For 15 years I thrived on meetings, hectic schedules, impossible deadlines, balancing complex budgets, inspiring teams, resolving conflict… the list goes on. I loved it. I loved the stress, the rush, climbing the impossible mountains, smashing targets. I had control. If I tried really hard, worked really hard, I could achieve, mostly, what I set out to achieve.
Being a mom is the opposite. No matter how hard you try, how hard you work, how impossible the toddler is being today, you simply have zero control over how your day will unroll (read unravel).
Today, my day starts at 3 am and ends at 10:45 pm. It starts with a screaming child and it ends with a toddler who shouts “mommy” on repeat five times a night at 30-minute intervals until we fold and bring her to our bed.
Today I have no control over budgets, deadlines, fevers, tantrums, mealtimes, snotty noses, inspiring my little team of three at home (Frankie two months, Grace two years, me 37 years) or whether I will get to have a shower before it’s time to get into bed again or not. Yesterday I wasn’t so lucky and didn’t shower until 7 pm.
Being a mom is accepting that there is just simply no control. You can try. You can have the best intentions of boundaries and structure, but a sudden limp that won’t go away for three days in a two-year-old throws your world into a tailspin of MRIs, X-Rays, blood tests and sleepless nights, with Dr Google causing all sorts of internal chaos. So the gym you had planned for tomorrow, or the two client meetings you had scheduled for later this afternoon, go straight out of the window.
Being a mom is accepting that no matter how hard you try, each week consists of equal parts joy, love, happiness and anger, self doubt, chaos and deep breathing! Yesterday I actually physically screamed out loud out of sheer desperation. I am 37 years old and I screamed like a two-year-old! My two-year-old looked at me like I was mad. Which I was. Being a mom makes you lose all control. You actually do become mad sometimes.
A recent study by UK juice company Welch’s revealed that being a mom is equivalent to having 2.5 regular jobs, resulting in a whopping 98 hours of work a week! And moms get on average 1.4 hours of “me” time a day. I consider writing this blog my 1.4 hours of “me” time and am loving the freedom of sitting in the Seattle Coffee Co. outside the gate of my estate, not having to hear “mommy” for a little while!
So I guess this blog is just to say to the moms and dads out there who are, like me, in the trenches, you are not alone. It is normal. It is okay. You are not failing, you are trying your best and that’s okay. There is no solution, no magic wonder-human 10 steps to nailing this… just try and breathe and be kind to yourself. Turn Paw Patrol on and let them watch so you can regroup for 30 minutes. It’s okay. Enjoy that ice-cold beer at 6 pm. You’ve earned it.
I have decided to include a few photos of the past nine weeks to remind myself more than anyone how frikken lucky I am and how much joy I have felt in between the “insane” moments. And that this little team of mine is the best damn thing I have ever done. And a reminder to relinquish the control and let the unravelling unravel.