*Disclaimer- this is a bit of rambling post on motherhood that doesn't really make much sense, but my emotions were all over the place this week. You have been warned!*
I have a tendency to let the mundanity of life catch up with me sometimes. Occasionally the constant nappy changes, the endless making lunches or lugging two small people around the supermarket with one running off and one refusing to sit in a trolley, will result in me feeling a little bit out of sorts. I will pace around the living room waiting to hear the front door open and see my husband arrive home from work, just to get a little break from the constant demands of motherhood.
At the back of my mind, I always deep down know how lucky I am, how blessed I am to have the opportunity to work from home and be the person who looks after my girls the majority of the time. Of course I know that, but sometimes the intensity and mediocrity just catches up with me. Because let's face it, being a parent is hard work. It's relentless, from the second they open their eyes in the morning until well after they have gone to sleep at night. Making sandwiches, the nursery drop off, running their bath water, tidying the toys after they are in bed- we repeat so many moments in motherhood we could probably do them in our sleep. They become routine. They become day to day life. And sometimes that day to day life gets a little stagnant, or a 'bad day' in the life of a three and a half year old learning to express her emotions can throw it all off kilter slightly. You can feel like your glass is half empty even though you know deep down that couldn't be further from the truth.
But then I also have the other kind of emotional moments. These happen once in a while too and they are even harder to describe. My husband has a tattoo of the yin and yang symbol, I don't hugely like it to be honest (it's very late 90's sorry Mr E!) but it was done another lifetime ago. However recently I have been thinking about the meaning behind it and how in a way you can relate it to the feeling of motherhood. How opposing or contrary forces are actually interconnected and complementary to each other. Amazing and beautiful moments, followed by difficult or sad ones. Ordinary days where everything goes right followed by ordinary days where it all feels just feels a little bit challenging and hard.
This week I have felt so teary. But not teary in a sad or unhappy way. Just emotional with the intensity of it all. Emotional because I feel lucky to have this mundane, slightly boring life. The slightest thing has set me off, whether it's a sad song, saying goodbye to my grandparents, or even cuddling my biggest girl who clung to me in our bed in the night after being sick. As she lay with me, I felt this raw emotion so strong that it made me cry silently into my pillow. I find that being a mother is loving so deeply that sometimes it actually physically hurts.
There's this fear deep inside me that I don't even like to think about let alone put into words. I imagine all mothers have it from time to time. Most of the time it lies dormant, always there but hidden, a passing thought in the midst of a busy day. But sometimes it pushes it's way to the surface and it can consume my thoughts. It may be something on the news, something that has happened to a friend of a friend, or even god forbid someone you know. A glimpse into someone else's anguish and despair. The fact that life can change in an instant. And these moments will always make me sad but occasionally they will floor me. The thought of anything bursting my happy bubble of ordinary life.
Because Motherhood is so much more than making sandwiches, the nursery drop off, running their bath water, and tidying the toys. Underneath the routine and the structure, there's the deep rooted intensity of loving someone so much that it can completely change you. That you can have days where you feel like crying for absolutely no reason because you feel so overcome with emotion about how lucky you are. Sometimes the best way to process that is just to carry on, to go about your day to day life- to play, to teach, to discipline and to make memories. And it goes back to the Ying and Yang theory, for all of the worry, fear, guilt and mundanity, there is happiness, love and gratitude. Those complimentary opposites constantly interacting and balancing each other, not being able to exist without the other.
You need the odd bad or challenging day to fully appreciate the good ones. Sometimes I need a good cry, or to go and pick my children up from nursery early for a cuddle, or to really sit and closely watch them on the sofa eating an after nap biscuit to remind myself that ordinary life isn't always easy. That motherhood isn't always easy. We may be incredibly lucky but that everyone is allowed to feel like their glass is half empty on the odd occasion.
But that deep down you know that it is in fact full to the brim.