Motherhood/parenthood has got to be one of the most precious gifts and the most wonderful of things to experience. I don’t know if there is any greater privilege than being entrusted with precious little beings to love and raise, nurture and protect. It’s a joy that simply cannot be explained. In reality though, there are those days that leave you totally frazzled, with feelings of complete helplessness, and ongoing questioning about whether or not you’re doing this whole parenting thing well or not. But before I continue, maybe I should point out that these moments – these extremely raw and real moments – are just that – moments – not how parenthood is all the time. However, if I had to describe it, or compare it to childbirth, perhaps on a scale of zero, to major, indescribable, I really need to push this baby out contractions, some days I may rate it a few scales above that – motherhood that is. I came to this stark realization last week after yelling at my two oldest children and shutting them outside (I’m saying this in good faith that someone else has done this yea?), and than instantly finding myself positively sure that I had just damaged their emotions and ruined these fragile little beings who I adore so much. I was then almost shocked to find myself wishing I was in labour about to push a baby out my hoo haa because that is factually a lot more fun than moments like this.
You know when you go have a baby or ‘give birth’ as they say, nothing really quite compares to the feeling after. That superhero feeling that you probably haven’t felt since you were 5 and you had just rescued your lego man from being eaten alive by the pretend lion under your bed. I mean all being well, you have an extraordinary amount of hormones flying around every part of your body that probably helps you feel so great but when you really really think about it, you actually just grew an entire new human being inside you in just 9 months. Not only that but then your uterus went completely bonkers and made certain parts (that are unique to a woman) widen to 10 times it’s normal size and THEN you actually went and pushed that human that grew inside you out of a place that no one in their right mind could possibly imagine would stretch so much. I mean, it doesn’t sound glamorous but you feel like superwoman after, right? Sought of like, if you can do that, nothing is scary, not even the fact that over half a dozen people just watched you do all of the above. Being superwoman never felt so un-glamorous and amazing at the same time! Similarly if you had a cesarean birth, that is superwoman on a whole different level. I mean your insides were just cut open while you were awake for goodness sake! Either way it happened, you just brought forth life!
So then, when you come home and get off your hormonal high, your uterus shrinks back to enjoying it’s own company and reality slaps you across the face like a whip on a wet leg, you may just find yourself thinking fondly back on that glorious time. Truth is, after you lose it at your children, after they’ve lost it at you, and everyone is either crying, screaming, running away or rocking in a corner somewhere, the superwoman feeling you had after giving birth doesn’t even exist, not remotely, not even a bit. All that you feel is a tsunami of thoughts and feelings of surety that your children are the naughtiest children ever because you messed up somewhere in your parenting and they’ll probably need counseling before high school.
There goes those moments, and there are plenty of them to go around the moment you become a parent. It’s such a huge responsiblity. One that can often leave you feeling overwhelmed and self doubting, but along with this great and beautiful responsibility is a whole lot of love and grace and ability to not just make it through with everyone alive, but to make it through with everyone thriving. No matter how many times you have buried your face in your hands after going pshyco at your kids, wondering what on earth you just did, as much as you may often feel like you are surely going to ruin your children or not do this parenting role well enough, you need to remember that your children think the world of you. This became so apparent to me after my yelling episode last week when my 3 year old boy came into my bedroom just moments after I had dragged his little bum outside. He threw his arms around my neck, planted a big kiss on my cheek and said “I love you mum,” before bouncing out of our room cheerfully and back outside. I think the truth is, we as parents hold so much more against ourselves than our little children do. There is no such thing as a perfect parent or even a perfect child. We all hold our flaws and as parents will never ever stop learning, but I think it’s important to remember that you are the best parent for your child/children and you hold the know how somewhere inside you to parent your children well. While it may be true that some days you may very well wish to be giving birth in favour of trying not to run away from home to preserve your sanity, remember that these are just moments in parenting that are actually helping to shape and mould you and your children. These are just moments in parenting that will be gone all too soon and will be faded into memories that you look back on with gladness and joy that you didn’t just make it through alive, but that you and your children made it through and thrived. Bringing forth life didn’t stop when you gave birth Mummies, bringing forth life in our children is something we do every. single. day. So keep at it you superheros you!