What are we even doing here?

Hey, Mama! I'm sure at some point in your mothering journey, you've thought to yourself, "What am I even doing? Is this really my life?"

Maybe the sun is just about to come up, but you've been up since 2:00 am trying to put a screaming baby back to bed. Maybe you're knee deep in the diapers of three kids under 3. Maybe your kids have been whining at you and fighting with each other all day, and despite your best intentions to parent from a place of emotional intelligence, you snapped and turned into the mom version of The Hulk. Or, if you're like me in the very moment I'm writing this, you just had a major power struggle with your 3 year old about pooping on the potty. And you lost. 

A little over a year ago, before becoming pregnant with our third child, I had a conversation with my husband about how parenthood is the biggest joke. And not in a, side-splittingly, pee your pants laughing kind of way. More like a cruel prank–a "the joke's on you" kind of deal. I don't remember what shenanigans my kids had performed that day that made me so hysterical about my role as a parent. I'm sure I've blocked it out of my memory as some sort of survival tactic. 

Have you ever stopped though, to think about how absolutely irrational the decision to become a parent is? Especially to become a mother?

Think about it. Your introduction to motherhood puts you right into the trenches. Actually, the toilet. Your face that is–because morning sickness. Before you even get the honor of being a mother, you have to endure the aches and pains of pregnancy, including but not limited to: round ligament pain, lightning crotch, back aches, boob aches, fatigue, aversions to foods you once loved, bloating, frequent urination, insomnia, hemorrhoids, the reappearance of the acne you thought you left behind in your teens, and your body being literally stretched to limits you never thought possible. My pregnancy with my third baby put me in a wheelchair for a few days! And that's mild compared to what a lot of women experience. 

Then, the grand event arrives! The day you get to shed your title as mother-in-waiting and become a full-fledged Mama. You only have to endure hours of agonizing pain to gain that honor. My own title as mom wasn't mine for the taking until my 24 hour labor ended with c-section. Nothing like a slice-and-dice to welcome you into the realm of motherhood. 

If you thought the fun stopped there, you were mistaken.

Next, it's sleepless nights. It's more poopy diapers than your zombified brain can count. It's spit up in your hair. It's wondering how such a tiny thing can make such unearthly racket. It's the frustration of trying to figure out how to feed your baby with the monstrous, drippy rocks that used to be your boobs. It's staying home from events that could have been really fun, because it's the middle of cold and flu season. It's embracing colonies of cheerios living in the crevices of your vehicles, and never  again being able to cross your kitchen floor without stepping on some remnant of the meal you just ate. It's your toddler deciding to see what will happen to your home's 70 year old plumbing if she flushes a handful of your re-usable nursing pads down the toilet.

And if that doesn't sound lovely enough, as your kids get older, the physical exhaustion gets replaced with mom guilt and emotional labor. It's seeing your kids pull each others hair. It's scrubbing crayon off the wall after repeatedly reminding your toddler to color only on paper. It's the realization that you can't have nice things, because nice things get drawn on, stained, peed on, or broken. It's hearing for the first time, through hot, steamy tears that your 6 year old hates you. 

So why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we willingly sign on for the chaos?

If we have some idea of the hardships we'll face, why do make a conscious choice to become a mother? Why do our ovaries ache to have a baby of our very own, when some part of us knows full well we're agreeing to 18+ years of constantly putting someone else's wants and needs before our own? Why? Because any sane person would look at all the sacrifice, turmoil, and difficulty and say, "Nope! Hard pass."

It's because we live for the glimmers.

We live for those little moments, between the chaos, that in the fleeting moments they occur shine so brightly and intensely, they are written on the very walls of our souls. They fill every fiber of our being with warmth and light. They give us the courage and strength to embrace the challenge of our every day, and remind us that YES we did willingly sign on for this!

It's the moments like seeing your baby's tiny legs kicking on the sonogram. It's when your children are hurt or scared, yet they calm almost the moment you wrap them in your arms, and you know for certain that your very presence has the power to heal. It's hearing your baby laugh for the first time. It's seeing your son make the choice on his own to spend his hard earned money on something for his sister instead of for himself. It's feeling a tiny hand slip into yours as you watch the sunset on the Oregon coast, and looking down to see your child's face so completely awestruck that anything could possibly be that beautiful.

The truth is, motherhood is often hard. It's often thankless. Too often, it seems like more than we can handle. 

That's where our glimmers come in. They're there to remind us why we mother. To remind us why we show up every day for our little people. To inspire us to continue to be warriors, healers,leaders, advocates, teachers, springboards, soft places to land, and outstretched arms. We are the greatest forces for good this world has. If we forget why we mother, the world is screwed, to be frank. 

I'm here to remind you to look for the glimmers. To create them, if you have to! Because isn't that what we as mamas are? Creators? Together, lets create the motherhood we've always dreamed of.

Let's live for the glimmers.

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