The Test of Motherhood

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Motherhood is not hard in the way tests are hard. It’s not something you can analyze and say, “where did I go wrong here, let’s fix that.” It’s not something that you can study up for no matter how many books have been written about it.

Because every single person on this planet is unique. Not one of us responds the same to another person. And there is nothing that anyone– whether they be a doctor, motherhood blogger, friendly Instagram advice-giver, friend, family member, or random person who gives you advice in the checkout line at the grocery store– can possibly tell you, no exact words or actions to take in order to raise your kids without mistakes. And you will make mistakes.

Somehow, I think that mothers feel this the most. And It’s really easy to say, “I’m doing it all wrong, and I’m ruining my kids.” I feel this all the time. I feel this during every tantrum, every adamant refusal from Sofie to sit at the table, walk with us, go in the pool, have a snack, eat her dinner, put on the dress I laid out for her. I feel it with every fall, every bonk of the head, every single time that other kid pushes my kid down or my kid pushes someone else. I feel it with the bad behavior and the sad behavior. I feel it fighting her to go to bed.

Motherhood is hard in a way that is impossible to tell someone else, impossible to explain to a new mom. Because you LOVE your kids with all your heart, with every single nerve ending. You ache every time your kids are sad, you feel their feelings with them even with you’re angry with them. You worry about everything that happens to them, everything you say to them. You worry about what they say back to you. You worry about them when they are in their beds asleep and when they’re away from you. You worry about the odd little things that they do. And you worry about the day they’ll leave home. You worry that they’ll be too happy to leave, and you worry that they won’t want to.

Motherhood is the kind of hard that requires, not advice from others, but love, patience, grace, support. It’s the kind of hard that requires love, patience, grace, and support from ourselves.

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