There are many bullshit statements around motherhood and this is messing our heads up. For example:
Bullshit statement: You have to find a way to have it all.
True: It’s not like church and state. Motherhood, career, and personal life go hand in hand. Stop separating them and you’ll find your “balance.” (I rather call it, peace of mind)
BS: You have to pull yourself together always.
T: Hell no. We are humans. We are not only allowed to but also, have to loose our shit from time to time. Your family will be thankful to see that you are not a robot, plus they will learn in the process.
BS: You have to get you pre baby body back as soon as possible.
T: You don’t have to, and at least 90% of us wont. What matters is that you learn to love your body and feel comfortable and confident despite the size, or the number on the scale, and this can take you a few days or years.
And those are just to name a few…
Now, behold the winner of all bullshit statements: Motherhood will crush your dreams.
True: Whenever I have the chance to talk to a future new mother, I always tell her this: “You got this. You will anyhow. No matter the choices you make as a mother, whatever works for you will be the best.” From now on, and after a recently experience I will also tell the new mothers this: “And please never ever believe that motherhood means the end of your dreams. Motherhood has to inspire you to fight for them.”
Ladies, stop treating motherhood like it’s the apocalypse. It’s not. Sure, your life has changed, but you love it and you wont exchange it for anything in the world! Yes, you need survival tools (coffee, wine and good relationships are my weapons of choice). But the “mom you” is still “you,” with dreams and all. So go apply for that degree, take that trip, learn that skill, write that book… because let me tell you something. Your kids will follow your example, and there is no better one that showing them to be happy, and to prove them that there are no obstacles to achieve what you want in life.
That realization came to me a few days ago, when I launched my first novel at the International book fair of Bogota, one of the biggest book fairs in Latin America. El Lago de los Milagros, is a book that I wrote more than 8 years ago, before I was a mother. A lot of people, including close friends and family members, never believed I could do that. I didn’t care. I kept trying to get my story published. When I became a mother the judgment even grew. And even though there were an awful lot of times I doubted myself, my dream was burning inside me. So last year, I took the courage and made it happen. I persisted. It wasn’t easy, after all these years of rejections and doubts, finally someone opened the doors for me. You can’t give up, someone will listen, somehow you’ll find the time and the means, if you really commit to it.
However, the biggest lesson of all happened a few minutes before my presentation though. With the nerves taking over me, I saw how my youngest one started to misbehave. Of course, his sister followed. I though the whole thing was going to be a pain the ass, and I guess my editor noticed my growing anxiety. Then he said to me: “Get them on stage with you. You’ll feel better.” At first this sounded crazy, and then I remembered the viral video of the BBC guy and his kids interrupting his interview. And I realized my editor was right. Having them with me eased the tension. I wasn’t nervous anymore, I was ready. I had my biggest source of inspiration and motivation next to me. And they were feeling proud and happy. They had fun on stage, and they helped me in my book signing afterwards. My daughter even drew the whole thing in her journal. They had never looked at me with that admiration gaze before. And I can’t even describe how wonderful that feeling was.
Being a mother ain’t easy but being a mother makes you stronger, wiser, and proactive. So use that! And somehow remember that there are not rules but the ones you make. Just don’t forget to write “fight for your dreams” on top of that list. You wont regret it.
Happy mother’s day weekend!!!!