Sunday was Mother’s Day. I got a nap. It wasn’t wrapped in beautiful paper or topped with a bow, but it was more loved and cherished than diamonds or pearls could ever have been.

What I’m trying to say here people is I’m tired.

I feel like that’s one of those things that moms just aren’t supposed to admit, but I’m a little ashamed to say that I admit it pretty often. Being a mom is hard work. People should talk more about this.

Mother’s Day should be celebrated on a Monday and everyone should be off work.

Being a mother is a sacrifice in itself. Even if you’re not a very good one, it is. If you’re alive and walking around on this earth and you have the worst mother in the world, still be a little thankful because growing a human is not easy work.

As a mother, you have to tell yourself it is.

 You have to replay that episode of the “The Cosby Show” where Dr. Huxtable explains to the expecting father whose wife yells at him in the delivery room that there are women nine months pregnant working in rice fields and their babies fall right out and just start picking rice alongside their mother. You have to think of things like that because babies are born all day every day and it’s considered no big deal and you’re supposed to be confident about it.

But it’s a big deal to spend almost an entire year at a time cooking a baby to bring into the world. I can’t speak for everyone else, but in my meager experience of having two children I know that the first three months of said cooking include being sick at your stomach. Brushing your teeth makes you vomit. And so does any type of odor at all. And you’re terrified that something will happen to your baby before it ever gets a chance to be born. Then when you get past that and start eating a little more and put on a little weight the doctor tells you you’re getting too fat, even though you feel like you’re not eating anymore than normal.  Then, after months of being uncomfortable in one way or another, either you have the baby the normal way, or you have it cut out of you. I can only assume either way is painful. My experience is with the latter, and let me assure you it is terrible. 

After that you’re left with a changed body. And nobody ever walks up to you or looks at you and says “Wow! I love your stretch marks. That weird flap where your flat stomach used to be is so pretty! Your hamburger meat looking skin there on your belly looks wonderful!” You can only assume they think things like “Oh my, she has gained a lot of weight,” or something like that, because that’s just what people think and there is no use in denying it.

Then either you go back to work and have to miss out on a lot of precious moments with your kids, or you stay home and miss out on being your own person for a while. My experience is as a stay at home mom, but I can only assume from observing my own mom being a working mom that they are both very hard. All I know is there are days when I don’t have time to brush my teeth until bedtime and every time I start to get in the shower someone knocks on the door either needing me to help them go to the potty or needing a kiss and a hug. I’m happy to do both, but a lot of days I just plain smell bad.

There are days when I go to bed feeling like the most terrible mother on earth because there is just no way to know if you’re doing it right. I put myself through the ringer for everything, because again, there is just no way to know if you’re doing it right. And raising decent human beings is something you want to do the right way.

So a belated happy Mother’s Day to all you mother’s out there. None of us would be here without you.

Danielle Wallingsford Kirkland is a former Sentinel staff writer and correspondent. She can be reached at danielle.w.kirkland@gmail.com.

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