In the whole world of mothers, where each one of us is different and none of us quite knows what it’s like to be the other, I know we can agree on one thing: motherhood is hard.
It is the hardest thing I have ever done.
It is hard if you do it right. It is harder when you’re doing it wrong. Sometimes, it’s just hard to know the difference.
It’s hard to get up in the morning and it’s hard to go to bed at night and it’s hard to get through the afternoons when the kids are too big to take naps anymore.
It’s hard to make the tough choices like what to do about school and music and movies. It’s hard to know what to do about work and what to do about staying home, and it’s hard to make decisions about either one without turning a judgmental eye on someone else.
Because just as soon as it’s not hard, just as soon as one of us has it all figured out, well, then things change. Then that one can hold up a measuring stick for the rest of us to try to step up and reach. That one can see who passes the bar and who doesn’t. That one can walk on water.
But what if none of us can walk on water? What if all of us are in the same boat? What if all of us remain acutely aware that the waves are big, and if we all row together, why, we’ll all have a better chance of getting to the shore intact?
I’m a little tired of rowing by myself. I look around and I see that you are, too. Perhaps we can encourage each other along, for a little while. Perhaps we can put aside our differences, our insecurities, our superficial standards, and try to see what is good in each other. Maybe, just maybe, we can exchange a few sympathetic words because we both understand something about the other.
We both understand the fearful agony and awesome joy of raising a child for eternity. We understand that it is hard. The waves are high.
But at least we’re in it together.