Do you know why?
Because motherhood can take it. Because there is nothing stronger.
I can tear it up, brutalize it, make fun of it in every way possible, tease the darkest corners, shed light in the most covered places…and yet she stands undiminished, untouched. She barely hears me. She raises a disinterested brow for a moment, maybe, but then goes on, being her.
Like the friend with whom all barriers are broken, motherhood and I have gone the lengths. We’ve already beaten each other, or tried: She won. We’ve stood face to face in the firing line.
I’ve fought her in a million rings. She wins every time.
I’ve told her to get out. I’ve laughed in her face. I’ve sworn I would force her out.
She sits like a ghost in the easy chair. Never moves a muscle.
You know she’s dished out more than I can ever give with my words, on this blog or a thousand blogs.
She made me a woman I wasn’t ready to become. She throws me every day into the mercy of the universe: through pregnancy, birth, parenthood – my whole existence begs for my kids to keep living, for their hearts to keep beating, for their feet to find loving ground, from the moments of their births I’ve been enslaved. To her. To them.
And yet not.
For I am myself still, independently, and I’ve got this mind and heart and ambition, and it appears I’ll never fully reconcile the two.
There’s nothing gentle about that.
You think a mother’s love is gentle?
My love will kick your ass. Don’t believe me? Try to hurt my kid.
My love is a muddy soldier charging enemy lines. Why? Because there is no other choice. This is where we are. This is what we’re doing. It doesn’t matter that I’m tired and broken and somewhat disinterested. It doesn’t matter that it’s Saturday or I’m alone or my last baby passed away.
You get up. You move your feet. Motherhood wins again.
sweat and blood and work. grit and dirt and bruises.
I’m dragged through the mud crying, but begging for it never to change.
Please don’t leave me, motherhood. I’m nothing without you. But I wish, sometimes, you’d kindly go fuck yourself.
My love is the struggle of a drowning man catching air. My tenacity will amaze you.
My love is woman offering her breast to a starving child, knowing there’s no milk.
My love would kill me in an instant, for my baby.
And it would kill you too, for my baby.
Do you think she gets hurts feelings when I make fun of her, when I belittle her, when I voice my little fears and agonies and jab at her ribs?
You think she cares?
No. She doesn’t. Because motherhood has nothing to prove. She’s the one with the power and she knows it. WE BOTH KNOW IT. The one with the power sits back and relaxes. No bluster or fear.
I’m like an annoying puppy nipping at her heels. She kicks me aside without a word.
She knows I’ve got nothing on her, and I’ll kneel at her feet in adoration at any moment, because she’s given it all to me: my heart, my future, my life, in separate souls, these babies who caught me up in their gorgeous little hands and touched my head, with a kiss: “Mama.”
And I’ll fall at her knees to hear that voice again, to hear it always, to know it’s still me.
And I’ll fight whatever fight’s necessary to make her keep on loving me, motherhood. I’ll fight for you, you sick twisted fuck.
Knowing you are eating me alive, each day as I wake up exhausted without any answers, lying on the floor searching for peace, to know how to give the girl what she needs, and the boy eyes to read, and the baby. I’m just gone too much.
And I’m just so in love.
So yes, world, this Mother’s Day, you’ll find me talking shit about motherhood. You’ll find me laughing my ass off. You’ll find me dripping with sarcasm and saying things I shouldn’t in an unfeminine and unladylike manner. And you’ll say I’m diminishing a mother’s value.
But I disagree.
I just want to know: Why do I bother you so? My tongue, my attitude, my rugged irreverence?
What about the grit, the incredibly HARD WORK of my life makes you so uncomfortable?
Does it not fit your marketing, your Hallmark card? Does it make your Lifetime movie seem irrelevant? Do you have to rethink your own mother?
Or are you afraid? Are you just simply terrified?
To see us as we are….or can be…?
fierce, mouthy warriors,
fighters and shit-talkers.
Burly and ripped and sweaty and so goddamn powerful, the toughest motherfuckers you’ve ever seen,
offering the softest breast to a petal mouth seeking, a feather brush on a newborn’s cheek, the most delicate pink, a baby’s soft spot, a “hush” from a loving mouth, she enfolds a tiny creature of perfect vulnerability into stone security, a broken little being —
catching the exhausted of the world in muscle-ripped arms,
pulling small falling hands into her own calloused palms,
and kissing them a thousand times, sending them on their way, to build their own.
Is it too much for you, that we exist like this, in perfect contradiction? Is it too much for you that we are all of it, right now, at once?
Then go. Good riddance.
If you can’t take our heat, get the hell out of our kitchens.
Your bellies aren’t the ones we’re living to fill anyway.
And honestly, motherhood doesn’t have time for this shit.
And we aren’t going to write a new story for you, because it’s more palatable, more pleasant. We aren’t going to invent something to soothe your desires.
This is us. This is it.
This is Mother’s Day….