Monday, October 14, 2013

On Motherhood

Sometimes, a lot of times, motherhood isn't pretty. It's hard, and dirty, and brings out the fighter in you. Sometimes there is loss, and pain, and so much heartache. But it's also beautiful. Even the ugly is beautiful.

From the very beginning, it isn't pretty. Your body starts to do all these weird things right away. Sure, pregnancy is beautiful, but so much about it isn't pretty. And then you give birth: blood and sweat and pain and fear all culminating in the most beautiful moment of your life. The moment you meet that perfect little angel who steals your heart away forever.

You begin to breastfeed, which is one of the biggest struggles in early motherhood for most women. I spent so much of my time topless, chapped, bleeding nipples and plenty of tears. Not pretty. Eventually you master it, and even when it's hard it's a beautiful thing to feed your baby and love him that way. But it's not always pretty. There are dirty diapers and so much laundry and you have to rely on help from others in a way you never have before.

You don't get any sleep. The dark circles under your eyes and the zombie look on your face after particularly hard nights aren't pretty, at all. Neither are the curses you mutter under your breath when it's 2 am and you've already been up 4 times with a teething baby. But it's beautiful and wonderful to soothe your hurting child, to hold him and nurse him and have him all to yourself in the quiet night hours. You watch him sleep and your heart swells and those curses evaporate because it's all so beautiful. And in the morning he's so happy it hurts your heart to see him smile like that and you know you'd spend a million sleepless nights just to see that smile in the morning.



There are days when you question every decision you make. Everything feels wrong and you second guess yourself at every turn. You feel so inadequate and beat yourself up and wear yourself down. There are days when your baby is sick and needs all of your attention. You need to fold the laundry and do the dishes and make dinner but he just needs you so you can't get anything done. You fight it and try to handle everything but then you realize you're not doing anything well so you give up and give in and give your baby all of you. And then you know you are right where you should be, doing just what you should have been doing all along. Nothing is as important as this, just loving your baby and making him laugh through his tears.

The other day I packed the car with laundry to take to my in-laws to dry (our dryer is broken). Emmett was playing with Bagel on the patio while I loaded the car. He let out a loud cry and I ran to him and pulled his little finger from the gate where it was trapped. I opened our gate and Bagel ran out, and took off towards the main road. I snatched Emmett up, screaming from the tiny cut on his finger, and spent half an hour chasing the dog through our neighborhood. We finally got the dog and brought him home, so we climbed in the car and took off.

Just as I pulled out of the drive way the car started beeping like crazy telling me the coolant is low (we have a leak). I pulled back in, baby screaming, dog barking, and grabbed the hose to fill a jug of water. I turned the spigot and water shot out of the hose, all over my freshly blow-dried hair (a rare occurrence) and clothes. Curses. I put water in the car and drove to my in-laws, carried Emmett and 3 loads of wet laundry inside. As I leaned over the dryer to shove the laundry in, Emmett hugged my legs screaming for me to pick him up. My sunglasses fell from my head and stuck in my hair, blocking my vision and yanking out 12 hairs all at once. All I could think was that this is motherhood. This awful moment, me at my worst, being pulled in a few too many different directions, summed it up perfectly. It isn't pretty. It's hard, and exhausting, and not even a little bit glamorous.

It's not always like that. There are moments where everything is so perfect, you're so happy you could burst, and you wouldn't change a thing. Those moments are usually sandwiched between a dirty diaper and a tantrum, but they're worth the tough bits. It's all beautiful. It's motherhood, the most important thing you'll ever do, and it's beautiful.


Linking up with Wild & Precious!

9 comments:

  1. This is so good! When those things happen to me I convince myself that I'm the only mom who doesn't have it all together, who has days they feel like they're shuttling their kid from one un-fun thing to the next. Oh thank you thank you.

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    1. We moms are so hard on ourselves! We trick ourselves into thinking we're failing and everyone else is doing everything right, but that's not true at all. We're all just doing the best we can!

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  2. Thank you so much for sharing this. "...hugged my legs screaming for me to pick him up" I can picture this so well and sometimes I feel as if I'm alone but this week more than ever many bloggers are sharing the dirty side of motherhood and I am glad we can all know that we are not alone

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  3. This was beautiful, Anna Kate. I'm really glad you shared it.

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    1. Aaaannnndddd NewlyWed10 is me, on the wrong login. Was me. #thatkindofday

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    2. Thank you Sarah! Thanks for letting me know about the link-up! I loved reading the other posts. :)

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  4. Oh goodness, I hope you have a new/fixed dryer! I am so grateful that we have always had a washer and dryer since we've had a baby (since we've been married actually) because having to leave to do laundry just adds one more difficult thing - it's hard enough to get it done at home.

    And I agree with Sarah - the post is really beautiful.

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    1. Thank you so much Mandi! This was one of my favorites to write- I love to share about REAL LIFE as a mom! It's never as easy as it looks.. although I'm not sure I ever make it look easy! :)
      We have since moved, so luckily we are no longer plagued with a broken dryer! It's really amazing how much a dryer can affect your life and bring you down!

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