I know you've seen and perhaps read the numerous articles telling us that we have a limited number (eighteen) of summers with our children and that we must make the most of them.
I know you've seen and perhaps read the numerous articles from those who are peeved at the "make-your-moments-count" timer and refuse to adhere to an "I can't even blink, or I may miss something" way of mothering and living.
Here's my stance:
Stop telling moms not to blink.
It's okay for us to miss some shiitake.
We also take one-second naps when we blink, and we need all of the rest we can get.
I guess you could say that I'm someone who rides the line between "we only have 18 summers" and "don't tell me that we only have 18 summers."
I'm a momma who can't get enough of my kids, but quickly has "had enough," which I am sure to yell at those three tiny and innocent bystanders every ten minutes like clockwork.
I'm a momma who claims I have no time to play because I have to do #allthethings and then complains that I can't play because I have to do #allthethings.
I'm a momma who longs to hug my kids when we are apart but pulls away from them when they are extending affection at an inconvenient time (like while I'm mid-laundry or working) or when I am feeling over-touched.
I am a momma who wants to be a SAHM but has turned into a WAHM and is struggling with giving both my work and my children my full attention.
You see, I am a momma who has wanted nothing more, her whole young life, than to be a wife and a mother and here I am, being those things.
Well, guess what? It's a lot harder than I ever expected or imagined.
Marriage forces you to compromise more than you would ever care too, and then you birth these gorgeous and loving babies who outgrow your lap and lullabies, but never your mind or your heart and they also require lots of compromises.
Even more than that, they require attention, a whole heap load of it, which must include providing them with nourishment, affection, positive energy, motivation, active listening, teaching, and the list just goes on and on.
Now, have these past eight years gone by in the blink of an eye?
For damn sure.
BUT, have most of those days gone by incredibly slow and been extremely draining, both physically and emotionally?
You know, I used to feel like I was a hypocrite; a contradiction of a mother — a woman who claims she loves her kids but complains about the strenuousness of motherhood at every opportunity.
But, then I realized something.
If my past 2,920+ days as a mother have taught me anything, it's that motherhood (and life in general) are not about extremes.
In no realistic version of parenthood is the day-to-day black and white and full of either "right" or "wrong" moments.
Conversely, authentic parenting is merely you, your unique being, trying to improve yourself while trying to stay connected to another while trying to raise one or multiple little humans.
If you are tired after just hearing how I phrased that, imagine how exhausting that life must be to live.
The problem that occurs is that there is a group of people out there in the general public who contend that something so taxing can't be beautiful.
Well, they are wrong.
Motherhood is beautiful, and it is messy.
It is gray, and it is smudged.
Motherhood varies in how it looks on different people and even for the same person, it can alter how it presents itself daily, hourly, or even every few minutes.
Listen, mamas -- you can be both the momma who doesn't want to blink, but who still freakin' blinks because she needs those brief breaks from her empowering yet fatiguing journey as a life guide for her children.
Thank you for coming to my TEDtalk.
This article originally appeared on jthreeNMe.