Mothering is a lot of things. It is a blessing. It is beautiful. It is surreal. It is uplifting. It is inspiring. It is eye-opening. It is empowering. It is wonder-filled. It is joyous. It is blissful. It is unlike anything else in the world.
But I have a confession. Mothering in heavy. Heavy as in a lot to bear. Heavy as in emotionally draining. Heavy as in physically taxing. Heavy as in mentally exhausting. Heavy as in curl up in a fetal position and cry away the guilt and shame for your less than stellar performance as a mother.
No one told me that I would be so overcome with worry over this one little human being. No one told me that I would stress out beyond belief over my child’s eating habits, sleep or lack thereof, pooping habits, health, safety, emotional state, and a plethora of other things. No one told me that I would pour every ounce of my heart and soul into mothering my child. No one told me that once you are a mother you do not even get one second “off” nor do you really want one. You are a mother 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
Being responsible for another life, another living, breathing human being is a LOAD. A HUGE, HUGE LOAD. It is a responsibility of ginormous proportions. Everything I say, everything I do, every choice I make, every tactic I employ, every emotion I display, every expression on my face, the tone in my voice, the manner in which I physically hold myself all become part of who my daughter is now and is becoming.
And that dear readers, weighs heavily in my mind and my heart.
I second guess myself daily. Sometimes I second guess myself hourly. I worry that I am saying the right thing in the wrong way. I worry that I am saying the wrong thing in the right way. I worry that I am not mothering Tiny how she needs or deserves to be mothered.
After worrying myself to a frazzled mess tonight over Tiny’s current sleep challenges I grabbed Tiny and gave her a deep, loving snuggle. I looked into her eyes and told her that motherhood sometimes just breaks my heart. And Tiny gently put her hand over my heart and in her wee voice matter of factly said “mama, put oil on it.”
If you know me, then you know that I put coconut oil on every bump and bruise, cut or scrape. And the simplicity of Tiny’s words shocked me into a new reality.
Motherhood is stressful and all-consuming but it shouldn’t become something so heavy that one cannot enjoy it.
So tonight I put oil on my heart and vowed not to get bogged down by motherhood. Instead I am going to embrace each moment, each breath, and enjoy this precious time with Tiny before life passes me by and I am filled with regret. Because at the end of the day I know that I am doing my best and that Tiny feels the deep love I have for her. Even when I mess up, even when I am not the best mother I can be, even when I am consumed with worry, even when I am unsure about a choice I made…Tiny feels the love I have for her and that is really what motherhood is all about.