Over this past year, I have realized the importance of using your voice and being your authentic self. Whether it’s the way you show up in your personal relationships or hell, the way you present yourself on your social media platforms. I used to be afraid of being judged by others for sharing my thoughts, feelings, or opinions. Literally SO consumed by it that I was such a people pleaser. Not only is people pleasing bad for your own mental health, but man it is freakin’ exhausting. I don’t know if it was having my daughter that gave me the courage to use my voice, but I’m eternally grateful for the ways in which she has changed the course of my life. What have I found when I’ve been open and honest about things – specifically related to motherhood? Other mamas messaging me saying things like “ME TOO”, or “thank you for talking about this”. That is absolutely the other driving factor behind sharing things that I feel passionate about – showing other mamas that they’re not alone.
There are such a range of posts about Motherhood, some being super positive, while others talk about the lack of support that women have as mothers. I’ve seen people say things like “don’t only talk about the negative parts” or “don’t only talk about the positive parts”. ALL of these feelings that women have surrounding Motherhood are VALID. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again now, my favorite way to describe Motherhood is a “beautiful mess”. I truly don’t know how else to describe it. Some days everyone is happy, you get to play outside, the kids nap and you have some time to yourself. Other days, no one is happy, you’re stuck inside and you have children climbing all over you or screaming at you 24/7. And then there are the days that are a combination of the two that aren’t too bad but aren’t great.
I’ll give you an example of what one of my days looked like this week. I woke up to Tallulah biting my nipple hard enough to get a reaction out of me at 5:15 AM, after a night of interrupted sleep. She generally sleeps well overnight, but when she’s teething and cutting teeth she tends to be up more often. So my left nipple is sore AF and we’re up earlier than usual. I decided to take her out on our morning stroll to wake myself up a bit (and because we love getting outside before everyone else is awake). When we got back home, I couldn’t put her down without her screaming at me to pick her up. Solution? Strap her to me in the carrier while I made breakfast for us. After breakfast I thought she might need a diaper change but wasn’t totally sure (it can be hard to tell with cloth diapers), so I pulled back her diaper to check and stuck my fingers in her poop. FUN TIMES. I immediately ran to wash my hands for a solid 5 minutes before coming back to change her diaper. After we changed her and got her settled into a new diaper, I put her down to play while I went to clean her cloth diaper. What happened next? Well, she somehow managed to pee out of THE SIDE of her diaper and proceeded to play in a puddle of her own pee. AGAIN, SUPER FUN TIMES. This is happening while I was attempting to clean her poop diaper. I heard the splish splash and ran into the room to get her out of that diaper and moved her into the pack and play. She wasn’t having this – she sat there screaming and crying while I tried to clean both diapers as fast as humanly possible.
This is when I got SUPER frustrated. But why? What was behind that frustration? Through therapy, I’ve learned that there are other emotions and feelings that tend to show up as frustration. Was I mad at Tallulah? NO. Was I tired? YES. Was I feeling like I just needed a few minutes to myself? YES. Was I sad that she was crying and upset while I cleaned up poop and pee? YES. What was my solution? I took Lulah out of the pack and play, wrapped her up in my arms and apologized for getting frustrated. We sat together in her rocking chair and snuggled. She calmed down. I calmed down. We helped each other regulate our emotions and how they were showing up for each of us. Moments like that are what I cherish. The times where things may feel like pure chaos, but if you just sit back, take a breath and surrender, that chaos can turn into peace.
I didn’t write this blog post to scare anyone or to try and make people think that this is what Motherhood looks like everyday. I’m just sharing my own personal experience and reminding you that it is OKAY to not love every second of being a Mom. Motherhood is not always butterflies and rainbows. Sometimes it’s poop explosions and ugly crying. And sometimes, (let’s be real) most of the time, it’s a combination of both. If you had a hard day with your child(ren) and are missing the days where you had more free time, that doesn’t mean you aren’t grateful for their sticky fingers and poopy diapers. It makes you human. At the end of the day, you’re doing the best you can. Let’s normalize ALL THE FEELINGS surrounding Motherhood. Let’s be more open, honest, raw, and vulnerable about the easy days AND the hard days. Let’s empower each other, support each other, lift each other up and celebrate the beautiful mess that Motherhood is.