Accepting the realness of motherhood
By Amanda Griffin-Jacob
Here are a few of my motherhood musings before I drift off at the end of another frenzied day. I still can’t quite wrap my head around the fact that my motherhood journey has spanned almost a decade now. I’m also in a state of shock that I have four (Yes, four!) kiddos! I’m definitely a more seasoned, more confident, and more calm version of myself than I was when I was a first-time mom all those years ago. Being a mom for ten years kind of does that to you.
Having said that, some things remain unchanged. I still feel like an absolute newbie at times! I feel like I might be failing at being a good mother half the time. I’m also still seeking that tenuous equilibrium between motherhood, myself, my work life, and my husband. These are the thoughts that keep me up at night.
I’ve waxed poetic about this before. How do women find that elusive balance? How are they ‘living their best lives’ without the guilt? How do they know they’re doing a good job? In this self-indulgent era of Keeping Up with the Joneses (or Kardashians I should say), I see so many women who have it all figured out (according to their Insta-lives). But me? I’m nowhere near that epiphany.
These days I find myself struggling to keep my head above water. It’s all a bit overwhelming managing the minutiae of so many people’s lives every second of every single day. I am many things…architect, manager, cook, errand-runner, chauffeur, counselor, to name a few of my many jobs as the matriarch of the Jacob household. Some days I’m stretched so thin that I have less patience, thanks to my 8-month-old. Certainly not the best version of myself. Slowly, but surely, I’m regaining my footing in my life—this new normal, but it’s a strenuous expedition mentally, emotionally, and physically.
With the current buzz around self-care, I sometimes feel like a bit of a phony when I pontificate on the importance of it. Imperative, yes! Doable? Sure! But there’s definitely not enough hours in the day for me to get to everything. So when I am taking care of me, a lot of other items on my agenda are falling by the side. This is stressful. Because let’s be honest…I simply cannot do it all, no matter how much I want to.
I read an article that I wrote in 2014 when I only had half my brood and I gasped at my bold impertinence.
“Maybe as I become more of an old hand at this mommyhood gig, I will learn valuable tricks and insights on how to prioritize and shift responsibilities without feeling all the stress and the guilt. I guess it is part of our learning adventure of motherhood, and I need to loosen up the reins and not strive for perfectionism all the time.”
Here I am five years later, no closer to any type of clarity. In fact, I think I’m even more bewildered than I was when I was just starting out. The longer I’m a mom, the less I know for certain. Here I am five years later, no closer to any type of clarity. In fact, I think I’m even more bewildered than I was when I was just starting out. The longer I’m a mom, the less I know for certain.
If I’m truthful with myself, I don’t think I’ll be able to get anywhere close to that life balance until my littlest starts his school career, and that is quite a few years away. This type A control freak has finally accepted that this is okay. Yes, I can live in this chaotic, swirling madness for a while. I’m learning to just go where the adventure takes me and not hanker too much for the control over my life that I was used to. It is what I signed up for, after all. And while it is scary and exhausting, and a whole host of other things, I cannot deny that motherhood sure is fun!
Featured image from the Instagram account of Amanda Griffin-Jacob