"Amelia and mommy bff you are the best in the world love Amelia."
– A typed note on my computer from my 6-year-old
"It's never too late to have a happy childhood."
–I honestly have no idea who said this first
I am a mom. It is my favorite thing about my life, and I have a good life. For real. Not even gonna pretend to be modest on this part. I have a job I love, friends I adore, a partner who participates in the relationship, a devoted dog, and a child who is as obsessed with me as I am with her. It is a great life. And being a mom is the best part.
I always wanted to be a mom. It was a long road to get to this place, not as long as some, but certainly longer than others. It was disappointment mixed with desire and a necessity for patience. I remember those first moments of my daughter's time on the planet: completely poleaxed with love but also ready to commit murder if anyone even sneezed in her direction. If you have ever been a new mom, you know the experience; I can only imagine how it is for those of you who have given birth during the pandemic! (Also, before anyone alerts the authorities, the murder bit is hyperbole. Obviously.)
The emotional life of motherhood is weird, equal parts intensity, love, ferocity, protection, patience, and an inexhaustible appreciation for the absurd. No one ever really prepares you for the absurdity of motherhood. Sure, they brief you on the adult diapers and the post-partum indignities, but not the absurdity of becoming a real-live cartoon character or how much you will grow to love/hate Mr. Noodle.
Tea parties are my jam. I have always been a tea girl, but my afternoons leveled up when my daughter turned three and discovered tea sets. I love coloring and storytime. I live for an afternoon nap and snuggle. Basically, I have been given the gift of childhood along with my daughter. And for someone who never really had a childhood to begin with, I have to say, I get what the fuss is about. It is a beautiful, sacred time. Childhood is funny, exhausting, wild, messy, ebullient — like life on steroids.
As a mom, I am the favorite comforter/playmate/safety/food source all rolled into one. Some days I am killing it. Other days, I am convinced I am doing it all wrong, but then I am reminded that we are all just trying the best we can. For that, I am grateful for my mom friends. My piece of unsolicited advice: get some mom friends. You do not have to be friends with a woman because she is a mom, but it is good to have friends who are also moms. We need other moms to remind us to be kind and gentle to ourselves, to extend the same grace and humor to ourselves that we do to our kids. Plus, they can help normalize the absurdity.
This Mother's Day, I just want to take a moment to say to all the moms out there, from a fellow mom in the trenches:
Hey Momma, YOU ARE KILLING IT. You are The Picture of mom-dominance ("mominance," if you will).
Even when you doubt.
Even when you are absolutely convinced you are getting it wrong.
Even when you are taxed beyond what is reasonable to expect from anyone, whilst juggling a million balls in the center of a maelstrom of the unknown, in the midst of a pandemic.
You are doing it.
You can do this.
The hard things, the weird things, the scary things, the tender things, all the things. You are a good mom.
Remember to breathe and have a nice day for yourself. You deserve it.
Happy Mother's Day.