My title may seem to be an understatement, an obvious piece of rhetoric that could be mistaken for sarcasm. But what it really is, is a cold, undeniable, fact. Being a mother is hard.
I have an idea, let’s be responsible for another human being. Wait, say again, let’s be responsible for several other human beings. But let’s not just see that they survive, let’s really ingest their every whim, their pain and their passion, their mistakes and their successes. Let’s, we mothers pretend we can control and that we in fact are in control of everything. Every. Thing.
Every time they cry or fall or swear or take a breath, let’s feel it, hear it, breath it in with them and cry harder and louder and longer.
Let’s try a billion things, a billion times and fail. Let’s try again.
Even the good things, the poignant memories, the fantastic accomplishments, are soul crushing and bittersweet, because they are all steps taken away from us, against us, without us. Their new friends are not us, their favorite teachers are not us, their new babies and new houses and new jobs are all not ours or even with us in mind. But these are our babies.
So let’s watch, during the 86,400 instances in each day, let’s watch and wait and worry and wonder and weep, forever. Not for five years or twelve or eighteen or twenty-one years. Forever. From before they are born until after they may be gone, the ache, the draw, the magnetic tug on our ankles in the sand will always be our children.
Near or far, good or bad. On the very best of days, being anyone’s mother, is hard.