Motherhood isn't all kittens and rainbows, sunshine and bliss. It's bloody, dirty, tear-stained, and fucking hard.
I find myself looking through other moms' photos on platforms such as Instagram, in particular, and see these beautiful, down-to-earth, goddesses breastfeeding their babies while sunbathing in the grass or walking together topless by the river and picking foods from their bountiful gardens. And my heart breaks, and I weep for that. Then I am angry at myself for coveting. I see these moms living the life I wanted, living the life I want for myself and for my children, the life I was so close to having and then had it ripped from me. That I am struggling to get to. I'm left with this emptiness in my heart as I sit fighting depression in a cluttered house with my kids watching TV and eating cereal because I don't have the energy (or the ingredients) to make something more nourishing and healthier for them -- not that my son would want it anyway, though my daughter is a lot less picky...
No one tells you how hard it's going to be. No one tells you that there's going to be nights that you want to slip away in the darkness never to return because they'd be better off without you. No one tells you that there will be days when you just want your baby or toddler to just get.off.my.fucking.tit and you get angry and they cry and then you cry for getting angry in the first place. No one tells you how to discipline without spanking or timeout. No one tells you how to keep your sanity among it all. And to top it off, no one is there to support you, unless you're terribly, terribly lucky. Thus we're left to our own devices, to our own sadness and our own anger. Anger at ourselves, but also anger at the world. At society. For doing this to us. For taking away our tribe and sisterhood, for taking away our ability to freely be of and live off the land, for taking away our support and our old healing ways.
But there are those who remember-- those who are striving, trying to come back to that place of being. To that quiet stillness in the wood, by the riverside, tiny feet walking on pebbled shore, bare skin in the sun. To that supported place of sisters gathering, babes at breast, readjusting here and massaging there, even taking suckling babe to her own breast for a time so mum can rest. To that place of eating of the earth, of knowing the earth, of being of the earth. To that place of no longer relying on the patriarchal, corporate dictatorship that rules our nation. And I see them, though I only see the good and the pleasant most days, I know that everyone still has their dark days. Everyone still has the times of shutting themselves in the bathroom because the kids won't stop screaming and your nipples can't take it anymore. But still I see them, and I am given hope, and a window into my own soul and my own misgivings and my own yearnings.
And so I took the time yesterday, to take the kids outside -- which thankfully has been almost every day now the last few weeks -- to play in the sprinkler and enjoy the uncut lawn full of dancing yellow flowers. At one point my daughter wandered over and wanted to lay down with me and nurse, looking at me, looking at the flowers, looking at the sky filled with racing clouds. The wind blew strong and cool, a wonderful reprieve from the heat of the days before, and I sat in that Beauty Way, in that moment of stillness and connection, my feet hanging off the blanket and touching the grass, the earth reaching out to me. And for a moment, I knew peace.
Find the moments of peace, dear ones.