Motherhood; The Truth
Written by
Vicky Drake
April 2015
Written by
Vicky Drake
April 2015

For most of us motherhood is a life-long dream.                                                                                                                           

You’ve imagined for years how amazing it will be.  How much you will adore the little people you’ve created, how you will laugh with them, sing with them, play with them, teach them, listen to them and cherish your time together.

Then something happened.  You had children.  The bubble burst.

Before you became a mother you had it all figured out, you’d watched others mothers’ and knew how you wanted to be and how you didn’t.   You judged, we all did.  But it wasn’t until you had your own that suddenly you felt compassion for all those mothers’ because now you get it.  Now you see why they shout and bribe and do all the things you will neverdo.   Until you do.

The thing is no one ever told us the truth about motherhood, not the whole truth.  Everyone is so keen to show their best bits and hide those parts of themselves that they aren’t so proud of but this creates an illusion; one where you feel like the only one who struggles, the only one who just isn’t ‘good enough’.

Motherhood is everything you dreamed it would be, you love your child beyond measure and you would lay your life down for them but sometimes when no one is looking and no one is listening, sometimes you feel alone, sometimes you cry, you might even pray for help.

It’s amazing how someone so small can make you feel on top of the world one moment and flat out exhausted the next.  Children are able to conjure up every emotion known to woman:

Pure unconditional love, joy, happiness beyond measure and then in the blink of an eye things can change, you feel powerless, a crumpled mess on the floor, half the woman you were just moments ago, exhausted you cry, you shout.  You do all the things you swore you would never do.

This dream you’ve longed for suddenly feels like a beautiful nightmare where your surrounded by adorable little energy vampires of your own creating that seem to have a sixth sense for the first sign of relaxed contentment, it’s as if a button on your ass sends a signal to their brain the moment you sit down ‘Warning: mother is sitting down.  Must cause mayhem.’

It’s crazy but it’s your crazy and you wouldn’t change it for the world.

For every low there are 10 highs.

For every sleepless night there’s a 1000 smiles that say ‘I’m worth it’.

For every ounce of guilt and worry there’s a little person standing there to prove you are good enough.  You’re more than good enough.

For all the negative traits that motherhood seems to draw out of you, there’s a cuddle and an ‘I love you’ that lets you know they forgive you and that all that really matters is love.

The real truth about motherhood is that it’s hard, really hard.  Nobody said it would be easy, they just said it would be worth it and it’s definitely that!

I’ll be happy when….

I’ve been blogging for just over a year now about creating my dream life. I thought my dream was to become a published author but that’s just a goal.  I thought my dream was to inspire women to go for their dreams and to run my own successful business following my passion and living my purpose but it’s not that either.  Motherhood is my dream, it’s been a life-long dream but now I’m here some days it feels like a nightmare because the reality doesn’t match up to the image I had created of it.

I’ve been searching for external things to make me happier and calmer.  ‘I’ll be happy when’ can easily become a mantra but we can only be happy now. We can only enjoy motherhood now.  It’s so easy to wish it away thinking it will be easier when [fill in the blank ] but you only have this moment now, your child will never be this age again.  We have to stop projecting motherhood into the future and step into it in the present and that will be so much easier to do when we accept that the dream of motherhood is far different to the reality.  It’s the dream of motherhood that keeps us locked in the nightmare.

If you are constantly pursuing something outside of yourself in hope that you will be happier when you achieve it, it will never happen, yes you will achieve what you wanted but then there will be a new goal and a new challenge, this is especially true in motherhood.  Every age and every child brings new challenges to the table and we can’t look for solutions outside of ourselves, we need to look within.

The truth is motherhood is bloody hard work but nobody tells us that, I mean not really, so when we find ourselves knee deep in kids, exhausted and overwhelmed we feel like such a failure and like we are the only ones who feels this way.

How to be your best

Motherhood can be a lonely place but we are all in this together, our challenges and experiences may be different but our guilt, worries and fears are the same and we all have one thing in common, we want to be the very best we can be for our child.  Do you know how you can do that? By being the best you can be for yourself.  Until you look inward and focus on yourself and nurture yourself in meaningful ways you won’t be able to be your best for your child.  When you’re exhausted and overwhelmed that is what you give, when you are happy and full of energy that is what you give.

All those things you are looking for aren’t out there to be found, they are already within you waiting to be discovered.  Motherhood is hard work so make it easier by going easy on yourself.  Stop beating yourself up and start taking some much needed time each day to rest and yes I hear you ‘I don’t have time’ but please hear me when I say you need to make it, you need to make the time for yourself each day before motherhood passes you by and you look back and realise your priorities were wrong.

Don’t focus on the mess focus on the moment.  Don’t focus on the lack focus on all the things you do have.  Don’t focus on what you would like to change about yourself focus on all the good things you already are.  What you focus on grows.  Focus on you and you will grow into the mother you know you really are instead of the mother you may have become.

Self-care is essential.  Do you have a daily self-care regime? If not it’s time to start one, start with 10 minutes a day just for you, do something you love or just sit back and do absolutely nothing but breathe!  Deep breathing is so simple yet so powerful.

You are doing an amazing job; acknowledge that, love where you are at and love where you are heading.  The only thing your child needs is love; your love.

Self-care is exactly what my upcoming Breathing Space course is all about, so if you don’t have a current self-care regime and would like a helping hand on releasing the guilt for taking a break whilst learning some valuable tools to de-stress and enjoy being more present then check it out.

With love and acceptance

Vicky x

Did any part of this speak to you? How can you squeeze 10 minutes into your day just for you? What challenges do you have that prevent you from doing that? share them and someone may just have the answer you need.  Motherhood doesn’t have to feel so lonely; we can reach out and help each other, even if at times that’s just virtually.  Reach out if you need to, I’m here for you x

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  • Vicky Drake

    thank you Rita for your lovely feedback, i'm so glad you enjoyed the post. Motherhood is definitely a roller coaster and I absolutely have those days of worst parent and breaking the mold parenting!  

  • Rita Gabis

    Thanks so much for this.  With our only "child" now a sophomore in college, I wish I had read this ten years back and every year after.  You say so much that is spot on.  I too had a dream of motherhood.  In retrospect, reality is ten thousand times better than the dream, but it has at times also been so challenging and isolating (even with a great group of mom friends)..some days I'd be sure I was the worst parent in the universe…other days I'd feel like I was breaking the mold of bad parenting that was my lot as a kid and giving my child a truly loving, solid foundation.  Yet, self-doubt was my constant companion.  Thanks for putting into words what many kind friends told me during those hardest years.  This is such a gift for moms out there trying to do it right and write!