Motherhood. It’s hands down the most challenging, ridiculous, beautiful, and rewarding thing I’ve ever done in my entire life.
This the tranquil “before” photo taken at Sea World on our last vacation.
The dolphin was all, “Hey guys.” and did a little jump like he’s supposed to do, because he’s a dolphin… We just absolutely didn’t realize we were admiring him directly below the splash zone.
It went from ooo’s and ahhh’s; to shrieks, wails, and sopping wet pants, shirts, and shoes, in a split second.
Photo credit goes to a dear sweet stranger who witnessed the wave unfolding, snapped these photos and then asked, “Do you want me to e-mail these to you?” Best co-vacationer ever.
If I had to summarize my motherhood experience in two photos, I would absolutely use these ones. In photo one, the water is calm, the situation is controlled, emotions are steady… and then suddenly a wave comes and upsets the serenity. My task is then to bring it all back to the calm cool waters of the before photo. That’s a long job description though, so we just run with the title of “Mom.”
I pose this question to you then: If it is inevitable for these ‘waves’ to come and go, then why not choose to embrace the process for what it is instead of fighting to change it?
So, when it’s ridiculous, be assured that it won’t last forever. The waters will be calm again soon. Waves do that sort of thing. It’s science. In the meantime, choose to find it funny, what have you got to lose? Either way you’ll still be mopping up wet children, why not find a little joy in it?
A dear friend sent me a text the other morning.
It read: “Taking your baby to the dentist with you, like it’s so crazy you just have to laugh.” Attached was a photo of her sitting in the dentist chair with the paper bib around her neck and her toddler stretched out on top of her.
I laughed, then responded with, “Yes! I’ve done that. And it IS totally ridiculous!” Solidarity in the ridiculous. Even better.
I’ve driven to the hospital to birth a new baby with two big kids in the car, calling my mom and sister on the way over. “So, do you think you could meet us there? That would be great…”
I also clearly remember being in labour with my second son and going into my firstborn’s room to put him back to bed. I was all, “Ok, be soothed, time to go back to sleep.. Mama’s gotta pop out a brother for you…”
There was this other time that the fire alarm went off yet again, and so I strapped the baby to my front, put a backpack on my back, grabbed my toddler by the hand, and let the big two lead the way down 22 flights of stairs. On the way we ran into our neighbour who was like, “I can’t believe we have to walk all the way down!” And I looked at him, all strong and able-bodied, and by HIMSELF, and then said, “Yup, ok then, see you at the bottom.”
Here’s the thing. We’ve established that there is an endless supply of ridiculous, but the gift of learning to laugh at the ridiculous is the sweet spot. Welcome it. It’s part of the process.
I still smile wide when I see our honorary “Dolphin Participant” towel hanging in the bathroom. We could hand stitch the word “Unwilling” at the top, but that would be ridiculous.