It is with guilt, fear, joy, terror, resentment, pride, love and frustration in equal measure, that we are all mothers. We will never cease comparing ourselves to other mothers, competing with other mothers and putting unreasonable expectations on ourselves to do more. To be better. To accomplish just one more thing.
We live in the real world. Not the world of propaganda so richly played out for us in ads. Ours is a world with overhead fluorescent lighting in dressing rooms, a world where wearing the same beige bra 5 out of 7 days in a row isn’t uncommon and a world where my nursing boob veins look like a map of Texas on my chest. There are no perfectly pruned petunias in the real world. My flowers are under-watered and my lemon zester has been lost in the utensil drawer for years.
Motherhood is like waking up and finding yourself in a mental institution. You’re surrounded by other crazy people (only, they’re smaller, louder and smell worse than you do). You know that you deserve to be there, but cannot recall what it was, exactly, that was pinpointed as the tipping point. And… you’re pretty sure you don’t want to leave.
My slow decent into insanity started, I noticed, when I began making little “deals” in my head. “If I make this light, my meeting will go well”. Or my favorite, “If I can get out of the bathroom before the toilet finishes flushing then I get a wish”! I started to place my fate in the hands of someone else. I was not responsible for how poorly the meeting went- after all, I did not make that light!