Is motherhood a contradiction or am I?
If it's motherhood, then that's one more thing for me to overanalyze, feel guilty about and lose sleep over and if it's me, then that's one more thing for me overanalyze, feel guilty about and lose sleep over.
Because one thing that motherhood and I have in common is that we are full of features and ideas that are seemingly opposed to one another and we can both be, well, pretty inconsistent.
But, what if I contended that the most enigmatic people, moments and concepts are the best kinds; in that, they have the ability to incite, provoke, prompt, encourage and inspire change, transformation and all sorts of mental and emotional reshaping, growth and maturation.
I've always been a bit "quirky," some would say.
A bit different.
Maybe slightly awkward, or even to some, a bit "weird."
I'm an innately gregarious person who very much feeds off of conversations with other people and their external support and encouragement, but I'm also quite socially sensitive and reflective and am typically engrossed in my own impressions and perceptions.
This makes me kind of difficult to interpret or understand.
Motherhood is the same; in fact, it's probably the mother of all contradictions.
Think about it.
Motherhood is, by definition, the state of being a mother.
Yet, when you become a mother, you are already many other things -- maybe a wife, perhaps not, someone's daughter, maybe a sister, perhaps a cousin, you are whatever your career defines you as, you're likely a friend to someone, and you are first and foremost, a woman and a person.
Then the state of being "Mommy" to one, two or multiple children requires for you to -- on top of your wants, needs, hope, and dreams -- contemplate and tend to the wants, needs, expectations, and wishes of your offspring. And, don't forget about your spouse (if you have one) and your work tasks, home, extended family, community and your social circle.
Speaking of social circles, mine is pretty small.
Is it embarrassing to admit? Kind of, but for me, it's nothing new.
Remember I told you that for as long as I can remember I've always felt that I marched to beat of my own drum which apparently is not making enough noise because other people can't hear it and then they just see me marching and think I'm off my rocker?
Well, with that, combined with the ambiguous nature of the role that dominates my being and my life -- me as a mother -- I struggle to make and keep friends.
Still, when I look around, I don't think I'm alone in that.
Yes, I can see from my Facebook newsfeed that a lot of my high school friends are still friends and that's amazing and impressive.
I can see in the morning drop-off line and later in the afternoon walk-up line, that numerous women are chatting up other women who are clearly near and dear to them.
And then there's me, and a few others like me, who enjoy the camaraderie of a handful of like-minded mamas, but are thoroughly entrenched in trying not to drown under the weight of everything we are trying to do and be while keeping our children alive and happy and raising them to be good and respectful human beings.
We are a contradiction because we love motherhood, but hate certain parts of it, like never being able to go pee alone.
We are a contradiction because we say our kids are all that matter when we believe that we matter, too and that so do our dreams and even our marriages.
We are a contradiction because we want to raise our children to be kind, but daily we falter and are unkind to them when yell, blame or are impatient.
We are a contradiction because we preach the need to be "present" for them and instead pacify them with presents so we can be present for ourselves.
We are a contradiction because we beg for date nights with our husbands and when we get them, we can't stop talking about the kids.
We are a contradiction because we desire to set a good example and instead exemplify hypocritical and judgemental behavior.
We are a contradiction because claim that we have "no time" to get it all done when what's needed is some mere reprioritizing and time blocking.
We are a contradiction because we tell other mamas that we must to get together for a girls' night and when that day comes, we cancel out of mom guilt, parenthood-induced exhaustion or fear of new social situations.
Motherhood is unique.
It can make you cry tears of joy one minute and tears of sadness the next.
Heck, it makes you laugh-cry and often, if you're anything like me.
It makes you feel fulfilled while depleting you.
It makes you feel strong, and then it breaks you and brings you to your knees, where most of us swiftly bow our heads and bring our hands together to ask Him for some help and guidance.
So, is motherhood a contradiction or am I?
That shouldn't be the question.
Instead, what I really wonder is:
If motherhood is a contradiction AND SO AM I and I don't have motherhood figured or who I am even figured out, how can anyone figure me out and give me what I need? And, how can I give other mamas who are like me, with many discrepancies, what they need?
Here's what I insist you do for me and we do for each other:
We accept that contradictions are a pretty standard staple of general human behavior and parenthood and err on the side that love, compassion, and kindness to ourselves and each other is the missing piece to the puzzle that each of us are; which, in it's completed form, comes together like a picture of beautiful, slightly imperfect disaster.
Joko Beck, author of "Everyday Zen: Love and Work" and "Nothing Special: Living Zen," stated that "we are caught in the contradiction of finding life a rather perplexing puzzle which causes us a lot of misery, and at the same time being dimly aware of the boundless, limitless nature of life. So we begin looking for an answer to the puzzle."
The answer is acceptance -- of others, of circumstances, and ourselves despite any obvious, baffling and off-putting contradictions.
I love being a bit obscure, and I'm glad motherhood is too.
We keep each other on our unpedicured toes and those around us as well.