Motherhood is…

Photography: Poppy Peterson Photography

By Jess Williamson

Motherhood is isolating.

Hours spent in the dark bouncing or breastfeeding a baby alone. Day upon day stuck in the house with sick kids in winter.

Motherhood is monotonous.

Change them, feed them, wash them, clean up after them. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Laundry, well, that alone is insurmountable.

Motherhood is invisibility.

When everyone else’s needs scream louder than yours. It’s remembering to eat breakfast despite catering for the individual preferences of everyone else. It’s eating the leftover cutouts from your kids star-shaped sandwich or the rejected items from the dinner plate. It’s cleaning the lounge every night because otherwise, it will do your head in, despite everyone else taking little notice. It’s changing the roll on the toilet paper holder instead of leaving it on the floor. It’s making sure everyone has what they need for the next day to make the morning run smoother despite no one else giving it a second thought.

Motherhood is sacrifice.

It’s having an audience to pee, it’s juggling times to have a shower. It’s fitting what you can into the time the baby naps. It’s getting home from work and barely having a moment to breathe before you switch from one ‘hat’ to the other. It’s when we struggle to fulfil our cups of sacrifice with self-care, which is like a bandaid for the gaping wound that is a lack of hands-on societal support and the missing close-knit community or tribe-like times of old.

Motherhood is comparison.

Its insta lunchboxes and designer labels. It’s who subscribes to what label of parenting and pro versus anti, this versus that. It’s a concern of not being enough or being reminded of “what happened in my day” or “I turned out ok despite….”. It’s fear and threats of spoiling babes or creating rods for backs. It’s graphs or averages, measuring against some status quo. It’s fighting the tide to try and listen to your own inner instincts and your babe’s individual preferences and needs.

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