The Motherhood Paradox

Ah, Mother’s Day. I’ve been trying for a few days to come up with a particularly poignant angle or topic to focus on but perhaps unsurprisingly, my mind just skips from one thing to the next… There’s just too much! Because that’s how it is, isn’t it? Motherhood is big. It’s all encompassing.

I’d hoped to work on this post last night after J went to bed, but apparently I need, like, 16 hours of sleep this pregnancy, and I fell asleep at 8:30pm. For reals. So as I write this, I’m sitting in the “passenger seat” of a couch cushion car, somehow having half-conversations with Jonah about wrapping paper tube stick shifts and how to prop up cushions so they stay put (plus coping with the dire emotional repercussions when they don’t!). I’m prompting him to eat his almonds between sips of smoothie. We’re in the process of potty training, so in the midst of this, I see that glazed-eye expression and try to intercept a poo (to no avail) and hold a brief but complex internal analysis of that whole situation and how to proceed, considering my most recent observations of Jonah’s emotional state and behaviour, our daily routines, and the desired timeline given the impending arrival of sweet baby girl, when shit gets really crazy (do mind the double entendre, there!).

Now the wrapping paper tube is a fishing rod and we are catching turtles. And salmon, plus two baby dinosaurs and awesomely, a “hippo cub” and a lemon. It’s slow going, this post!

And speaking of hippo cubs… this pregnancy here. Yeeah, I’m feeling it. If we’re talking about the all encompassing experience of motherhood, well, 3rd trimester is it, babes! Have you seen this video? Affirming and made me laugh! I don’t remember being as generally uncomfortable last time around, but then, I didn’t have quite the same physical demands (read: I wasn’t a toddler jungle gym). Or maybe I’ve blocked the memory. 😉

Confession – I actually tried to sneak into the bathroom with my laptop for a minute just now, but as about half of pregnant women may know, lingering on the toilet is not the best idea at this time. What. A. Joy.

And yet somehow… it is a joy. I’m achy, itchy, tired and exasperated, and really, really wanna write my post, but in between maybe a few tears, I’m laughing. Smiling at my little girl’s private dance party and loving on this little brown-eyed poo-pants, jumping up and down on the coffee table, monologuing about catching turtles and grandpa and his birthday. I mean, hippo cub?! That’s golden.

So Mother’s Day… I don’t even know what to say. Motherhood is a paradox. It’s the hardest, most all encompassing thing ever, yeah, so on the one hand I feel like the day warrants, like, the biggest honkin’ diamond encrusted overflowing bouquet of luscious blooms over 5 star steak and oysters at a spa on a white sand sapphire sky private island… but then, at the same time, it’s kinda the best thing ever already, and really doesn’t require anything at all.

 Flower crown made from this adorable kit, 
gifted to me by my dear, beautiful friend Nicole at Oh Dina!,
who sure knows how to make a Mama feel like a million!

Awwwww, right? I mean that. But wait a second. I’m not quite done. Being a Mama may be one of the best things ever, but I certainly wouldn’t turn my nose up at a little extra attention and oh, maybe a truly massive bunch of peonies. What that’s really about, though (besides the perfect excuse for big, gorgeous flowers) is just the human desire to be seen in what we do, which for Mamas is often so ubiquitous, so all encompassing, so much a trusted part of everything else, it easily become invisible. Sometimes, I think even Mamas forget how much they’re doing, thinking and feeling.

So this Mother’s Day, hug a Mama like you mean it! Make sure she knows you see her wrestling through grocery trips, remembering appointments, water bottles and favourite everythings, dealing with morning sickness, sleeplessness and postpartum pain, pouring her heart into birthdays and bedtimes, negotiating many a meal and lying awake at night over any number of decisions effecting the emotional and physical health of her littles. And if honkin’ gifts will get the message across, huzzah! Go for it, but just make sure, above all that she knows that she is seen, in the little things and the big, and how much that means.

Happy Mother’s Day, sweet Mamas! That includes my own enormous hearted Mama, who did it all somehow with four pretty intense kids! Big, big loves today (and always!).


P.S. I know I just mentioned it in the caption there, but I felt so pretty in my flower crown! From sweet Nicole at Oh Dina! We’ve been friends since we were 12 and I love her so.

6 thoughts on “The Motherhood Paradox

  1. Kelleyn

    Love these photos! So sweet! Yes, the last couple months do seem so hard when it comes to sleep! Enjoy it now as soon as you know you won’t be getting any sleep!

  2. laura

    Another beautiful post! Motherhood is overflowing with complicated emotions isn’t it?! By the end of the day I’m exhausted from all the feelings! 🙂 and I love oh Dina! I live in halifax, and I see her kits in almost every store I go into!

    1. Elena

      Oh, isn’t it?! it is the most emotional, complicated thing there is, Laura! At least in my experience. But this in an instant it can feel so simple and lovely. If only one could harness that, always…. 😉

      Oh Dina! is delightful, isnt it? Nicole is such a talent. i have seriously been admiring her style since we were 12! xo

  3. Dakota Nyght

    Love this narrative post, those pictures and … oh my! I was so grateful that Munchkin was trained by the time Elf came along. I’m not sure what I would have done otherwise! Happy very late Mother’s Day!

    1. Elena

      Whew, right? I can say now, looking back, perhaps I did a bit too much fretting about it. When he was good and ready, it was easy. Pretty much a week, with of course accidents (we still have accidents!), but that’s fine. Ah, worrying! Good for nuthin. 😉


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