Has motherhood been what you expected it to be? I spent some time talking to a friend this morning, and we shared the aspects of being a mom we had anticipated and which ones caught us off guard. I was completely unprepared for the difficulties of motherhood, beginning with pregnancy. I am always ill with my pregnancies, but my twin pregnancy was vicious. Imagine being hungover for nine full months with terrible back and sciatic pain. It was horrible, and I remember being horribly disappointed.
I even felt as if I had been lied to by mothers everywhere.
I felt like no one was really honest about how it would be. We tend to get horror stories that are uncommon and then fake stories that are all over social media. No one is happy all of the time with their children, but no one is really sad all of the time either. There is an ebb and flow that changes day to day, hour to hour. The emotion I feel most of the time is “busy.” Sometimes it’s a good busy, where I feel productive, and other times it’s a stressful busy, where I never have a enough time. But most of the time it’s a neutral just-putting-one-foot-in-front-of-the-other- busy, interspersed with moments of frustration but also happiness. Delight is rare, but would it hold value if it was common?
I feel that we have been conditioned to think motherhood is magical, hard, but magical. And yes, there are absolutely magical moments, but they are moments; they are not continuous experiences. Just like parts of being a mom are excruciatingly painful, but they pass. We cycle through all feelings and emotions on a continual basis because stagnation is impossible with the fluctuation of children. And it is these contrasting experiences that make motherhood rewarding. Pain leaves an imprint on our soul, a backdrop against which we can understand joy and bask in its brilliance.