What a start to the morning.
Bella woke for her feed while the house was still and quiet. Boo rose as she finished, and asked to go for a walk. So we did, a splendid sunrise greeting us at the end of our street. We chatted about school and friends and the community we live in. I let her push the pram, gently rocking her baby sister to sleep. We took photos of flowers we found in the garden at home, where we also found the boys enjoying breakfast at the table.
All was well. All were happy. The day was going to be wonderful.
If it had stopped there.
I was planning to write an entirely different blog post than the one I’m pouring out today. I was planning to write about home and how much I adore it.
This morning I was feeling a little supermum. I was feeling content with my efforts, like I was all over everything. To be honest, I was feeling pretty cocky.
Which is why I needed the reminder I received. (Spoiler alert: Jess is not perfect)
Somewhere between the two older children teasing and fighting with each other and having my just-folded cloth nappies tossed all over the floor in a rage, I snapped. And not just a little the-usual-mum shouty snap, either. A full on I-am-mama-hear-me-roar snap. It was big. It was bad. It was ugly.
And somewhere in the midst of that Big Bad Mama explosion, I felt a gentle sigh, reminding me that I’m wrong.
As much as I’m just human, so are my little people. My little, moody, sassy people. And they need someone to be their constant, their boundaries, their example, their love.
And I fail that daily.
I’ve dealt with this by apologising and talking about my mistakes this morning with my eldest. I’ve prayed it out. I’m not writing this post for any kind of validation.
I’m writing because all too often, I pretend like I have this parenting thing down pat, like I somehow magically know what I’m doing and life is constantly peachy. Which really isn’t true. Don’t get me wrong, I love being a stay at home mum. My kids are great and I find so much joy in them. However, this parenting gig is hard. When you’re expecting, everyone talks about the joys of motherhood, how sweet children are, how there’s nothing like it and oh boy, you’ll just love it. Perhaps that’s something found in hindsight (or perhaps I’m doing it wrong) but I find it hard to feel whilst in the thick of it.
No one mentions the little everyday stress of looking after little people. Or how you’ll see sides of yourself that you hate. Or how you can simultaneously love your child to pieces, but also wish to be as far away from them as possible at that particular moment.
I was once asked by a mum-friend if I always like being a mum. Honestly? No. No way, get out. And it has nothing to do with my kids and everything to do with the nature of parenting. Motherhood is messy. Motherhood is exhausting. Motherhood is a struggle and a daily uphill battle.
And as much as it really is all worth it, I won’t pretend that it’s any different.
I’ve come to realise it’s okay to talk about the struggle. I’m so guilty of avoiding it – with friends or at church, it’s so much easier to pretend it’s all good than to admit you’re cracking. But if none of us talk about it, then all we have is instagram-perfect pictures of how easy motherhood is. And that is total nonsense.
So, dear mamas who struggle – you’re not alone. You’re doing a tough job, and you’re doing great. Keep it up, beautiful lady.