Whilst getting one of my children ready for a swimming lesson there was a mother attempting to get her much younger child dressed too. The child was having none of it, kicking, screaming, you name it.
The mother, who I don’t know, looked up at me and in her face was the feelings that I – and many other mothers – will recognise; anger, frustration, guilt and sadness with a dose of tiredness thrown in for good measure.
I smiled at her and said that things do get better. She smiled back at me, but I could tell she didn’t believe me. Because in that moment, you don’t.
When I was battling two little ones in a playgroup and it was all going wrong all I wanted to do was sit on the floor and sob my heart out. I wanted someone else to come along and fix everything. Instead, a woman said to me, it’ll get better. She was standing there with one older, patient, calm child and I wondered how on earth this woman knew anything about my situation, because obviously I had to be the only mother to have ever experienced this.
With the benefit of hindsight, of course I wasn’t. I wasn’t the first, but I also won’t be the last. I won’t be the last mother to look at her children and wonder about the life choice she made, I won’t be the last mother to wonder why the hell everyone else has it so damn easy and I won’t be the last mother to wonder if maybe it’s because I’m doing such a bad job of this motherhood lark.
So to you, mother with the tantrumming child, mother with the Velcro baby, mother with the screaming threenager, mother with the shy four year old, mother who wants to cry at the frustrations she’s feeling. You’re not alone. We’re all doing the same, and one day you’ll tell someone that it does get better.
Until then; you’ve got this. You’re doing great.