From the moment I wake up in the morning to well, really all night long, I feel like I am holding my breath, anxious and just waiting for a disaster, in the form of a small child, to hit. There is no assurance that I will have 10 minutes, five minutes, or even five seconds to do anything I want (or hell, need) to do. I can’t brush my teeth, get dressed, or fix my own plate of food without first considering what everyone else in the family needs from me.
Will my husband be able to get the girls ready for school if I actually get dressed? Will the toddler not poop long enough for me to make an egg for breakfast? (Answer: no) Will the 3-year-old stop torturing his sister long enough for me to answer an email? (Answer: again, no.)
Sometimes, it almost seems laughable how ridiculous my life can be. Like, it shouldn’t be this difficult, really. Shouldn’t I have a say in how my days go? Shouldn’t I — the all-powerful mother — be the one in control here? Shouldn’t my life matter, too?
Needless to say, I’ve been struggling a lot lately because I feel the paradox of motherhood so much these days. I feel like there’s so much I want to do and accomplish, and yes, actually doing my hair would count as an accomplishment. And a big part of me feels like if I’m struggling against the demands that motherhood brings, then it means I am resisting motherhood itself. It’s like, if I feel like I’m having a hard time with motherhood, then I am failing at being a mother.
But in listening to Jada’s words, I realized that we all struggle with the ultimate paradox that is motherhood.