I burst into tears at work the other day after reading this old blog post from Renegade Mothering about accepting that the woman you were before becoming a mother is dead and that's it's completely okay because there is rebirth into this new and beautifully different life. I don't think I've read something that articulated this feeling of change so well.
I know this so-called motherhood is hard. At least it's hard for me some days. Yes, I admit it. And I'm pretty flippin' lucky too. No, I'm VERY lucky. I have my one adorably chilled out, goat-cheese-eating, well-behaved little gal with gloriously chunky, pinchable thighs and a boundless thirst for giggles, new words, and bubbles. Her soul is as light, carefree, and beautiful as the very bubbles that make her giddy.
So I feel guilty for saying that it's hard sometimes. How can that be? What the hell is my problem? It was all supposed to be so very perfect, right? No. Hell no. Life is not perfect. Not by a mile. Life is messy and giggly. Life is long commutes and long kisses goodnight. Stomach bugs and tummy tickles. Life is a piping hot plate of homemade sin sprinkled with just enough joy dust that every wayward bite is flawed perfection.
I didn't want to admit this unsightly little truth. But I write it down anyway because I think there's something to be said in sharing the realness in life every once in a while in this age of Instagramic perfection, no matter if it has a hairy wart and hooked nose when it rears its ugly head. That shit ain't always pretty. And this scabbed truth may help someone else out there who also has a good kid and a bad day. Or two kids. Or four. Or just a well-intentioned one that acts like he's on crack in the mornings and in withdrawal in the afternoons, God love him.
So I say it.
That its hard.
And all I ever wanted.
And nothing what I expected.
In reading Renegade's post, I realized that I am still coming to terms with the change of motherhood. I longed for it during those dark infertility years. I craved it like a primal, unquenched thirst. But never once did I think it would take me so long to adjust once I got there. And maybe we really never do. Perhaps the adventure lies within the adjustment and not the righted.
I think about my friends now with two children, wading through uncharted, sleep-deprived waters with a temporarily neglected toddler and a needy newborn. I think about how their synergistic lives are so much harder in this very moment than the sum of all their individual family members. But after the dust settles they will also be compoundingly more joyous, where the love for their children is infinitely greater than they ever could have imagined.
I think about my other friends and the various stages they are in. Happy. Sad. Single. Married. Working. Not. They too have mostly hard or mundane days, interspersed with a seaside vacation or a long-awaited meal with dear friends (p.s. a night with true members of your tribe is priceless).
I think about my husband and how much I love him. And how much my heart soars high above and floats raptor-like on breezy thermals when I see him nuzzle his bearded face on the soft neck of our daughter. And how much he'll never fully understand the depths of the new me. Because I still don't.
But that's okay. Her words helped me to come to terms that we forever change as mothers. And I think it's okay to not be fully adjusted to this new life yet. Even after a year and a half. Even after only one child. Because we all have bad days. All of us. They make the good ones that much more special. Like twinkling stars set against a darkened sky.