Motherhood is…


Motherhood is middle of the night wake up calls for a glass of water or a fan or a light or a blanket or a bear or a kiss or a band-aid.

Motherhood is making lunch after lunch after lunch after lunch only to find the healthy contents stuffed behind a car-seat.

Motherhood is all of your spending money.

Motherhood is not remembering what it’s like to get a full night’s sleep.

Motherhood is siblings bickering over who can look out of which window and who started it and who you love the most even though you love all of them the same but at the moment you don’t like any of them in the least.

Motherhood is wiping more poop than you ever thought you’d see in your life.

Motherhood is a car so filthy that you are embarrassed to let your own husband see it.

Motherhood is hearing the word “why” at least a hundred times a day and most of the time, not having an answer.

Motherhood is knowing, just from the touch of a forehead, almost exactly what your child’s temperature is.

Motherhood is stretch marks dominating your belly and feet a full size larger than before and sad, deflated boobs.

Motherhood is finally appreciating your own mother.

Motherhood is fantasizing over reaching the bottom of the laundry pile, knowing full well that it’s never going to happen.

Motherhood is singing all the words to your kids favorite songs even though they annoy the hell out of you.

Motherhood is never feeling at peace unless all of your children are with you, under your own roof.

Motherhood is always feeling mildly sick but never being able to wallow in your own misery.

Motherhood is never peeing or showering in peace.

Motherhood is using your sleeves to wipe runny noses and your spit to clean dirty faces.

Motherhood is being able to identify just who is coming down the stairs based solely on the thudding of their feet above you.

Motherhood is not even wanting to say “I told you so” even though you did, countless times.

Motherhood is when, just as you want to curl up into a ball of pure exhaustion and desperation, one of your children suddenly farts or burps or does something spontaneously funny. It’s the moment when you dissolve into a hysterical fit of laughter; the kind that you haven’t had since you and your seventh grade BFF were caught passing notes about which boy in your class you’d most want to be stuck in a closet with. It’s the moment you pause and look at your children, all piled on your bed, breathless and rosy cheeked, and think that the only things that really matter in the world are right there in front of you. They are yours, and they are worth every sacrifice and sleepless night.

And then, it’s the moment, two seconds later, when one of them will accidentally kick the other one on the arm and the other will bite in retaliation and you will wish, for the hundredth time that day, that you could just rewind time and savor that peace and joy for more than an instant.

Rinse and repeat a million times. That’s what motherhood is to me.


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  1. 2

    Life with Kaishon says

    Motherhood is
    better than anything you can ever imagine.
    the poop and pee and throw up
    that doesn’t even matter.
    In the beginning it is overwhelming,
    but then,
    you wake up one morning, and you aren’t so needed.
    It’s a sad feeling.
    You will miss it.
    I miss all of the little things that used to drive me insane.
    In fact, I miss it so much,
    I am totally calling Gary and telling him we need another baby THIS INSTANT! : )

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    • 7

      Grace @ Sandier Pastures says

      Oh that is so nice and true. My mom who has six children, now all grown up always say it – she wakes up one morning and feel lonely that she isn’t that needed anymore!

      And it is too late for her to have another baby at 60!!

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    • 8

      Emer says

      I’ve got a message for you my dear – you are needed. You’re always needed. I’m 41 years of age and I still need my mammy. Unfortunately she’s with the angels 5 years now but I hope she knew how much she was needed. She certainly knew how much she was loved and appreciated. Ya never stop needing your mammy and your kids never stop needing you.

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  2. 9

    Krista says

    This was great, Jill.

    Currently to me, motherhood is laughing instead of crying when the toddler tells you “Daddy do it!” for the 1,345 time this week. Because even though that means she’d rather play outside with him, he’s most likely to get the dirty diaper too.

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  3. 16

    Alison@Mama Wants This says

    This is great, Jill and oh-so-true.

    Motherhood is realizing your limits can be pushed further than you ever imagined. And you’ll still be okay.

    Motherhood is happy sighs.

    Motherhood is holding sunshine in your arms.

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  4. 19

    liz says

    The constant screaming and fighting is what pushes me over the edge some days. Well that, and the fact they act like they don’t hear a word I say.

    Damn kids. :)

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    • 21

      Jennifer says

      That is the worst – and that’s what makes my husband and I get nitpicky and short-tempered with each other. I wish I could just ignore it but it’s impossible. So sick of articles that are titled “9 Ways to End Sibling Rivalry – THAT REALLY WORK!”

