Over the past few weeks, quite a few parenting articles have been making the rounds. What’s the topic that has everyone conversing? The notion that we only have a limited number of summers with our children and that we must make the most of them.
On the other side of the fence, you’ve got those who are peeved at the make-your-moments-count timer and refuse to adhere to an “I can’t even blink, or I may miss something” way of living.
Here’s what I have got to say to that:
Okay, that was a bit harsh, and I only half mean it — the first part that is, the second, well, there’s truth to that.
I guess I’m someone who rides the line between “we only have 18 summers” and “don’t tell me that we only have 18 summers.”
I’m a momma who can’t get enough of my kids, but easily has “had enough,” which I am sure to yell at those three tiny and innocent bystanders every ten minutes like clockwork.
I’m a momma who claims I have no time to “play” because I have to do #allthethings and then complains that I can’t play because I have to do #allthethings.
I’m a momma who longs to hug my kids when we are apart but pulls away from them when they are extended at an inconvenient time (like while I’m mid-laundry or working) or when I am feeling over-touched.
I am a momma who wants to be a SAHM but has turned into a WAHM and is struggling with giving both my work (which I thoroughly enjoy) and my children (who I thoroughly enjoy when they are not driving me crazy) my full attention.
You see, I am a momma who has wanted nothing more, her whole young life, than to be a wife and a mother and here I am, being those things.
Well, guess what? It’s a lot harder than I ever expected or imagined.
Marriage forces you to compromise more than you would ever care too, and then you birth these gorgeous and loving babies who outgrow your lap and lullabies, but never your mind or your heart and they too require lots of compromises.
Even more than compromise they require attention, a whole heap load of it, which must include providing them with nourishment, affection, positive energy, motivation, active listening, teaching, and the list just goes on and on.
Now, have these past seven years gone by in the blink of an eye? For damn sure.
But have most of those 2,555 days gone by incredibly slow and been extremely draining, both physically and emotionally? You betcha.
You know, I used to feel like I was a hypocrite; a contradiction of a mother — a woman who claims she loves her kids but complains about the strenuousness of motherhood at every opportunity.
But, then I realized something. If my past 2,555 days as a mother have taught me anything, it’s that motherhood (and life in general) are not about extremes. In no realistic version of parenthood is the day-to-day black and white and full of either “right” or “wrong” moments. Conversely, authentic parenting is you — your unique being trying to improve yourself while trying to stay connected to another while trying to raise little humans.
If you are tired after just hearing how I phrased that, imagine how exhausting that life must be to live. The problem that occurs is that there is a group of people out there in the general public who contend that something so taxing can’t be beautiful.
Well, they are wrong.
Motherhood is beautiful, and it is messy. It is gray, and it is smudged. Motherhood varies in how it looks on different people and even for the same person, it can alter how it presents itself daily, hourly, or even every few minutes.
Listen, mamas; you can be both the momma who doesn’t want to blink, but who still freakin’ blinks because she needs those brief breaks from her empowering yet fatiguing journey as a life guide for her children.