From the moment I stepped foot in the hospital the night Kent was born my life has been pure chaos. At least it seems like it to me. Being the ADHD, flight of ideas, scatter brained person that I am I’ve learned to appreciate and strive for routine. Routine makes me feel in control. I suppose it does for everyone. But, like, I really value routine. I’m not a control freak type or a perfectionist. I’m not the type that likes to have all their clothes color coded or is never late for work. No. That’s definitely not me. But you could say I put a lot on my plate, pressure to be good/successful/effortless at things. You could say I try really hard to be perfectionist-like. Which in and of itself is a little perfectionist-y. Maybe I’d describe myself as perfectionist-ish.
So becoming a mom is hard for a perfectionist-ish person. I’ve been working towards finding our new routine for months and frankly, the only thing I’ve found is my previous routine is shot and dead. A new normal is forming. The second I think I have my shit together… a routine together, my baby proves to me, once again, that he’s the boss. There is constant change. Constant. Change. All the time. There’s no certainty. It’s all a big crapshoot, trial and error, chaotic mess.
On the plus side, at this age I can lip sing Kelly Clarkson and I feel confident my baby thinks it’s me singing. This gives me more joy in the world than… it should.
Before becoming a mom I would look at the woman in my workout class who just had a baby and think “I’m going to be like her. Getting my post baby body back quick. Workout on a Saturday morning… ” Or the mom in the Starbucks line with 3 kids clung peacefully next to her, in cute clothes, her make up looked nice… and I thought “I’m going to be like her. Put together, kids are quiet…”
But then I became a mom. And I think how the fuck?
How did that mom make it to every Saturday morning workout class 3 months postpartum? I know how hard it is to be 3 months postpartum and I know you aren’t sleeping well, you had to make sure bottles were prepared in your absence, you had to wake up twice as early on half the sleep to make it on time and you probably haven’t showered in a few days. But nobody would know… unless you’re a mom.
I know now that the mom with 3 kids waiting quietly for their mom to get her Starbucks probably had a stern talking to them before entering the store about good behavior in public. She is probably standing there holding her breath, hoping one of her kids doesn’t drop to his knees in a tantrum or the infant doesn’t desperately need a bottle in the next 10 minutes. I know she probably needs the coffee because she hasn’t slept a full night in 2 years and she managed to make the makeup she wore yesterday look fresh and new. And nobody would know… unless you’re a mom.
Being a mom is messy. The routine is never routine. But there is beauty in the chaos. There’s something so beautiful about a top knot, yoga pants, and stains on your spit up drenched shirt. Seriously, there is! There’s something beautiful about the fact you care more about throwing 12oz of coffee down your throat than you do about your mascara being clumpy. You care more about the behavior of your kids than the fact you wore your slippers out on accident. You care more about ensuring your baby is smiling and happy than ensuring you get enough sleep.
My priorities are not perfectionist-ish anymore. Those days are long gone. Survival. Growth. Learning. Chaos. All of these things are what momhood is all about.
Nobody likes a perfectly put together family anyway. It’s annoying. So to all you moms covering up your chaos… let go. Let your chaotic flag fly. Lets find the beauty in the chaos. Nobody cares if your boobs are fucked up. Nobody cares if you take 5 minutes to find your car keys. Nobody cares if your baby gets hungry in the Starbucks line. Just do your best. Laugh it off. Because you’re a mom… and chaos is your middle name.