Sunday, May 12, 2013

Motherhood is a Team Sport

Facebook and Hallmark and Pinterest have really raised the bar on Mother's Day. Cards that sing, rose petals leading to spa treatments at home, hand tinted portraits of the children posing as the words Happy Mother's Day. Platinum rings cast with children's fingerprints for the non- Angelina Jolie mamas amongst us who cannot quite handle putting the latitude and longitude of each child's birthplace on our bodies. Mother's Day brunches done up in a delightful Lilly Pulitzer theme, complete with homemade sodas encased in Lilly Pulitzer prints to match the tablecloth and treats.

This stuff is all a big fat lie. Motherhood is not the perfect floral print wrapped around organic fair trade coconut macaroons. Motherhood is terrible and wonderful and joyful and painful, wrapped up in your favorite shirt that has snot and glitter paint permanently affixed to it. Motherhood is staying up all night with a colicky baby or a croupy toddler, drenched in sweat and tears because you don't  know how to survive on thirty minutes of sleep. Motherhood is hurting when your child experiences bullying or rejection- wanting to go Mama Lion and roaring against the perpetrators even though you should not.

Motherhood is watching your toddler sleep peacefully at night, their chest rising and falling so regularly and miraculously that you can scarcely believe it. Motherhood is catching your teen sneaking out at night, and marveling at their stupidity and lack of forethought. Motherhood is teaching your preschooler the joy of books, whether they choose Curious George or Captain Underpants. Motherhood is nagging your high schooler to study study study so that they have the most choices at their fingertips.

Motherhood is wishing they would wear more deodorant and less kohl eyeliner and bathe more and watch less TV and choose the kale over the Pop Tarts. Motherhood is wishing they would hear you about flossing. Motherhood is ADHD times a hundred, trying to make sure that you are raising PEOPLE who will make their way in this world. Motherhood is hearing your mother's words come out of your mouth, and realizing she was onto something.

Motherhood is learning to hang on tight, while letting go. Motherhood is letting go of the story you wrote for your children so that they might write their own. Motherhood is recognizing the wisdom of all of the other mamas, grandmas, sisters, aunties, and friends. Motherhood is recognizing yourself as both a mother and as a daughter, and recognizing this in your mama also. Motherhood is loving them always and forever, no matter what, even when they are pretty darn unloveable.

Motherhood is a messy miracle. Turn away from your Pinterest and all of the advertisements and expectations that are foisted upon us. Call your mama and thank her for loving you when you were completely unloveable. Call your mema and thank her for the patience of a saint and for all of the chocolate pies. Call your sister and tell her you think she is a fabulous mama. Call or text or Facebook your friends and tell them thank you for being in the thick of things with you- this mama business is a team sport. Hug your kids tight. And realize that the best Mother's Day gift may not come in a baby blue box, but it might be hand drawn on notebook paper.

Peace and love and mush, my mama friends! XOXOXO

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