Motherhood isn’t easy, anyone who says otherwise is either lying to you or to themselves or both. Sometimes being a mom even blows. It’s the hard truth that doesn’t take away from the love you have for your kid(s) nor does it make you less of a parent for feeling it. But let’s be honest, life changes drastically once you push out a baby and if you’re among the 65% of working mothers in Canada, then you’ve added another layer of complexity to your daily grind. 40 waking hours a week are spent giving your 100% to your employer and the remaining 70 hours are split between trying to be a good wife, a great mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend and maybe an individual.
Not only do you feel like you’re in an endless race against time, you live with constant conflict driven by unjustified guilt. Guilt caused by the need to satisfy your non-mommy desires like spending a weekend away with your best friend or asking your husband to take the baby to his mother’s so you can sleep in for once in 16 months and maybe finish a cup a coffee before having to reheat it seven times.
Yes, it’s the twenty-first century and men are taking on more household and parental responsibility but no matter how far we’ve come from the days of Mad Men, women are still the nurturers. It is inherent in us, part of our genetic makeup. We are the ones that get the kids dressed in the morning because we know to check the weather and ensure they’re wearing the supporting garments, we know that polka dot pants don’t match stripped shirts, that when we go out the diaper bag needs to be packed with extra clothing in the likely event the baby poos herself. We know that you can’t just book a vacation and hope for the best but rather spend time on Kijiji looking for the right equipment like a travel crib and an umbrella stroller to somewhat guarantee a seamless and pleasant time.
Before life was easy, you could stand by statements like “I only eat organic and fresh fruits and vegetables”. Now you get home from work and turn to a box of Mac and Cheese with a nugget of frozen spinach to satisfy a starving baby screaming “numi nums”. You can try and integrate your new found role with that of your pre-existing, there’s no reason not to try and even less of a reason to shoot yourself down if it doesn’t work out as planned. Case in point, I attempted mommy and baby yoga. Some of the participants had to stop mid plank to breastfeed their babies, others used their kids as props to keep them quiet while mine was being rolled around in her stroller by my sister who joined me for moral support.
Indeed, there are those exceptional women who fit into their pre-pregnancy skinny jeans five days after giving birth, the ones that always seem to have their hair, makeup and body wax in check, that bake delicious cupcakes while their 3 month olds suck mindlessly on their pacifiers and if you belong to this lucky few, please stop reading, you’re not my target audience.
Nope, it’s not easy being mummy. Three months of colic, incessant whining due to teething, sleepless nights because of stuffy noses and back to back cases of gastro can really wear you down. I imagine it doesn’t get easier but I’m told that eventually you forget the hardships and that’s when you consider having a second…In the mean time, baby’s in bed so someone please pass me the Chardonnay.