For the most part this little world is my happy space, the place where I come to celebrate and share all that is good and lovely and wonderful in life; the joy in the little things and the pleasure in doing the things that make my heart sing. My butterflies.
And I make no secret of the fact that it is my edited highlights. There are days when I feel like a complete failure as a mother/wife/housekeeper/writer/just keep filling in the gaps, and I have to take a step back, try to anchor myself again and press on, and there are days where I’m on top of the world and it all feels natural and easy.
I’m part of a wonderful online group at the moment, spending a few weeks exploring what it means to each of us to be mothers, and how to translate our visions of what we want into the reality of our day to day lives. The conversation came up in our chat this week about having a little vent about the trials and tribulations of parenting, and whether it’s ever OK, or whether we’re supposed to suck it up and never pretend that life with small children is anything less than unending sunshine, fluffy bunnies and unicorns carrying chocolate.
And as I listened to the discussion my answer came ringing through my head loud and clear;
“Of course it is!”
I’m not saying we should all spend all day everyday moaning and groaning because frankly after a while that would get you down even if you are entirely fuelled by rainbows and pixie dust, but I think that to say it how it is once in a while is important.
If we smother any suggestion that motherhood is not incredibly easy and everything we ever dreamed it would be, in a full scale attack of the Pollyannas, don’t we just diminish the work that we’re doing?
Parenting is hard work. Not the same sort of hard as the intellectual rigour of a corporate type job, or the same physical sort of hard as a frontline soldier, and I freely admit I wince when I see one of those “if you think …. is hard, you should try being a Mum – hee hee hee” quotes doing the rounds because I think they’re an inaccurate comparison. But it hard in its own unique and completely valid way. That’s what makes it incredibly frustrating and incredibly fulfilling, and usually both in the same moment.
So why not celebrate that too?
I’m pretty happy with my balance here; I think I own when it’s hard without going into the specifics that would cross the line between my story and my daughters’, but I might just cut myself some slack when we’re sitting down in the evening and all I want to do is curl up next to H and say:
“You would not believe the day I’ve had! ….Please pass the cake.”
It’s the counterpoint; and it makes the music beautiful.