These days, mothering may not look like the movies. Or the TV shows. Or most of our Instagram feeds. Or our friends lives. Or what we thought it would look like. These days…
Mothering is sharing all of my food. Anything on my plate, going to be on my plate, used to be on my plate, in my hand, in my mouth, next to me, or that I am considering eating is fair game, according to my children. The same applies to beverages.
Mothering is applying sunscreen faithfully to every square inch of my kids exposed skin, then forgetting to apply it to myself and getting a pretty good sunburn.
Mothering is saying I’m heading up to bed and not actually crawling in for another half hour, because I stop to pick up each abandoned toy, put dishes in the sink, sweep up stray crumbs, fill the dogs water bowl, peek in on the sleeping kids, wash my face (oh, who am I kidding? That never happens outside of my head), quick check my phone, peek on the kids again, then finally turn out the light. Until a kid wakes up.
Mothering is walking slow next to the toddler who ‘can do it myself!’ It’s coaching the preschooler through feeling ALL THE FEELINGS in a day. It’s carrying the baby all morning, putting her down so you can use the bathroom, and picking her right back up when she cries, ignoring the ache in your back that reminds you of being nine months pregnant.
Mothering these days is never being alone. It’s sucking up each and every last second of solo or work time because it is precious. It’s fighting down guilt for loving the alone time so much. It’s fighting the urge to check in with the family every ten minutes while you’re away.
Mothering is quietly and un-resentfully completing the tasks no one will see but everyone would miss if left undone. Birthday cards and phone calls to family. Calendar keeping. Household maintaining. Themed clothing for holidays (this one’s debatable to some…) Replacing toothbrushes. The tasks that never cease, the ones that keep to-do lists in business, the ones that get us up and out of bed in the middle of the night to quickly complete while we remember.
Mothering is sticky snuggles too early in the morning. It’s hair-smoothing late at night. It’s turning left towards the froyo shop instead of home to bed just because. It’s making choices that are hard and unpopular, but right for your kids. It’s deciding between allowing the kids to see you cry and putting on a brave face, depending on what they need in that moment. It’s getting smacked by an angry toddler and sticking to your given consequence. It’s tender moments that make you teary with their sweetness.
Mothering is offering a prayer when you have no words to utter.
Mothering is delightful, difficult, brutiful (beautiful + brutal), wonderful, blessed, awful, terrifying, sweet, good, hard thing. These days it’s exhausting. These days it’s overwhelming. These days it’s intense. These days, mothering is everything.
Tell me: in your current days, to you, mothering is…?