Welcome to Motherhood! (Sanity Not Included)


Yes! They are both down for a nap...

Immediately, I go to the fridge and grab a jar of caramel topping, liquefy it in the microwave, and pop a bag of popcorn. I take out a nicely sized bowl, dump the popcorn right in to fill it up, and like a mad scientist I watch as the hot caramel spirals down from a large spoon all over my snack. Then I hurry over to the table to sit down to eat, and as I take out my first handful of popcorn I realize that my hand is actually shaking. 

Instead of just eagerly "dealing" with my feelings alone during nap time, I'm going to express them here as well. Being a parent, being a mother is really, really hard. And by "hard", I don't just mean "hard work". When someone tells me something is hard work, I immediately feel like a lecture is going to follow. Like what they really want to tell me is, This is hard work, Nurit. You have to wake up very early, constantly push yourself, and you can't be lazy even for one second, because this is hard, hard work. And I'm a hard worker so I did well, but I'm worried about you.

So by "hard", I mean that through motherhood you grapple with all sorts of un-glamorous aspects of yourself and of life. Whenever I say I'm exhausted as a mother, I'm often using it as a euphemism - a more socially acceptable way to hint to someone that I'm frustrated, or angry, or completely burnt out. No doubt about it though - there are extremely beautiful, wonderful parts of motherhood that make you feel truly happy and grateful. Like when my daughter said Ima (mom in Hebrew) for the first time and I jumped up in pure joy. But even with all of those love-filled moments that make your heart swell, I've also never experienced something so overwhelming. Because one of the absolute hardest parts of motherhood is the shame of feeling totally inadequate in comparison to other mothers. There's just nothing worse then dragging your screaming child whom you appear to be kidnapping, right into the grocery store parking lot where another mother, who curled her hair that morning, carries her kid with matching socks into the store as they both laugh and argue over who loves whom the most.

Thankfully though, there are so many women out there who just want to know that they're not alone - to feel connected and supported. The other day, I ran into a few friends randomly running errands. After a little bit of small talk, we jumped right into comforting each other over how difficult motherhood is and how awful it feels when other mothers look like they're always having such an easy time (they're not by the way...). Somehow, when we opened our car doors to leave, we hadn't realized that one of the mother's newborn was crying hysterically. We each gave her a knowing look because we've totally been there. I know I have... Have you ever heard someone say, "A mother can always hear her baby crying at night"? Well, now that I'm a mother, I guess I'm unfortunately still a very good sleeper...