I remember a speaker once saying that any man can be a father, but it takes a special man to be a Daddy.
I remember thinking that’s true.
And now I think there’s a missing second line to that:
Many a woman can be a mother, but it takes a special one to be a good mother.
Yeah, okay, I won’t win accolades, but it is true.
This has been a particularly trying week in our home, and my patience is running very, very short. The disturbed and broken sleep of the last three nights certainly doesn’t help, and the fact that our lives are up in the air, we’re living with friends and family, moving around to accommodate our need for accommodation without inconveniencing anyone else, and the fact that my hubby is working 12 hour days, all add up to me being â€“ well… not the best.
Being a mother isn’t that hard. Get pregnant, have a baby, get the baby to adulthood alive and with as little scarring as possible. But everything beyond that basic baseline instruction takes effort. Time, energy, motivation. Effort.
Of course it’s not always tough, and sometimes it’s downright fantastic, but even in the worst job you have good days. What differentiates motherhood from a ‘real job’ is that you don’t get to go home, you don’t get to take days off, and there’s no changing jobs to get away from a bad situation. Oh, and in a ‘real job’ you get to hand over to someone else when you need to.
As a mother, however, you’re on call all the time. Even ‘scheduled’ me time falls away when something else comes up. There’s no explaining ‘me time’ to a frantic, teething toddler.
Engaging young minds is hard work. Enthusiastic work. Energy consuming work. Whether you slept or not. Going on outings, for walks, teaching, drawing, singing, reading. Sleep is irrelevant. But keeping a child active and engaged is definitely the lesser evil â€“ a bored and frustrated toddler is just plain scary.
Not snapping and getting irritable at the ‘Mama, mama, mama, mama’ that follows you around the house, or currently for us, ‘up, up, up’ is really hard. Especially when you haven’t slept.
Being a mother might be the most rewarding thing I have ever done. It might be the thing that’s made me grow more than anything else, and it might be the biggest thing that I would never ‘undo’ given the chance, but being good at it… well… it’s undervalued.
If I put this much energy, effort, emotion, thought, passion, self and time into a ‘real job’, I’d own the company by now.
* We do still cosleep, but our unsettled lives, and teething, are making for an unsettled little one who wakes up moaning a lot. Added to which I’m under a lot of stress, which means I don’t sleep much or well when I do.
* I still breastfeed and for the first time ever, my nipples hurt. This makes me cranky and not feel like nursing. This makes Ameli cranky. Two crankies don’t make a happy. Or something like that.