Pure joy, or possibly hysteria.

Pure joy, or possibly hysteria.

This mothering thing is a load of shit.

I cry every day. I never meet up to my own expectations, much less the expectations that others – other moms, family members, complete strangers – have for me. I’m constantly drowning in shame, self-comparison, self-loathing, disappointment, and guilt. I long to numb the discomfort with a pitcher of margaritas, but who has the time?!

Nobody told me it would be like this. The bad days are really, really awful. The good days are nirvana. This rollercoaster is non-stop, but I’m on it. For good or ill, this is my circus. I created this mess, and by God, I will sit with it until it all makes sense.

Most things in life are somewhat straightforward. You can prepare for any sort of situation, or circumstance. You can study for that test, practice for that interview, try and try again until you master that technique. Motherhood is its own beast - nothing in the world prepares you. Nobody can tell you what to expect. They try – God knows, they try. Every well-meaning biddy on the block wants to throw in her two cents about feeding, burping, clothing, and raising your baby. Evvvverybody wants to “help.”

But all the advice in the world can’t brace you for the impact of that tiny life – the weight of it, the significance.

You can Google until you’re blue in the face looking for advice, some sort of instruction manual for this chaos, anything to ease the discomfort and uncertainty. But do you want the truth? This job - motherhood - it's just hard. It's lonely, painful, and terrifying. It messes with your sleep, your relationships, and your identity.

But it's also empowering. Nothing in this world requires as much strength as motherhood. The strange part, the thing you don't realize beforehand, is that you gain that strength by engaging in the struggle. You earn your stripes and forge your mettle in the mess of every day. The chaos exposes everything you are - every ability, every peculiarity, every failure - and, worse, everything that you are not. 

My advice? Embrace it. 

Cry all the tears when you don't know up from down. Yell, scream, get angry when things don't work out as they should. Feel all the feels, and don't hold back. All of the chaos, the noise, the mess, the meltdowns - this is the reality of life with kids. This motherhood experience is hard, absolutely, but it is also short, and peppered with wondrous things innumerable.

So don't stay stuck in the shit. When you fall short, when you hit a wall, when you're pulling out your hair, when you feel so unbelievably alone, face it, feel it, sit in it for a time. But then forgive, take a breath, get perspective, take a break, and jump back in.

I'm here in the thick of it, too. I will laugh with you, cry with you, and give voice to the bewildering realities, enigmas, and challenges of every single day. I'm here to supply you with stories that explore what this journey is really all about, and (hopefully) to help you feel less alone.

Find me there!
Scary Mommy

Scary Mommy Contributor