Me and the boys took a long drive West this past weekend and I spent a lot of time reflecting on my experience of motherhood thus far.
The monotony of motherhood hit me pretty hard, flat out, immediately after my first birth. I felt the funk deep in my bones from the get go. Stuck in that beige place of “what the hell happened to me?” mode. Social media did not serve me well in those heavy days. People were out saving the world, carving creations of every marvel out of their lives, or so it seemed, while I got up, changed diapers, made food, cleaned the mess, put babe down for nap- rinsed and repeated. ALL. DAY. LONG. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. To this child that I had wanted yet not planned for.
And actually I shouldn’t mislead you, the cleaning part happened mostly in my head.
The reality was that I was too damn tired. Yes, on a physical note that can only be understood until you experience it but, more poignantly, I was tired in the depths of my heart. I was sucked dry. Sucked by what? Thats a good question. But the reality was: me sitting on the sofa looking at this babe, to then what evolved into two babes, wondering what in the hell I was doing with my life? Was this it? This was all that there was and ever going to be? Was I just a fool?
So then, naturally, being a human in the postmodern era I began to say “it’s me that is the problem, I’m broken, I’m fucked up.”
“I’m not trying hard enough.”
So off I go clambering to get my hands on any book, blog, state of purchased mind to make me all better. Fix me.
And it didn’t.
And there I am again sitting on the couch, drenched in the funk.
No matter how much I willed myself to find grace in the little things of life, I just couldn’t. There was this unease, this restlessness, that just would not go away and it haunted me for nearly my whole first three years experience of motherhood.
Postpartum depression? I’m sure. I thought about taking medicine a lot. Should I have? Perhaps.
But now my oldest son is nearly four and for the first time in my entire life I smell, perhaps ever so taste, an ease of this whole motherhood thing. Ease perhaps is not the most fitting term. Because it still is not easy. It still is not natural. But there is a Peace. A Peace in being a woman who is a mother to these particular children. A Peace in being a woman who is a wife to this particular man. A Peace in being a woman who is living this particular life, on this particular journey, in this particular moment in time.
So as I’m driving towards the Great Plains, I wonder, what is it that makes it so different now? What awareness have I been gifted, or at all? It must be something good for I find the greatest Truths are the ones that are the hardest to form words around. They cannot be intellectualized but quietly yet profoundly sensed deep down in the crevices of our souls.
Perhaps I now know:
That motherhood did not cover me up but actually stripped me of my ignorance to my true state of being. The weight of suffering was not a causation of becoming a mother, but had actually, much to my dismay, always been there. Stepping into the role of Mother had only catapulted it to the surface, gasping for air. Once I swallowed that hard medicine and found gratitude for it, something shifted.
Perhaps I now know:
That the worst way to get through something, is to force or fight it. It is right that we must take responsibility for our lives but the other half of that story is that we must also let go. Did you know that the worst thing you can do when hit by a wave is to frantically swim? You can get so turned around in the pounding that you may end up taking yourself deeper. The first thing to do is to let it hit you. Roll with it, not against it. Then you look for the light and swim towards it….often you’ll find the water will take you to the surface without you even having to try. But you have to trust it first. If you cannot find the Trust in your journey you will exhaust yourself.
Perhaps I now know:
That the whole reason we call motherhood a journey is because it is. A journey. Filled with long roads of various terrains and seasons. If you do not have winter, how do you know what spring is? If you do not have darkness how can you recognize the light? We are addicted to happiness in this era of our time. Happiness is not the point. Happiness hangs out in the same category as anger and pride. You want to get to a place beyond all that. How do you do that? Invite the very thing in that you so despise. Feel like rubbish? Befriend it. Feel an emptiness with no name? Nurse her with love. Be your own best friend.
What would you add?
All my love,