It Took Me Two Kids To Realize That Motherhood Is Not For Wimps

It's a thankless job, moms.

Okay, so I admit it; when it comes to bravery, daredevil-type stunts and living on the edge, I might not be a hero. I still call my husband with a shrill voice into the kitchen when I see a spider crawling across the floor. But let me tell you, I have definitely earned my superhero cape, as have all of you, because motherhood is, hands down, the hardest job in the world.

Growing up my mom had a sign on her desk that read ‘Motherhood Is NOT For Wimps”. I remember reading it, but as a child, I never really understood the true meaning until I became a mother myself. Now I fully understand that statement and all that comes with it. In many ways, I feel it should be a mandatory oath sworn by all mothers upon leaving the hospital after birthing their first child—and one they will recite many times in the coming years: “Motherhood is not for wimps.”

I know that I am probably not alone when I admit that in the first few weeks, after returning home from the hospital with a newborn, I cried myself to sleep a few nights. I cried in the shower out of pure exhaustion and I stood in the corner of my room screaming into a pillow when it was 3 am and my baby just wouldn't sleep.  

But I chugged on. 

My boobs were leaking, the circles under my eyes were something that not even a half a bottle of CoverGirl concealer could fix and my stomach still felt like a puffy bag of marshmallows which prohibited my pants from doing up.  

But again, I still chugged on.

Every morning I would get up after sleeping in short bursts of only 2-3 hours and put on that happy mom smile for both my children and tackle yet another day.  Did you know that sleep deprivation is a form of torture in some countries? And yet here we are, living it like rockstars! 

It truly is amazing to me that mothers can not only live on minimal sleep but actually do it while holding a crying baby in one arm, folding laundry with the other, answering the demands of their husband and other children, keeping a tidy house, cooking meals, running errands and, as a Kenny Chesney song says, sometimes even doing it “backwards in high heels”. 

It’s tough. It's draining and it’s thankless. 

And again I pledge: Motherhood is not for wimps! 

I think the hardest part of motherhood is that there is no one there to give you the pat on the back or recognition you deserve. Soldiers are given medals of honour. Employees go home with a paycheck. But as moms, we only occasionally get that polite little smile or wink when we're out in public and make eye contact with a fellow mom. Because all moms get it. 

We post cute photos on social media, share funny stories with friends and plaster our social media accounts with the good days, but every mom knows that it’s hard work. When I see another mom carrying the super heavy, awkward baby car seat in one hand, gripping a screaming toddler with the other and pushing a grocery cart whilst wearing lipstick, I want to applaud her. Good for you mama, you made it out! 

Now somewhere in the mix of madness there are always great days. You know the ones. The days that make us feel like we can conquer the world. The baby sleeps, we have time to shower and blow-dry. We prepare a dinner that didn't come out of the frozen food section. We can actually see the furniture amidst the chaos and to top it off, we are able to sleep for a solid three hours before the baby cries or our five-year-old starts the game of musical beds. 

Yes, mamas, those days are what keep us going. They provide hope that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and that we will get through this.

I know that people keep on telling me to enjoy these days as they are only little for such a short period of time, but sometimes I just feel so utterly exhausted, drained and empty, that even such a simple request is hard to do.

There might not be medals or award shows to praise moms for all they do, but I guess we just have to take pride in the wonderful, little humans that we have created. And know that one day—when they are old enough to become parents of their own—they will fully appreciate how much we gave of ourselves for them and they will proudly thank us for not being wimps!

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