MOTHERHOOD, THE RABBIT HOLE: how we fall and how we rise again
It’s back to school and there's pumpkins popping up everywhere, so naturally this topic has come up yet again. Collectively, the motherhood tribe is subscribing to our new found freedom and praise Jesus and hallelujah. But with this comes the trepidation of the walk into the light. The baby steps to that freedom. The decision to divide and conquer. Because no matter how you do motherhood, we all fall. Even those of us who don't say it. But friends, it isn’t how or when we fall that matters, it’s how we rise again.
I had children. Lucky me. In fact, so lucky. So blessed. So fruitful. (Sorry, just binged watched The Handmaid’s Tale). Praise be. I got blessed with the babies. The very dream I carved out with my beloved husband. The “dream” as he likes to call it. The family dream. WE did it. And I’m all kinds of grateful. In fact, if you could've watched the baby monitor this week, you would’ve seen me in full on kissing mode with the babies getting them ready for pre-school looking at the ceiling with full on tears saying thank you. This is the gracious me. The “ I don’t take one ounce of this motherhood trail for granted” me. It’s all the things I dreamt of as a child. And more. It’s also a rabbit hole of death. (insert laugh emoji). Kinda not kidding though. Some of us fall down that dark hole and become submerged but barely breathing due to succumbing to every woe a child needs and every need a person utters. It’s not death by duty, let’s not be so dramatic, but rather a simple idea of the temporary loss of one’s self.
My mother might be covering her eyes right now saying “oh dear.” But she might also be saying, “yes dear, that is precisely what has happened.”
Motherhood doesn’t come with the manual friends. So for lack of a better word, sometimes this shit is hard. And whilst dedicating every ounce of your being to your babies because that is the path that you saw fit for your journey of motherhood, somehow you fell down. And it felt like a dark hole. And you cried. And somehow despite all the beautiful glory that you saw in gleaming color before the fall, you did indeed fall. That sucks. But, since you are assured you did see all the colors of the rainbow, you know that you will indeed see them again. And so you get up.
Somewhere amongst the tornado or strong winds that took you down, you felt weak from responsibility and probably no rest and a husband that doesn’t quite understand the magnitude of how strong a pull the motherhood road is. It’s ok. He’s not a woman and doesn’t and probably won’t ever see it exactly as you see it, because he’s not a mother. But the good news, you will. Because you can.
Before you were a mother you were you. Capable, qualified, resilient and bold. Also brave. You ran your show. You were responsible for yourself. You were the author of your own story. Maybe you got married young and had babies when you were a baby. Or maybe you traveled the world and slept in till 1 p.m. every day. Maybe you didn’t fall in love and have babies till you were in your thirties. However your story went, it went. And it was probably pretty adventurous. And about you. All about you. Then a part of you (literally) is born and quickly or not so quickly removed from your womb and there you have it, you’re never ever the same. NEVER.
Some women have described it as your heart beating outside of your chest (yep), or the greatest “shit show” (yep) or as the greatest gift/blessing of all (yep). All of these fair true. But my friend posted a quote from an article she read the other morning and it went like this. “You can no longer ever experience aloneness within.” Just as she was blown away by these very words, so was I. Not being able to ever experience aloneness within because a very piece of you is forever attached to your heart, is the complete opposite of who you were before. Like I said, you’re never the same. Changed forever. And yes, we are blessed and grateful and chanting words of of gratitude on the daily, but we still are forever changed. Different women. Different people. This is the conduit of the fall, and the rise.
For every mother, there’s a different story.
For me, it’s an ever changing acknowledgment that the happy and the sad is all part of the magic and the mess of motherhood.
Our responsibility to ourselves and all it’s circumference is drastically changed the day you become a mother. And as dire as it can be on some days, you still wish to close your eyes and be one with yourself and dream. And drift. And just as quickly as you drift out, you return to the motherhood place. Because a part of you is forever needing every part of you. Because, motherhood. And it’s up to you to attempt to balance the needle shifting from her or his needs, to that of yours.
It’s nuts. It’s parallels are all so muddy and loopy you’d think you were in fact Alice in Wonderland and so damn confused at why your perfect little world seems so shaken and covered in dirt. But I think it’s because mothers are a chosen many that are given the vast opportunity at growth. Nurturing one’s self, one’s mind, one’s soul whilst minding the daily life of mothering littles, running a household, perhaps a full time job, a marriage and or just a dream to write once a week, we know you. And we get you. It’s the hardest riddle to unravel. But the truth about the the women we speak of here, is they are not about to be broken by a fall and a broken toe, or a broken heart. Anything that breaks, heals again. Or we just tie it up till we can maneuver even the toughest terrain on the horizon. Because that's what mothers do.
Even I’ve surprised myself.
I still am rising. I still don’t have it all figured out. But I’m conscious of self. ("Even when there’s always a little living being in my consciousness" as my friend said.) I’m dreaming. And I'm designing a life in which I can recognize the young girl who is capable, qualified, resilient and bold. And the girl who is brave. I see her. And even though the house is messy, the children imperfect, I see that young girl, I turn up the music, pour another cup of coffee and realize I can do hard things. And so you can you.