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  • Writer's pictureJordan Hogan

Surviving the Motherhood Mess

There is mud all over the floor I just mopped. Both of my toddlers slipped and fell on said mud, right after they tried to kill each other with the bathroom door. Doors have become a weapon to be feared in my house.

I know I will miss this. I will miss this like I often wistfully yearn for each baby’s tiny newborn stage. I’ll miss being a mommy amid messy toddlerhood in the same way I miss my 20s, and in the same way I miss my perky boobs. I’ll miss this.

“I don’t need to feel guilty about not living in the moment,” I yell at myself after yelling at my kids and then collapsing into a heap of hysterics, exhaustion, and guilt for yelling and for not enjoying this because I’m going to miss it.

My husband walks through the door and I stare at him, a ghost of the glowing bride he tearfully watched walk down the aisle so many lifetimes ago. My 3 year old hits my six-year-old in the head with the pantry door this time. What the hell? No one told me I would have to fear doorways. No one told me any of this.

I dreamed of babies my entire life. I knew with my whole heart that my purpose was to be a mom. And yet my life looks nothing like I thought it would. It feels nothing like the fuzzy, pretty, sparkly ideas of motherhood that used to dance like sugarplums in my head as I begged God, the universe, or any deity that would listen, to please make me a mom.

Now, at least a decade after my first midnight prayer for babies, it actually feels a little bit like my purpose is trying to kill me. Murder me in my sleep like a sick version of The Handmaid’s Tale. It feels a little bit like once again, similar to every other time in my life I’ve gone off on some hair-brained idea of what I thought I should do with my life, it feels like I got it wrong. I missed something. Some integral class in mothering, I missed it somewhere.

I don’t know how I got here. I don’t know where I’m supposed to be. Nothing that I used to think would fulfill me is doing what it was supposed to do. I love my kids more than anything. They are miracles upon miracles upon beautiful little lightbulbs that fill my heart with joy. Right before they send me running for the door like I’m running from a wild animal the second my husband gets home. It’s very confusing. And I just keep thinking to myself, am I the only one who feels this way? I can’t be the only one.

I don’t have a solution- yet. I don’t have any pretty words that will make it all come together at the end of this. I keep thinking that I can’t start a blog, that I can’t reach out to other mamas who are going through their own kind of reckoning. I can’t do that until I get to the other side of this particular monster. Until I have a concrete solution and a road map with very clear directions on navigating motherhood and womanhood.

But maybe that’s not the point. Maybe it’s not about getting it right, figuring it out, wrapping it all up in a perfect, pretty little bow, and then sharing it with the world. Maybe it’s about walking through this heavenly, hellacious experience together. Maybe it’s hearing our story told by another frazzled, tired, utterly gobsmacked fellow traveler when we feel the most lost and without a universal compass to point us in the right direction no matter how much we beg the powers that be. Maybe it’s about the power we feel when we remind each other that we are strong, powerful, brilliant women. We also may or may not be sitting in a heap of mud with screaming toddlers thinking, how is this my life? It wasn’t supposed to look like this.

Maybe it’s about crying together, throwing up our hands at each other, embracing each other. It’s about sharing words, tears, and hilarious parenting reels on Instagram and then walking hand in hand to the other side of this magical nightmare- together. Women, mamas, boss bitches. Healing together.

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