Motherhood in our home looks different to motherhood in the home across the street. In the home across the playground. In the home across the water. Within the expanse of this great wide world, mothers are raising their babies as varied as the colours of a rainbow.
In our home motherhood looks like this.
It’s enough money to have everything we need.
It’s reading stories in a cosy queen-sized bed.
It’s eyes open and top un-clipped all throughout the night.
It’s staying at home.
It’s losing my shit at 3 a.m.
It’s apologies spoken.
It’s staring into soft, shining eyes.
It’s sap and sentiment and tears shed.
It’s days where they are all mine.
It’s stern rules and days of routine.
It’s no-vaccination, no-wheat, no-sugar policies.
It’s groceries delivered.
It’s wine poured.
It’s coffee brought while I’m still in bed.
It’s nature hunts and dress-ups and make-believe tea parties of orange slices, biscuits and ice-cream.
It’s watching wispy sugar hair blow across her face.
It’s breathing his breath.
It’s tiny hands on my cheek.
It’s little bodies snuggled into mine.
It’s the prettiest fairytale and the ugliest of hours.
It’s mess and No and counting down the long hard minutes until daddy comes home. It’s scoffing chocolate unseen in a kitchen because although I would give them an organ, my last breath, my life, I simply cannot give them this, too. This tiny secret. This indulgence I grip to tightly, the one just for me. Please, no. Not this, too. But it’s sunsets and naked, chubby bottoms and backs of bodies pressed against my chest. It’s kisses and the intoxicating smell of your newborn baby. It’s moments only I get to see. Squeals of glee. Giggles escaping. The rush of a look they give only you.
Motherhood in our home looks like all these things, but it’s not the only way to paint. Of course it isn’t. The way I mother looks different to every other mother who walks this earth. And all I can really say about that is, more than anything, we should never judge something by how it looks. These mummy wars we wage are tedious. Because guess what? You’re all doing it wrong. If you co-sleep, you’re an attachment junkie. If you let your baby cry it out, you’re a heartless beast. If you bottle feed, you are uniformed, and if you are informed, then you’re just plain lazy. If you breastfeed, you’re a show-off. If you say the word ‘no’ you’re crushing their development. If you don’t say the word ‘no’, you’re not teaching them boundaries. If you gave up work to stay at home, you’re dull and boring. If you’ve returned to the work-force you’re selfish. If you immunize, you’re poisoning your child. If you don’t immunize, you are a propaganda-loving, disease-spreading hippie. If you feed your child cow’s milk, you’re the devil. If your child only eats organic, Himalayan monk-blessed salad scraps, you’re also the devil. Fancy children being teased because they arrive at school with sprouts for lunch instead of a sandwich like everyone else.
It’s true. All of you are doing it wrong. Every single one of you.
Except, of course, for you – the one who cleans up their trails of disaster and gets no thanks for it.
The one who gets up to her crying baby even when she is so, so weary.
Except for you – the one who walks away and takes deep breaths when all she wants to do is yell.
The one who washes and wipes and folds and cooks.
Except for you – the one who repeats the same instructions day in day out and keeps a smile on her face.
The one who soothes tears and wipes bottoms and kisses foreheads.
The one who tucks them into bed each night, then falls into her own.
You – the one who serves her people every day. The one who does all the unnoticed things. The one who works with her head down but her heart full.
You are doing it right.
Because love is always right.
Paying tribute to every mother this weekend, and all the loving they do, no matter how different it may look.
And a little video for each of my babies, to honour the way they’ve made me love. Thank you sweet things, for giving me the gift of being your mama.
Happy Mama’s Day.