I’m here to tell you something nobody really told me; something no one really talks about:
Motherhood is dangerous.
I remember clearly (as can be, given I had just delivered another human!) the day we brought home our son. It was absolutely overwhelming. We had read and prepared and baby proofed; but nothing could have prepared me for that moment – that moment of intense happiness but also an equally intense “OH MY GOD. I am now forever responsible for this being. I can’t do it!!”
I was dazed and confused; shocked; frozen. I was drowning and it felt like it would be that way forever.
No one really tells you that you will cry innumerable tears over things like sleep, spilled milk (literally!), sheer exhaustion, and not knowing how to deal with the insanity of your 2 (or 12 or 22 year old!). That you will feel guilty for every little thing – from allowing your child screen time so you can grab more sleep to losing your cool at your preschooler when you should have been more mindful, to knowing you’d rather go out with your friends versus stay home with the child that is your own flesh and blood.
No one tells you that you will become crazy, become a Mombie (Mom zombie!), pick fights with your partner because you secretly resent that he gets to leave the house, be a hundred times more sensitive than when you were pregnant, and feel intense loneliness/exhaustion/confusion.
But more than that, no one really tells you that motherhood will totally and completely hit you (as a truck would) at your deepest core – you will question who you are, what you stand for, what matters to you. You will wonder if you will ever be your own person again; if anyone else out there actually understands what you’re going through. And this will be intensely frightening. This could go on for a day, a week, a month; for years…
These motherhood dangers – the ones no one really ever speaks of, are there. I know it, you know it. But why are people reluctant to talk about it? Why is it all about the bliss and the amazing fulfillment you should feel just by being a Mom?
Don’t get me wrong. Being a Mama is my life’s purpose. I love being a Mom and when I became one, I knew this was my calling. I love my son immensely. Immensely. And feeling exhausted, feeling burnt out, needing a break (!), feeling lost and wanting more does not take away from that love.
So dear fellow Mama, I need you to know that while motherhood is one of life’s greatest blessings, it is also one of life’s greatest challenges. It will challenge you constantly. Some days, you will triumph over these challenges; other times, it will kick you in the butt. There will be many moments when you will have no idea where to gather neither the strength nor the energy. There will be many moments where you will fail – you won’t be as patient, you won’t remember to use a gentle voice, you’ll forget something or another. And during those moments – you will still love your child just as much as the blissful moments.
Fellow Mama, we need to be more open and accepting that yes, motherhood is tough. The more we sweep the “tough” part under the rug, the less we talk about it, the more of a danger it becomes. We need to start having more conversations like this. By having these conversations, it will be so much easier to reach out to one another, help each other. Let’s build a community of support, an environment with less Mommy Guilt, less Mommy Judgment, and less Mommy Shaming about things that are natural, that are normal.
We need to start having more conversations about the challenges, the difficulties, and the tough times we mothers will go through. We need to call it as it is and label it as we see it, so we can begin talking about solutions and share ways of coping. We need to start telling our fellow moms that you will love your child like you never have loved before, BUT there will be moments when you won’t like your child, or you won’t like yourself, and that’s okay.
Because yes, motherhood is dangerous and you will not like all parts of it – but that’s okay, because not liking some parts does not take away from your love and it does not make you a “Bad Mom”. It makes you normal. It makes you human. It makes you a Mom.