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  5. 22

    Amber says

    You are, simpley brilliant. Keep on Keepin’ on. Because when some of us mothers feel like giving up, your words are there to pull us back up again.

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  6. 29

    Di says

    Motherhood to me is one word: abundance.
    Abundance of exhaustion, worry, lack of sleep, lack of me-time etc. But most importantly, it is abundance of joy, laughter, giggles, hugs, wet sloppy kisses, little fingers patting my shoulder telling me; “Well done!”, a beautiful tiny voice chanting: ‘Mummmmmmy!’ like it’s the most delicious word she’s ever tasted, smooth podgy thighs you want to bite and kiss all day, a hearty belly laugh, a cheeky dance – and finally; acceptance of myself because I know that I am the world for this little person – just the way I am. She doesn’t need me to be taller, prettier, thinner or anything. She just needs me to be there, to hold her when she needs me to, to feed her and to love her.
    Motherhood to me is a miracle and a blessing that try to be worthy of everyday – even when I things are NOT so rosy in the harsh light of day (or night).
    Motherhood is moaning and complaining about hard it is to be mother but at the same time, knowing in your bones that you would never change it for the world.

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  7. 31

    Jane says

    Motherhood is wishing you knew all this stuff before hand and appreciate all the stress, drama and tears (mine not theirs) because one day you see a photo of them and realise they are growing up and I am just as frightend for them now as I was then, but for totally different reasons.
    My son asked, for a school report, if there was anything I would have done differently in my past, I told him that I wished I had taken the time to enjoy them more rather than worrying about dirty nappies, temper tantrums and a clean house. Motherhood is taking all the grotty stuff along with the good, you just have to take a step back from it sometimes.

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  8. 32

    stephanie says

    This was so good to read, and so true. I loved the parts about never going to the bathroom in peace and laundry. Lol. But to me its also the 50,000 questions asked by both of mine (no that’s not combined, it 50,000 each.) And trying to remember they are only curious, but wanting so badly to tell them to figure it out! Bedtime lasting 1 1/2 hours during your favorite shows and trying so hard not to yell, “go to f-ing sleep already!” But then, you go and tuck them in and that’s when I have my “my life couldn’t get any better” moment. Because you’re right, they are mine. And I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. They are my world and this is my life.

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  9. 35

    deborah l quinn says

    Oh so true, particularly about the swiftness w/which those moments of “oh god I love yo so much my heart will explode” evaporate into “jeezuz you freaking monsters stop hitting each other.” You might add the part about being always right and always wrong, frequently (always?) simultaneously…and you didn’t mention sex, lack thereof, due to: sleepus constantly interruptus.
    Thanks for this post this morning!

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  10. 36

    S Club Mama says

    Motherhood is almost passing out when you walk into the baby’s room & they’ve pooped in their diaper.
    Motherhood is gagging through diapers while you’re pregnant with another child.
    Motherhood is holding little heads over toilets while they puke up entire meals. Over and over. And then holding them no matter how much puke is on them – because that’s what they need right then.
    Motherhood is battling over food. They say you’ll never win those battles but I win, every time.
    Motherhood is an endless rollercoaster of emotions: elated, sad, frustrated, down right angry, annoyed, happy, tearful, nostalgic…
    Motherhood is your heart breaking when your 3yo decides to choke on a marble. And it slowly repairs itself when the marble dislodges itself.
    Motherhood is terrifying when you lose your child in the store – even for a minute. And in that minute you imagine all the horrible things that could happen. And then he peeks around the corner and laughs.
    Motherhood is “snuggle parties” (slumber parties) and movie days, grilled cheese & PBJ for lunch, playdates and dirt piles, sibling rivalry and love. It’s just everything all piled into one wonderful season of your life.

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  11. 38

    Eve {Beautiful Spit Up} says

    I love this list, Jill. I have a similar list I’ve been working on for about two weeks now and I never feel like it describes how awesome and sometimes painful motherhood can be. I’m working on it though. I have 4 friends who are currently expecting their first baby and they’re always asking me about what it’s “really” like. I want them to know it’s good, bad and yes, it can be very ugly too. But overall, it’s amazing and I wouldn’t trade it for anything! …..except maybe a nice long shower and a foot rub….

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  12. 39

    Dani says

    Funny, I just posted on the same topic – the reality of motherhood that nobody talks about. I’m glad that others are discussing this reality – especially you with a huge audience – with a dose of humor mixed in.

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  13. 40

    Amy says

    Motherhood is counting down the SECONDS till bedtime when your little terrors will go to sleep, then peeking in on them once they are asleep and wishing they were awake to cuddle with you.

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