The Motherhood Narrative

July 1, 2019 | by jenna jones

The other week I got together with a new momma. In a vulnerable moment, she confessed, “I don’t know why this is so hard for me and easier for everyone else.” Hearing her say it out loud helped me recognize it. This is the lie that is so easy for us to believe. Actually, it is more than just one lie; it is a whole narrative. It is the story we are telling ourselves about motherhood.

Well, I want to change the narrative. I am rejecting that and telling a different story. Let’s confront this together.

1)   It is easy for everyone else

Nope. Isn't true. It just isn't. MOTHERHOOD IS HARD! At that moment I told my new friend that she is not alone. That it is so hard for me too. I am on my fourth child, and it has been hard with each one. Not only that, every momma that I have ever talked to tells me it's hard. I can't always even articulate what exactly is hard about it, but if you are a mother, you know the weight. Every other mother is carrying that same burden, and it's ok to say out loud that sometimes you struggle under the weight of it.

2)   Hard is bad

This is where I really want to rewrite our thinking. Somehow, I think we have gotten the message that effortless or easy is good while struggle or hard is bad. Even more than that, it shouldn't be hard. That hard is wrongful. That if it's hard, there is a problem. That hard is less-than. That hard means you are lacking. I am not going to accept that equation. I think it is hard because we have given ourselves to a worthy pursuit. Like climbing a mountain, or running a marathon, or any other worthy pursuit — of course it is hard! And that’s not bad.

So here is where it lands for me. I think motherhood is a struggle and I am going to rise to the occasion. I think it is a challenge and I accept. Not only that, I refuse to hide my struggle. And I refuse to look on it with fear or shame. Instead, I am proud. *Pull out quote The joy, and beauty, and wonder of it all are not diminished one bit because it is hard. Instead, I think the struggle is part of the beauty. The hard part is also the part that is mixed with joy. The part that pushes me over the edge is also the part that makes me compassionate and strong. 

For me, this isn't effortless. It takes ALL OF MY EFFORT. And I am glad to give it.

If you don't know me, I am the one with tired, smiling eyes, the wet hair under my felt hat, a soft midsection, and surrounded by my four babes — proud of it all.

Life is an opportunity, benefit from it. Life is beauty, admire it. Life is a dream, realize it. Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it.

-Mother Teresa

Originally printed in the July 2019 issue of Simply Family Magazine

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