Yesterday, we were on the train coming home from a Broadway Bootcamp activity that I had to rush like a lunatic to get my son to on time. In order to keep him occupied during the thirty-five minute train ride, I brought one of his favorite books for us to look over. That was my attempt at being the “good mother” that week. He was doing pretty good, no out bursts, no craziness—so far. Then, a very sweet, elderly women got onto the train and squeezed into the seat on the other side of my little guy. He proceeded to [as quietly as he could ready the book aloud to me. Everyone began commenting on how wonderful he was doing for his age and throwing compliments my way as well—my head was even starting to get a little bit big. Then, IT happened.
Branden turned to me, smiling of course, and casually (yet loudly) stated, “Mommy, I don’t really like old ladies!”
Yes, THAT is motherhood!
Motherhood is moments—moments of wonder, happiness, stress, laughter, agony, pleasure, love—all strung into one emotion that can only truly be described as “The Big M.”
Whenever we are trying to conceive or are busy dreaming of babies—before we give birth, we focus on the laughter, the cuddles, the super cute onesies we are about to be buying that we don’t think about everything else that motherhood is.
I love being a mom, and I can’t wait to experience all that is it again, whenever the time is right for us to have a second child, but sometimes I feel like I read articles and see things on television and witness countless scenarios at the playground that portray motherhood as a fantasy that it’s really not.
Because motherhood is portrayed in this certain way, we grow up as little girls having certain expectations about what it’s going to be like—as if the days of playing “house” can easily get translated into real life. With those expectations being so high, we become easily let down if it doesn’t turn out the way that we had imagined it to be, resulting in us feeling let down and being extra hard on ourselves.
Therefore, I decided that it’s time to get real about mother—be authentic mothers instead of living in a fantasy land portraying ourselves as one type of mother in the public and acting a different way behind closed doors. Yes, I said it. We try to act out that fantasy life in the public eye, living up to these expectations that we think everyone has of us. Let’s be real. Do I feel my child all organic all the time? Did I breastfeed? Was my son potty trained by the time that he turned two? Do I always make the right parenting decisions? Maybe not. I decided that from now on, you won’t catch me pretending to be something that I’m not, just to validate my parenting skills in a public situation. We do what’s right for our family at the moment and are true to ourselves all the time.
I may not be the perfect mom. I may not make all the right decisions all the time and lay in bed at night regretting and wishing that I had disciplined differently, but that is motherhood. That is what motherhood is all about. It’s going through those sets of emotions, it’s a journey to getting from point A to point B and achieving what was right for you and your little one. After all, you aren’t having kids for someone else, so why try so hard to impress people with your mothering skills?
So, I challenge you to be real with me and get real about motherhood. Cherish every moment—but on your terms. Do what is right for you and make decisions based on how you envision motherhood.
What is motherhood to you?