When you are in the throes of giving birth, and you politely, succinctly tell your doctor that you simply cannot push anymore because you are exhausted and you want that baby out of your body immediately, but the doctor calmly encourages you to push just one more time, you bear down and push with a force of strength you didn’t even know you had in you. But it’s in you. It’s all you. Motherhood is powerful.
We share a common denominator: we have given birth to a soul forever tethered to our heart and are asking it to thrive in a complicated world. I describe motherhood as giving birth to a piece of your heart, handing it a pair of scissors and allowing it to run in traffic. Only now add in a pandemic, so it must wear a mask, social distance and wash its hands repeatedly, because if moving cars and sharp objects don’t get them, the germs might.
We moms don’t give ourselves enough credit. There is no job in our lives that we have been less trained or prepared for than motherhood. Even if kids came with instructions, we wouldn’t have time to read them. And we are our worst critics. We look at our friends and their “I baked gluten-free muffins and did a craft while home schooling and simultaneously losing five pounds” posts on social media and we believe they’ve got it all figured out. But they don’t. Filter that out.
Don’t compare your parenting, children, relationship, finances or home’s cleanliness to anybody else (also, unfriend those people – seriously). Every family has struggles they don’t post to Instagram. Remember: your family is your miracle. Honour that. Don’t compare it to anyone.
Mothers have to push on when they are exhausted, exasperated and have nothing left in their tank to fuel that one last thing their child needs from them. When we are beyond done with patience, compassion or the energy, we’ll find it somewhere within. Or when we’re asked to provide an answer to a question that has been asked for the millionth time, we’ll answer it, a million and one times.
Sometimes we snap. We’re human. We have limits. The littlest thing can set us off. It is ugly. Wicked Witch doused in water, ugly. Somebody left the milk jug empty, again. “And why can nobody change the toilet paper roll? Also why are we going through three rolls of toilet paper a day? You guys are going to plug the toilet.” You’ve basically issued the kids a challenge. They’ll meet it. Good luck with that.
Then there is primal mother force, a source of courage and protection you are capable of when anybody, and I do mean anybody, does anything that you feel will hurt, insult or question your child’s character. There is a reason a mother bear is terrifying when nurturing her cubs. She’s beautiful and fierce. You have that power too. You are beautiful and fierce in your love. Remember that.
Moms, I know you are tired. I see you. I understand you. I support you. I am you. No matter what stage of motherhood we’re at (big love to the grandmothers) we’re doing our best. It’s enough. You’re enough. Please take care to restore your power, every chance you get.
The best hearts depend on you.
Happy Mother’s Day.