We are enough

5.09.2015

I've been having this recurring epiphany happening lately as I go about my days.

Like, big kumbaya moments where I love all the people doing all the things.

It's like this:

I'm 3 years and change into being a mom. A full-time, hardcore, stay home, exhausted, harried mom. I've put my own dreams on hold. I've put my model body on bed rest (insert eye roll). I've left my academic words in the books they came from. What I've become is a master negotiator, a professional multi-tasker, a short-order cook, a sometimes patient and sometimes fun keeper of two mini humans. My sex drive is wilted, my energy level akin to a roller coaster. I have extreme emotions minute to minute, ranging from frustration and SOMUCHANGER to overwhelming joy and fulfillment, like in two seconds flat. It's like I'm a hormonal teenage girl on....extra hormones? I don't even know.


It's called parenting. It ravages you.

With it comes navigating the waters of social setting parenting. You know, like at the park with all the kids and their moms and how little johnny is always beating up on all the other kids but his mom stays oblivious and you nearly bite your tongue off trying to not rip the kid's hand from your kid's hair and still stay civil to her.  You know....navigating THOSE waters. It's enough to drive a girl crazy. You can be friends with anyone, but if your kids don't get a long....well, game over. May as well find a new park to frequent.

Anyway, what I'm saying is this: As women, we don't all get along. We tend to be catty. We tend to be judgmental. We tend to compare ourselves to others, for better or for worse. Sometimes we gossip about how so and so won't shut up about the parenting books she's reading and the advice we garner from it, or the other so and so who thinks her kid walks on water, or heaven forbid we cross the one who doesn't let her kids watch TV because it's of the devil....who wants to be friends with THAT family?

Am I right? Don't tell me you haven't done this. You find your people and you stick with them. You find the ones who have similar parenting to you and then you talk about how the other parenting parents don't do it right. Guilty? Guilty. To some enth degree.

Sometimes I think we get caught up in tearing the women around us down. Focusing on our differences rather than our similarities. Maybe we do it so we feel better about our own failures? Maybe we do it because it's easier to see the failures than look for the successes.

But, we are similar, even if we can't see it. Even those two moms who are in every way the opposite of each other are similar.


How?

Because I can guarantee you this:

Being moms? We all do it differently. But we have something so important in common that it trumps everything else.

We sit up and worry at night, wondering, agonizing over the fact that we don't know what we're doing. Am I enough? Am I ruining my kids? Will he be held back a grade because I let him watch an extra 30 minutes of TV so I could take an extra long shower with the door locked? Will she get cancer because I nuked the hot dog I gave her for lunch in the microwave? will she get cancer because I gave her a hot dog for lunch, period?!

We compare. We guilt ourselves. We don't let ourselves measure up.

We think about all the bad things that could happen to our children. We fear for them. We dread the day when we can't protect them anymore.  We dream about what they could become. We see our children in their basest, simplest form, and we know them. We dream big for them. We dream about giving them the things we had or didn't have. We dream the very best life for them, the very most carefree childhood, the most protected innocence and the biggest chance to get ahead in this world and then we do everything in our power to make that dream a reality.

We love them. We love them so hard our hearts hurt and squeeze and beat in ways we never knew were possible. We cry for them, we cry because of them, we cry about them. We talk about them, we think about them, we are constantly talking to them. We would give anything for them. We would die for them.

They make us ridiculously pissed off and immeasurably happy, sometimes at the same time (HOW?!).

I'm sure we all have collapsed in bed at the end of a really hard day wondering why we do this thankless job at all. We ruminate about all the things our kids did that day that were senseless and destructive. We count how many (too many) times we yelled at them, how many fits they threw, how many times we cleaned up the messes and then gave up, how disgusting the house is as a result. How many times we wanted to cry (or did), and how many times we just wanted to throw in the towel, give up, walk away, go shopping, eat an actual meal while it's still warm, sit in a corner with no one touching or talking or wiping their noses on you for maybe 2 minutes.

And in that chair or bed or floor you collapsed on, you start to remember the funny things they might have done that day. dancing with a bottle of bubbles, putting clips in brother's hair, saying something hilariously mature with a little tiny toddler voice, giving you the biggest hug for no reason, saying you look so beautiful as you walk around in your day-old gym clothes and makeup-less face.

And after all this, after all the desperate wishes for the day to be over, for the chaos of bedtime to be over, for the kids to grow out of this stage, for time to yourself to do what you want, for the time to finally be alone in a quiet house, you creep into their rooms and lean over their little sleeping bodies, softly rustle their hair, kiss their flushed cheeks, whisper that you love them more than anything in the world. Cover them tenderly with their blankets and walk out of their rooms wishing that you could stop time.

To some degree, in some general way, every mom has felt these emotions. Every. Single. One of us. The old lady who harps on you for not buckling your kid in at the grocery store. Your Mother in law who gives you unwarranted advice. Your arch enemy who bugs the crap out of you, that mom who always looks perfectly together, the mom who goes above an beyond with the preschool snack, the one who has a career, the one who stays home, your parenting opposite, your best friend, your neighbor, your own mom. All of us. We are all mothers. We've all done it. We are all in the trenches. We've all felt the gnawing pain of time passing, the knife of guilt and comparison, the lonely gulf of feeling hopelessly lost and alone and incompetent.


And when I think about that, I feel a real love for the mothers around me, the ones whose children are grown and gone, the currents ones, the ones who long to be, the ones who grieve because of the loss it has brought. Even though we may be vastly different in every way, at least in this is the same. We've felt it all. We despair and celebrate and try again and we do this the best way we know how.

So, let's give each other some credit. If nothing else, the divine nature of motherhood brings us together, whether we have children or not. We have felt all the feelings. We can look into the woman's eyes passing us in the store and know her exhaustion because we have felt it too. We can empathize with the harried mom dealing with an ear-splitting tantrum in the aisles of the grocery store. We can sympathize and mourn with those who are fruitlessly waiting or have lost. We know the heartbreak because we have felt the joy.

Motherhood is who we are. It's who we were meant to be. It's more powerful than anything on this earth, because it is God given. It is our eternal right and privilege. Let it bring us together. Let it lift us up.


We are each doing the best we know how, and that is enough.


5 comments:

  1. This is suzy, but I don't want to mess up joeys phone so I'll just post as him. You're cute. Your kids are cute. Your pictures are perfect and you're a wonderful mom and writer. I love you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is suzy, but I don't want to mess up joeys phone so I'll just post as him. You're cute. Your kids are cute. Your pictures are perfect and you're a wonderful mom and writer. I love you.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is exactly what I needed to hear right now. Having a hard day as a mamma myself, but also we are moving across the country for school in like 2.5 months and having to make new mom friends is freaking me out. I just don't even know what to do about it.

    Here's to hoping I can figure it out.

    Glenna

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is beautiful! Thank you for sharing your writing & for taking the time to write about such important things! I predict that someday I will own a book of essays written by you! Miss you!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks Elyse. I will try to pray for peace rather than the death to people who judge me because of my maniac son. I hope the beach life is going great!!!!

    ReplyDelete

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

beard All rights reserved © Blog Milk Powered by Blogger