As a new mum, I am faced with this question at least a couple of times a week, usually followed by “don’t lie to me” or “it’s the best thing ever, isn’t it?!”
How is motherhood.
In all honestly, I never know quite how to answer because it really depends on the month/week/day/hour/minute I’m having that can really effect my response. I want to say it’s the worst thing that has happened to me….and also say it’s the best.
Am I supposed to tell you about breastfeeding in washrooms where I have to cover my nose to mask the smell of it never being cleaned? Or the other time washing my hands in a empty public washroom she was in her pram screaming, the sound was reverberating off the faded blue walls making it sound like there were three of her, that a calmness came over me when I realized that I could leave her and no one would know she was mine. That having thoughts of leaving, running as fast as I can sounds like the best idea ever? And that I’m the worst person who ever existed.
Do you want to know the story of listening constantly to one song while pregnant, dreaming of my future babe, then dissolving into a puddle of tears when she was finally in my arms and feeling so unworthy to be called her mum? How about my internal struggle to even be called mum, or dealing with the fact that prior to becoming pregnant the idea of children would fill me with so much anxiety that now I’m still unsure how I’m supposed to love her? Or when friends say “I don’t want children” my heart says “me too!” even with her in my arms, and then again I feel like the worst person, ever.
Do you want to hear that I work hard to get her to sleep, nurse, and go to the bathroom? That if we didn’t have a schedule, I’d be dealing with a completely different child…not the calm one I have? That bringing up a babe is so.much.work? Like all parents should be sweating blood due to the commitment it takes to devote your energy to a child?
That it feels like I’m complaining when I tell you this?
Or do you want to hear about how every time she successfully sleeps through the night I feel like I should celebrate with champagne? Sleeps longer than a 45 minute nap I want to smother her in kisses? That seeing her wake up, pull her hands above her head and give a big stretch is one of the most adorable things I’ve ever seen, besides her sneezing?
That no matter how much screaming she’s done, how many tears we’ve cried, how upset I’ve gotten that I can’t seem to figure my babe out, that when she finally settles in my arms squeezing either side of my neck while resting her head on my left shoulder I feel like my heart will bust because she finds comfort in me? That each smile, girggle, coo, sigh is a major victory and I’m the best person, ever?
Or perhaps you want to know that she feels like she’s the perfect piece to complete Mister and I. But also the piece that’s making him miss him like crazy, even when he sits next to me.
So how is motherhood, you ask.
What would you like to hear?