it’s worth it.
So yeah, it’s hard. There are days that I need eight people to help me. There are days that, by 7:00 pm, I literally can’t look at my kids. But then another unexpected thing happens. I miss them. By 7:15 pm, I start looking at their pictures. I go into their rooms and hug them. I kiss them, and I apologize for raising my voice that day. I’m exhausted, but the most unexpected thing of all is that I can’t wait to do it all over again the next day. That’s motherhood.