It’s a saying more commonly associated with the fitness industry, but I feel it fits Motherhood so aptly:
Choose Your Hard
Inspired by a discussion I was reading earlier by @frankaboutfeeding. It was actually really heartening to read a discussion about feeding, free from vitriol and judgment. It got me thinking about the hard bits of both. Sure forumla feeding is costly, requires bottles, sterilisers, powdered milk, and for some the perception of judgment. But then again Breastfeeding can be painful, physically exhausting and only done by you so pretty relentless. Oh and there’s plenty of judgement there too. What’s my point? Am I trying to pedal some miraculous third option with no drawbacks? Unfortunately not.
My point is, when it comes to Children, there’s no easy option. I had an emergency Caesar, certainly not the drug free birth I had hoped for. Scar, needles, drugs, and the inability to feel your toes. I carried for months that, if I had had a ‘natural’ birth things might be so different. But then I heard other Women’s stories, of tears, of prolapses, of blood transfusions. Of partners not getting there in time to witness the birth, of infections. I’m pretty sure even the most blissful water birth will have had it’s hairy moments. This isn’t intended to scare the crap out of you (oh gosh, maybe I become one of those horror story birthy women?!), it’s to say, there isn’t an ‘easy’ option.
The same goes for stay at home vs working Mums. It is hard to get your family up, organised, dressed, fed, out the door, dropped off, travel to work and meet all those demands, miss your Babies, manage mum guilt and then collect tired Children and start the cycle again. It is also hard to be with your Child 24/7, no respite, no break, to keep calm, to not have Adult conversation beyond a passing nicety over a stale biscuit at Playgroup, to let go, or at least put on hold career ambitions, and struggle with the guilt of not financially supporting your family. There’s no easy option.
In a some ways we wished away a lot of the early part of our Daughter’s life. When we eventually left hospital, I was sure it would be ‘easier’ than the pain of having her in SCBU, when she started sleeping more than forty minutes straight (which took nearly a year) it would be ‘easier’, when she was on solids, when she could move, when she could communicate…
But you know what, it doesn’t get easy. Sorry to break it to you. You certainly get into your own groove in time. And the abject terror of the tiny newborn does fade. However, with each stage and phase come new challenges, new questions. But you know what, there’s another cliched saying, and that’s
Or as Theodore Roosevelt said (quoting him once again):