If I had to sum up the first year of motherhood in one word it would be survival. It’s a lot like being on one of those reality shows where you’re stuck on an island doing weird and crazy tasks with a group of strangers (or in the case of motherhood, one tiny stranger), just trying to make it to the next day. You don’t know what you’re doing, you don’t know what’s coming in the next episode, and you really, really don’t want to screw up.
Grace is giving someone something that they don’t deserve. See: doing the dishes left in the sink even though you also cooked dinner, wiped down the counter AND fed the cat. Grace, however, does not come naturally to me. Silently seething with resentment is more my thing.
Even if you’ve never heard this term, you know what it is. It’s the accumulation of all the small details you manage in your head that keep your family’s life running smoothly. It’s remembering who needs to be where and when, and that everyone is appropriately attired for Tacky Sock Day and Wacky Hair Day, and every other fake holiday invented to push moms over the edge because we don’t already have enough to manage.
I’m tired because I’m doing important things. The problem with motherhood is that it doesn’t often feel this way. Whether you’re a working or a stay-at-home mom, it’s easy to feel like the million little things we do for our kids and our families don’t add up to anything big.
Motherhood is tricky. We spend our whole lives establishing who we are in our friendships, careers, and relationships, and then BAM!, the title of Mom comes along and upends it all. It’s easy to start referring to things in the past tense, as in “Before kids I used to _____.”