Feel like you’re stuck in motherhood? Me too.
This is my story:
Right now I am sitting by my third grader who has to copy a final draft on his report on monarch butterflies. It is slight torture. For both of us. For him because handwriting is his least favorite subject in the world and coupling handwriting with re-copying a report that he thinks is perfectly acceptable is like asking him to eat spinach and chicken and anything else he hates.
For me it’s torture because part of me wants to just pick up the pencil and attempt my best third grade handwriting and just get this over with. Which, please note, I only thought about but now have total empathy for those parents who just finish things. We want the torture to end. And it’s torture because I’m having to be the cheerleader for a little person who wants absolutely nothing to do with this at all.
It’s like staring down at the impossible knowing that I can’t get out of it.
Earlier today I cleaned my kitchen. Three times. There was no school and stuff got left there. I also noticed that I forgot to move the clothes from the washing machine to the dryer so I did the extra cheat load of oops and redid that only to come upstairs to find a stain on the really light couch in the living room. Of course no one admitted to doing that.
Tomorrow I have to go talk to a consumer credit attorney about unfair practices that have been happening to me regarding a debt that was supposed to have been resolved in my divorce, but just like I’ve received no child support it is now all on me and I’m having to claw out of it. My children don’t know about that part so when they complain about stuff or grumble or think I’m strict and the mean parent I would love to tell this nuance, but instead I sometimes go into my room and hide.
I think I’ve fallen out of love of motherhood.
I think I’ve fallen into this kind of love hate just-get-it-done motherhood is the best sometimes state of mind. Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids, as do all of us mothers who dare to admit that we’ve fallen out of love, but sometimes the day in and day out being enough and having to deal with homework while smiling at 5:53 pm can be a bit much.
There’s no running away to Jamaica. There’s not much space and freedom to actually find ourselves or take that shower sometimes either.
And it’s easy to see just the work.
But, as I’m sitting here listening to the grumbles and moans and huffs of air as I see the words this report will have facts about monarch butterflies I also profoundly realize the power in sitting here. Maybe there isn’t the love part like when we dream of being parents, because like any relationship – this part is work. And sometimes we just have to choose to fight because we deep down love those people that drive us crazy.
It would be so much easier to not care. It’d almost be a relief at this point.
But I do care.
You do care.
And sometimes motherhood isn’t that fairytale that we once imagined. And perhaps the dream is shattered with rebellious kids or crazy lives like I have (may I remind you of my unfortunate attorney meeting tomorrow just so you don’t think I have it together all the time…) but I think we can find that we can learn to like and love motherhood again.
Not the crazy stuff, but perhaps if we can give ourselves a moment now to see that you can see.
In fact, I want you to think of three simple things that happened today that are beautiful or simple or that make you smile. Three things. And it could be the smell of coffee in the morning or that the intro paragraph is almost done (thank goodness) or that you had enough dish detergent (because that stinks when you don’t).Don’t stress about coming up with the perfect things, but just let yourself remember some.
And cherish them. And I mean it.
Like be super grateful for those moments that are tucked in the fabric of a crazy life. Those are the moments that make us fall in love with motherhood. Not the other stuff. And the more that we start to train ourselves to see the beauty in the mundane the more we can begin to see the absolute privilege it is to sit next to a grumbling nine year old monarch report writer.
Because we are their moms.
I didn’t quit on him. I believe in him.
Just like you believe in your kids.
Believing and loving someone means that we get into the nitty-gritty parts of life. It means those late nights and no sleep and wiping up puke and running in late homework and fighting for our rights and doing things that is tough.
That is love.
I believe in you.
So if the magic of motherhood has faded, don’t worry. The life long beauty is beginning.
After all, that’s what real love is.
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