Dear Motherhood,

Why doesn’t anyone share the truth about you?

I think back on the days when I watched my mom struggle as a mom.  All the times that she cursed my sister and me out.  All the times when she didn’t show up to school events.  All the times when she never wanted to take me here or there.  All the activities, sports, and clubs that I wasn’t able to join because she wasn’t going to pay for them. All the conversations we didn’t have.  All the ways I had to numb myself because there was no room for my feelings in her world. All the ways in which she was hurting.  All the ways she didn’t know how to heal. All the ways she sought love externally. I get it now.

Being a mom is hard as fuck. It’s actually harder than hard as fuck. It’s damn near impossible. The constant pressure, worry, and responsibility. The NO DAYS OFF. The lack of sleep, lack of alone time, hell, the lack of time. The ways that you have to ignore your own needs to meet those of your children…It’s the constant feeling that you don’t matter while simultaneously being needed by EVERYONE that keeps your nervous system in a state of shock. It’s almost like becoming a mother breaks you into 1 million pieces, and each day someone takes a piece of you until there is nothing left. It’s so easy to get lost, disconnected, and disappear completely. And if you suffer from mental health issues…it’s like pushing a 500lb wheel up a hill.

Motherhood, why don’t you come with a disclaimer? Something like this would have been very much appreciated:

Warning. Motherhood intensifies your underlying issues. It can have negative effects on your body and mind. You will work long days and nights without being compensated. There is no training for the job as it is implied that you already know what to do. The skills that you acquire cannot be used on a resume. The world will not respect your job as a mother because you live in a society that devalues women and their role in shaping the world. You’re damned if you do, and you’re damned if you don’t.

Any chance we can get that shit on a wall in the OB/GYN’s office?

You’re not all bad though. I actually love you. You have shaped me into the woman I am today. Without you, I’d probably be skinny and full of myself…no wait…I meant to say, without you I’d be lost. It is because of you that I no longer live in a state of survival. I have actually started healing my childhood wounds and am beginning to transform into this very centered and calm woman. I don’t seek love externally anymore, nor am I still relinquishing my power to people because I don’t feel worthy of my own life. I am becoming the mom that I needed. I have happy, healthy, intelligent children. I love them with every fiber of my being, and they know that they are loved-just as they are. They write me beautiful letters that fill my soul. I see them, and they see me. It’s so beautiful to be seen. So, thank you! I am grateful for you! It would be nice though…to feel a little appreciated and valued more than 30% of the time. (I had to slide that in there.)

Motherhood, I do have one request.

My one goal as a mom is to not fuck up my kids.  I don’t want them to have to recover from their childhood. They shouldn’t end up on a pole or in jail, but I know that inevitable they will have something that they will wish that I would have done differently. Can you please make that something as small and least traumatic as possible? I would greatly appreciate it!

I’m forever indebted to you, but you might owe me something too, so let’s call it even! Our journey together thus far has been an adventure, and I’m sure the future won’t disappoint!

With Love, Ashley B.

“Sometimes the strength of motherhood is greater than natural laws.”

~Barbara Kingsolver