Not quantum physics “hard”, because motherhood isn’t rocket science. In fact, raising children is something that the average woman was born capable of doing. Yet, that doesn’t make it any less of a feat, and maybe we should all be nominated for a few Nobel prizes.
Motherhood is hard in the sense that it takes all of you, drains you emotionally, and leaves you feeling raw and vulnerable. It changes who you are. Being a mother requires us to put aside ourselves to love and care for another human, in a way that no other relationship could. When my son was born, I had this instant desire to do everything in my power to take care of him. There was (and is) no question to the lengths that I would go to protect him; God forbid anyone get in my way. I remember sitting in our hospital room on Brayden’s second day of life with one group after another of family and friends coming to visit. We were so happy to introduce our little man to our loved ones, but as soon as the last group left I felt so much relief. Ahhhh. Once again holding my new little one made me feel whole again; after all, I had carried him for 9 months so being close to was a necessity. All of sudden, “knock knock knock” on the door and comes someone else. When the practitioner asked to do his hearing screen I nearly lost my marbles. I needed to touch him. I couldn’t give him up so soon after just getting him back in my arms. Realizing how close I was to a breakdown, my husband asked the practitioner to come back later so that I could have baby snuggles for just a bit longer.
There have been so many moments when I’ve been away just a little too long at work or running errands, and I begin to feel this desperate need to get back to my baby. I am no longer just “me”, I am Brayden’s mom. My new role has consumed me and changed my identity. My son is the first thing I think of when I wake up, and the last one I pray for as I go to sleep. For months I battled nightmares that someone was going to take him away from me and would wake up sobbing. My job as his mother is non-stop and this role weighs heavy on me at times, even in my dreams. It is hard to love someone so much that your own happiness depends on his or her well-being.
I adore my husband and our relationship makes me a better person, but I was whole before I met him. We have grown together and our love has deepened through the ups and the downs of parenting. If something happened to him my heart would be in shambles, but his survival is not based on my actions. He can live without me and if I failed in him in some way, he would most likely live to tell the tale. The responsibility involved in raising a tiny human is so tremendous, as you realize that you have to keep them alive, and try your best to prevent the need for an abundance of therapy as adults.
While the pressures of motherhood build up, it is so important to give ourselves grace. We must forgive ourselves for our shortcomings, and learn from our mistakes because yes, we will make plenty of them. We are all doing our best to be great mothers and to rediscover who we are now that our lives revolve around tiny little humans. Let’s all just be honest and admit that being a mommy is the greatest! You created a tiny human, and you get to pour your life into them. That seems worth all of the ups and downs, if you ask me. So to all of you mothers out there, you are doing a wonderful job. God created you for this role and your baby(ies) are so lucky to have you. Your children won’t remember how tired or stressed out you were. They don’t remember that you haven’t showered in days and that you ate PB & J, again. They won’t remember the hardships that you do, but they will remember how much you loved them. They will remember how you rocked them to sleep and kissed their boo boos. All your children want is their mama, as you are, so keep on doing your best and showing up just like you do, each and every day!
Tara Marchok is an Atlanta based motherhood, lifestyle, and home decor blogger; whose goal is to be transparent about the ups and downs of motherhood and to encourage other mom’s in the process. Her heart belongs to a very bearded man, an energetic little boy, and two furry golden retrievers. Tara is obsessed with leggings, nap time and beautiful photos. Follow her journey on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.
A version of this article first appeared on Tara’s Sass Mouthed Mama Blog.