They say, “Mommin’ Ain’t Easy.”
Especially in the early years of motherhood, when you’re somewhere in your late 20s or early 30s, and have multiple little kids/babies, likely all under the age of 8 years old. At some point in the last decade of your life, everything you knew changed, DRASTICALLY. And right now? It’s hard.
Right now? You’re physically EXHAUSTED.
You probably feel like a jack of all trades, but master of none. You are juggling the baby’s nap schedule, preschool drop-off, doctor appointments, and after school activities. You are juggling the kids, the house, your marriage, whatever friendships you have managed to hold onto, and maybe a job too. You are dealing with runny noses, the terrible two’s, and another stomach bug. You are dealing with sudden inexplicable sleep regressions, constant dinnertime battles, and endless bedtime requests. You are dealing with “MOMMM, he hit me!!” and poop-splosions, and a runaway toddler, sometimes all in the exact same moment!
Your days are filled with monotony, and that too, is somehow exhausting. You feel like you’re doing everything on repeat – the laundry, making another meal that no one will eat, emptying the dishwasher, or begging someone to PLEASE go get their shoes on so you can get out the door on time. No matter how many times you do something, it always seems to be waiting for you again.
And even once the kids are finally in bed, there are emails to answer, toys to put away, and lunches to make. You have lofty goals and endless to-do lists that never get touched, because by the time you finish wiping down the counters, you can’t imagine doing even one more thing.
Right now? You’re mentally OVERLOADED.
You have so many decisions to make. Some of them are really important, some of them aren’t. But most of them feel overwhelming either way. You are trying to decide on the right stroller, the right car seat, or the right school. Should I use fluoride, should I not use fluoride? Should I take them back into the doctor, or wait it out another day? Should I pump more or just switch to formula? Should I feed them peanut butter or wait a little longer? Should I sign them up for more activities/are they in too many activities? (DID I MISS THE ACTIVITY SIGN UP AGAIN!?)
Your brain feels completely overloaded, and you’re struggling to remember everything for everyone – like, the permission slip on the counter, to get the chicken out of the freezer for dinner, to refill the diaper bag with diapers, or to finish putting mascara on before rushing out the door.
And on top of all the day to day tasks, there are bigger things weighing on you too. You’re likely pregnant again, trying to decide if you WANT to be pregnant again, or suddenly finding yourself struggling to get pregnant again. You might be dealing with wanting to move to a bigger house. There might be job stressors, marital stressors, in-law stressors, financial stressors, and the list goes on.
It’s a lot. And your brain has reached capacity, you’re sure of it.
Right now? You’re emotionally DRAINED.
You’re riddled with guilt on a daily basis. You feel guilty for letting them watch too much TV so you could finally get some cleaning done, or for finding yourself sitting amidst every single toy & crumb known to mankind at the end of the day. You feel guilty for having a short fuse and little patience, or for not being strict enough and enabling them to be lazy and undisciplined. You feel guilty for working too much or not at all. You feel guilty for not breastfeeding longer, for not sleep-training sooner, or for not spending more time helping them learn their letters.
No matter what you choose, you’re always hyper aware of your shortcomings, and you find yourself questioning it all.
Why doesn’t anyone ever listen to me? Will they be kind humans? Why does my body have to look like this? Should I be investing more time in my hobbies? DO I EVEN HAVE ANY HOBBIES ANYMORE? Am I terrible for wanting a break from my kids? Do they know how much I love them? Did I get ANYTHING right today?
Man, does motherhood feels like one giant contradiction and emotional rollercoaster.
It’s slowly passing by in an instant.
It’s a guessing game despite the endless rules.
You feel so darn lonely, even though you’re constantly surrounded.
You are so busy, and yet so bored.
Motherhood is squashing you down, and slowly but surely, reshaping you.
And despite how physically exhausting, mentally overwhelming, and emotionally draining it is, you’re not sure you ever want this stage to end.
Because, right now? You’re living out your DREAM.
You’re experiencing the very best snuggles and chubby cheeks. You’re dealing with messy curls blowing in the wind as they skip down the sidewalk. You’re dealing with unbridled joy, big dreams, and problems that can be fixed with a simple kiss. You’re watching them learn new things, conquer their fears, and explore all the world has to offer with awe and curiosity.
Your days are filled with dandelion picking, adorable mispronunciations that you refuse to correct, and quirky obsessions with random objects. You’re experiencing first words, first bike rides without training wheels, and excited squeals after their first taste of ice cream. You’re experiencing magical Christmas mornings, the pride of watching their first steps, and the joy of seeing your kids become best friends. You get to watch your husband become a daddy and your parents become grandparents.
You’re dealing with a heart that’s filled to the brim with joy and pride and gratitude.
Right now? You get to spend every single day with the people you love most in the entire world.
Right now, they’re still completely yours. And that’s not lost on you.
No, mommin’ ain’t easy. It’s hard. But it’s the best darn “hard” you wouldn’t trade for anything.