The complete contradiction of motherhood

This post originally appeared as a guest post on 3 Children and It. Thank you to Suzanne for featuring me; I loved being a guest blogger.

Do you ever feel as though you’re a hamster stuck on the wheel of life?

Only you’re a hamster that is forced to sing for his supper, clean his own bed and look after other, often ungrateful, hamster folk.  A slave hamster, if you like.

Yes me too.  And although the wheel threatens to stop every now and again and teases me with freedom, it never does long enough to actually let me get off.

Well, I think it might be called motherhood.

Indeed, a wise man once said, ‘I don’t understand what you get out of having children.’

He wasn’t a wise man actually.  He was just a man.  But when you’ve had a long and tiring day and the word ‘Mummmm’ or Mummeeee’ has become something that starts to assault your ears, you can see why he might be considered quite wise.

Because to the outside world who doesn’t have children, motherhood must look like a slightly sadistic occupation at times.  Between the constant nurturing, the tantrums, the rages, the shouting and the general bossiness, it can be hard to find something to recommend it.  And Beaver and Godivy are only four and 19 months old.  Think how much potential they still have to fulfil.

I know for a fact there are friends who have been put off procreating, just from being around us.  Contraception?  No need.  Just head on round to our house.  We save the NHS millions in free condoms.

Some days, motherhood is nothing short of slavery.  A revolving door of cooking, clearing up and getting ordered about.  In fact, I have never been so acquainted with my kitchen floor.  I’ve gone through my favourite Top Shop jeans just from spending most days on all fours attending to it in one way or another.  Sweeping it, wiping it and picking up bits of rice off it (a food item that I would campaign to ban if it wasn’t such a dinnertime ‘sure thing’).

Alongside the slavery requirements, there is also the essential peacemaker element of the role.  We must be prepared to keep the peace at all times, despite the fact that we can’t quite remember what peace feels like.  Mediation skills are particularly useful, ideally the level that hostage negotiators possess because these small people are nothing if not unpredictable.  We never know how far they’ll go for their cause.  And so it pays to be ready.

Yes, it is certainly hard to recommend motherhood to the uninitiated.

Because it is easy to look in from the outside and see how relentless it is, how suffocating the lack of freedom must be and how monotonous the routine is.

But by complete contrast, it is absolutely impossible to imagine how utterly gratifying motherhood is.  It’s an insane and crazy contradiction and something your rational and intelligent mind simply couldn’t allow you to believe until you actually experience it.

A wise woman once said.

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