Motherhood is hard. Grueling is a more accurate way to describe it. Right?
But when we talk about motherhood, people seem to expect us to leave out the part where we practically get beaten up daily and focus only on how blessed we are. Yes, we are blessed. And even blessed people are not exempt from getting a chipped tooth or a bloody lip at the hands of a crazed toddler.
Raising humans is the most physically and emotionally demanding job, like, ever. Thankfully, for every pain we experience, there is a joy to balance it out so that we all continue to procreate and prevent the world’s population from grinding to a halt. Just this afternoon, my sons were screaming “Vaginia! Boobs! Vagina!” in a public place, their voices echoing loudly across the store. I am certain that I felt my soul leave my body, hovering in the air as they cackled and I died a thousand, mortified deaths. Gritting my teeth, I reminded them of their manners; muscle tension spread between my shoulder blades and up my jawline as I struggled to retain my composure and get us the hell out of there.
As we were finishing up dinner, I felt a pair of small hands on my shoulders. It was my son, who was apparently coming to see if my soul had reentered my body yet.
“I’m sorry we embarrassed you today, Mommy.”
“Thank you for apologizing. Hey…do you want to karate chop my shoulders?”
His face lit up with glee as he began hacking away. I guess kids really aren’t that bad — like, when they aren’t stepping on my inner thighs with their pointy elfin feet or accidentally head-butting me when I’m trying to brush their teeth. Here are a few other ways that motherhood is both a joy and a pain:
1. My back. OMG, MY BACK.
From lifting kids in and out of vehicles and shopping carts, to bending over to scrub dried Play-Doh out of the carpet, backaches are by far one of the most painful and ever-present pains of parenthood. Foreplay has turned into me seductively asking my husband to rub Bengay all over my body. And yes, I am absolutely serious.
2. ‘Mommy Thumb’
The repetitive movement of picking kids up gave me a mean case of the hell that is mommy thumb. What’s that? Well. It’s a form of tendonitis caused by picking up small children under their arms, over and over and over again, and when it flares up, it basically feels like fire is searing through my wrists. But wait, there’s a silver lining! Since I wasn’t able to lift anything for a couple days after my last flare, I made my kids do everything for themselves. Climb into their car seats without help, carefully get in and out of the bathtub, and retrieve things for me at the grocery store. And even after I got better (shhh! Don’t tell them!), they have continued to do things like take out the garbage and get their own damn snacks. Winning.
3. Head Injuries
Earlier this year, my oldest knocked me off balance and gave me a concussion. Two trips to the ER later, my memory is back and I’m no longer slurring my words, but yes, that situation sucked. I’ve been hit in the face and head with all manner of toys, I’ve bashed myself with cabinet doors because I was trying to do too many things at once, and basically I wonder if it’s time to invest in a helmet — for all of us. But it’s really sweet when I don’t die, and my kids look at me with their puppy dog eyes, asking if I’m OK. The important thing is that I’m still here and capable of making dinner.
4. My Knees Are Killing Me
And no, I’m not 80. Cleaning toothpaste off the bathroom tile, kneeling down to change diapers on the floor, and tying tennis shoes multiple times a day has left me feeling a tad decrepit. But if I’m honest, the thing that has me crawling around most often is scouring spilled coffee (mine) out of the rugs because I am very clumsy before I’m fully caffeinated.
5. Stress Headaches
There comes a point in every day when I cannot handle hearing “Mommy” one more time, which is usually around 3 p.m. This is pretty unfortunate, since I still have at least five hours left before all of them are in bed. That is why God invented wine. He knew I’d need it.
I recently traded karate chopping kids for a Wahl massager, so now I get to relegate them to rubbing my feet.
Because as I said earlier, for every pain in motherhood, there’s a joy to balance it out.
Sponsored by Wahl, who aims to take the pain out of motherhood…and everything else. Their temperature therapy massager provides soothing massage along with hot and cold temperatures. Ahhhhh…