This Is Motherhood


When someone asks me what motherhood or parenting is really like (and they emphasis the word ‘really’ as though no one ever tells it like it is), I try to be as honest as possible. I tell them the good, but I also tell them the bad.

I tell them that pregnancy and parenthood is a complete mix of the highest of highs and the lowest of lows and that sometimes you'll experience both in a matter of minutes.

I tell them that in the newborn baby days you will go from a complete babymoon, bliss bubble to a stressful mess in the blink of an eye. Life will be peaceful when baby sleeps, and anxiety ridden when they don't. Babies can go from zero to ten in a split second and so will your emotions.

I tell them that some days you'll feel like Super Woman. You'll be vacuuming the lounge while baby breastfeeds in the carrier, house spotless and Granny Smiths steaming on the stovetop; but then there will be days where you are looking at the clock too much, wondering if it is broken because it should be 4pm and it’s only 9:30am. You’ll have days wondering how on earth you'll survive the next hour let alone dress yourself and rummage up something to eat for breakfast.

I let them know that they will be negotiating all.day.long. I tell them that they will be wishing for their children to speak its first word but not long after wish their child would be quiet for just.one.minute. They will get sick of hearing 'Mum!!!' being called out from another room. They will repeat phrases like 'don't touch' or 'stop shouting' over and over and over again. The only music you'll listen to is The Wiggles or Justine Clark. You will know the words to these songs like the back of your hand and you may even find yourself driving child-free one day, and realise this music is still playing...and you are still singing along. 

You'll be tired from lack of sleep when they are young and you'll be tired when they are older because you've savoured your evenings too much and stayed up far too late (watching recorded daytime shows like Ellen). 

There is poo, vomit, saliva, tears, reflux, rashes, teething and wind; dirty nappies, dirty clothes, dirty dishes, screaming, sleepless nights and an empty fridge, including no wine...
But there are also morning snuggles, duckling hair, eyes that gaze right into your soul, smiles that melt your heart, fingers that wrap around yours, love that you've never known possible and laughter that changes your life; there are friends and family who help you out, slow cookers and frozen meals and Woolworths online deliveries. There are words like  'I love you mum' and 'you're the best' that make the stress of everything else dissipate. There are award ceremonies and speeches that will have you teary and proud. And occasionally, you'll stand in the kitchen sipping a hot cup of tea and you'll just watch them. You'll see them caring for one another or helping each other with a task. You'll hear them say things like 'let's do it together' or 'I will help you' and your heart will implode with pride and relief that you must be doing something right. 

You'll survive, and although life will sometimes feel a little like Ground Hog Day you'll hold tight to the good moments and learn to move on from the bad. When it comes to parenting the good always outweighs the bad - that's why people have multiple children.  And lastly, always, always remember that others are in the same boat as you and that no parent, no parent is perfect and neither is any child.

Motherhood is the greatest thing you'll ever do. 

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