As mothers, we learn to put others’ needs before our own. Women are complicated creatures by nature, and motherhood only serves to complicate matters even more. We want this…and that. We want to be done…but we want one more. We want to look amazing…but we want to eat that brownie. Motherhood, it would seem, is nothing more than a series of contradictions. And serving these contradictions can lead to either happiness or a feeling of unbalance. My solution? A little of this, and a little of that. Except when it comes to sleep – I’m all about getting my beauty rest!
1.We want to be alone. But with our kids. But with alone time. We want to spend every minute with our children, but we also daydream about being completely alone. We want to hang tight to each moment like it’s a helium balloon that could float away – but we want this day to be over already. When we go somewhere (literally, anywhere) without our children we feel a like something is missing; there is a dull ache; a little piece of our soul that we’ve left with them. But the second we get home we wonder why we were so desperate to return.
2. Carefree Within Our Reach: We want our children to enjoy a carefree, worry-free childhood. To run through fields, play outside with friends without a care in the world; to have new experiences – but we also want to wrap them in bubble wrap, keep them safe, and not let them out of sight. Not even for one second. So, run wild, Little One – but just stay where mommy can see you!
3. Healthy Choices (Most of the Time) We want to feed our children only the most organic, natural foods that will grow and nourish them. We seek out farms to buy organic, free range eggs, pay to join local CSAs and spend mornings at farmer’s market – but occasionally we want them to delight in childhood treats. Don’t judge a child eating a lollipop as big as his face, we’ll make sure he gets veggies for dinner! This is why someone invented using black beans to bake brownies.
4. Natural Beauty: We want to look amazing – but we also want to get out of the door. We want you to notice how fresh-faced and gorgeous we are…but we don’t have time to put hours into a beauty regime. A fresh ponytail and a stain-free top is “done up.”
5. To Sleep or Not to Sleep: At the end of the day, we are torn between quiet adult time and sleep. If we stay up late, we get the alone time we need but then we are tired. If we go straight to sleep, we get our rest, but we feel unbalanced.
6. Roots & Wings We want our children to grow wings and fly; seek adventure and live life fully – but at the same time, we want them to have roots – know where they came from, what’s important in life, and the value of hard work and strong ethics.
7. The Perfect Body…Tomorrow. We want to “get our body back,” – between pregnancies, births, postpartum loveliness, and possibly breastfeeding – it can be years before our body is our own again. We want to eat only the right things and exercise and fit back into those jeans. But we also want to (as someone I know did just the other day) eat an Oreo ice cream bar in the privacy of the pantry during nap time. And you know what? We deserve it. We’ll look amazing tomorrow.
8. Enough is Enough We are SO done with being a baby making machine. Pregnancy is rough on anybody – and any body. The baby stage has its perks but we all know it’s also a huge commitment. We are just so done with diapers, pumping, getting huge – in fact I’m going to get rid of all the newborn stuff tomorrow. Well. Maybe not tomorrow. Maybe I’ll hold on to it just in case. Because babies are so adorable and squishy and it’s such an amazing feeling to grow life…Ok. We’re done. But we’re never really done. We want our bodies back. But we also want just one more.
In what ways do you feel the contradictions of motherhood? I would love to hear from you in the comments below!