You will never hear me say motherhood is easy. It can be beautiful and fulfilling but it’s also undoubtedly complicated and messy. The truth I know about motherhood is this:
1. Even if your newborn did come with a manual it would only be full of conflicting advice.
2. You will always feel guilty about something. Guilty about working when your kids want you to play. Guilty about giving in to a treat request just to shut them up. Guilty about hiding in the bathroom scrolling social media because you just want a few sacred minutes of alone time.
3. The smell of toddler vomit will become an ingrained olfactory memory. Once you’ve smelled it, it can not be un-smelled. Mercifully so is the powdery sweet smell of a newborn’s head.
4. You will NEVER regret accepting your child’s request for a hug.
5. You MAY regret accepting friend requests from well-meaning mums in briefly attended parenting groups.
6. A mother’s gut has remarkable instincts. Trust them…
7. …But know that you will have days when you feel you’ve monumentally screwed up. When you feel you’ve failed your kids with bad advice or by misreading some camouflaged emotional cue. It’s unavoidable. Cut yourself some slack.
8. Because you will also (less often, but still...) have days when you feel you’ve single-handedly moved mountains. By some miracle you’ll keep all the plates spinning and you’ll wish someone else had seen it all and commended you on your fine performance.
9. Everything sags eventually. Everything. Things you didn’t even know had the potential for elasticity.
10. Worry is a mother’s right of passage. You’ll worry that you’re not doing enough. Then you’ll worry that you’re coddling them too much. You’ll worry about whether you’re raising respectful boys or teaching your girls that strong is the new pretty. You’ll worry that they’ll get bullied and won’t make friends. And then you’ll worry that they’ll cave to the pressure to conform and fit in when you want them to feel strong in their individuality. Welcome to motherhood you just got your Brownie Badge for Anxiety & Confusion. Saddle up and stitch that sucker on.
With all of this being true I only have one piece of useful advice. Find YOUR PEOPLE. They’re the ones who will listen to you rant without judgement. They lift you up and make you laugh so hard you cry. They’re the ones who don’t bat an eye when you super-fill your wineglass and eat half the round of Camembert single-handedly. They’re the ones who’re allowed to see you ugly cry.
This mother’s day my shout out is to MY PEOPLE. You know who you are and you know I love you. Happy Mother’s Day ladies! xx