In the last couple of weeks, we have put Foxtel in our home. With that I have re-discovered The Supernanny series and a show called Real Simple. Real Life where they help women get their lives in order (it's mostly targeted at mums).
Watching these programs of late, it has fascinated me as to why we choose to become mothers. I mean granted we have no idea what we are in for in the beginning, but we go back and have more babies, and more often than not, despite the hardships it brings, most of us would do it all over again if given the chance to turn back time.
But when you look at it, why on earth would we want to do it all over again, given the chance? From the outside looking in, we start off getting very little sleep, are overwhelmed with repetitive, groundhog day tasks of nappies, crying, housework, little adult contact, loss of career and independence, loss of spontaneity and the freedom to be self-indulgent. We lose our body shape, hand our breasts over to another person only to have them return empty, shapeless, droopy and scarred. We are clung to, suffer from sore backs, bad posture, lose our style, dress daggy, have very little time to groom and generally look and feel drabby....and that's just the first 6 months or so.
As our children grow older we are likely to be screamed at, kicked, bitten, had our hair pulled, embarrassed in the shops, and issued demand after demand. The house gets messier, the list of chores gets bigger, you then try to add work into the equation and balance all that just to make ends meet and life becomes a constant struggle to keep everybody else happy and slipping in little moments of bliss for yourself whenever you can.
When you look at all of this chaos that occurs in a mother's life, from an outsiders point of view, who the hell would EVER opt for a life like this? Why on earth do we go back and do it again, and again?
What on earth do we see in this motherhood gig that is so powerful that we would do it again, go back and have history repeat itself. What makes us believe that it is the best job in the world? I decided to pose this question to Real Mumma.
This was her reply:
Real Mumma: The answer is simple - love.
Because when you look into your child's eyes - I mean really look at them. You see underneath the behaviour and look to the pure, unconditionally loving little being that they are, and all of that stuff melts away. You see the innocent looks, their priceless smiles and their inappropriate laughs at situations that you think are serious. You watch them as they sleep and see their innocence and beauty and feel the sudden urge to scoop them up in your arms and cuddle them (even though it just took you ages to get them to sleep) just because you realise how much you love them and how much they mean to you.
You then watch them grow, learn and take on some of the lessons you taught them. You begin to see the pride they have in their own growing abilities and how proud they are of something they've worked hard for.
You see the pure love and sensitivity they have for other people and how, while one minute they can be angry, feral and disruptive, the next they could be giving you the biggest cuddle in the world, giving you a carefully picked yellow weed flower and saying those magic words 'Here you go mummy, I love you.'
You notice their funny little facial expressions, the words they get mixed up that sound so cute, and hear their priceless little giggles ringing in your ears.
Suddenly your heart just bursts with love and no matter what has happened, for this brief moment, you are the proudest, happiest and most in love mother you could ever have hoped to have been.
Love is the most powerfully healing emotion known to man. For a person to go through all that we do as mothers, but have that all melted away within an instant because of this emotion of love, just goes to show how much of it we need in our lives.
Yes, this motherhood gig is tough. Yes it comes with the biggest workload you've ever had in your entire life, but why did I choose to be a mother?
Because it is the best job in the world, and that's not because it's full of only warm and fuzzy huggies commercial type moments, but because I experience a love that is so rare, so pure and so rewarding that I would never EVER give that up.
Next time you feel overwhelmed by motherhood, just remember this awesome feeling and do whatever you can to bring it back into your life so that all that bad stuff can just melt away in that instant again.
All that surface stuff and surface behaviour we experience that causes us to be consumed, stressed and dragged down? It doesn't matter. It's not what counts. Look for what's underneath. Look for the human behind the behaviour. The meaning in the mayhem.
Love is what matters. Love is what heals and the love between a child and a mother, is irreplaceable. Invite this feeling of love back into your life as much as possible and the chaos will become unimportant.