Motherhood

What is motherhood: filling and emptying your cup

woman holding coffee mug, looking out a window

Motherhood is a fuse of so many different things. No wonder it stands out in its sheer complexity, in its dual nature of filling your cup, but also emptying it at the same time.

Because that’s motherhood. It’s constant self-sacrifice and constant learning to make your needs a priority.

It’s staying awake long after everyone else has gone to bed just so you can have a few moments alone, but also trying to get a few decent hours of sleep in anticipation of your busy day tomorrow.

It’s ordering take-out instead of a home-cooked meal because you just don’t have the capacity to cook dinner tonight. And then it’s the mental battle of knowing what everyone is going to eat.

Two steps forward, one step back. But still on the move.

It’s trying to find time for your husband, but you feel overwhelmed and overexcited at the end of the day.

It fills your cup and empties it at the same time. Two steps forward, one step back. But still on the move.

Motherhood is knowing that you need to take time for yourself (at least you are aware, right?!) – while knowing that you also have to make time for your family, friends and loved ones.

Related: Motherhood Holds On, Then One Day Lets Go

Finally, it’s about getting your teen to open up to you, but not be ready to navigate their battle with depression.

It’s finally sending your little one to preschool, but the constant fear and anxiety of the dangers that exist beyond the walls of your home.

It fills your cup and empties it at the same time. Two steps forward, one step back. But still on the move.

Motherhood is knowing that you’re doing everything you can for your children, while feeling like you’re not doing enough.

It’s being the dedicated sports mom, but going out of their way to ensure everyone always trains on time.

It’s learning how to raise a disabled child – and the constant fear that the only thing everyone will see is their “otherness”.

It fills your cup and empties it at the same time. Two steps forward, one step back. But still on the move.

Related: To the Mom Who Feels Like Failing Everything

Maternity is losing oneself, meetthen lose yourself again.

It’s finally having a good time with your partner, but falling asleep minutes after the movie night you pretended you wanted to have.

It’s finally having a moment for yourself, but without knowing how to fill the time.

It fills your cup and empties it at the same time. Two steps forward, one step back. But still on the move.

It’s an ebb and flow.

Motherhood is the beauty when your baby finally latches on, but the pain and exhaustion behind the difficult breastfeeding journey that came before it.

It is peace with your decision to formula feed, but the constant shame you receive from others.

He finally puts that load of clothes in the dryer, but those same clothes sit there for the next few days.

It fills your cup and empties it at the same time. Two steps forward, one step back. But still on the move.

Motherhood is the joy of seeing your husband become a father and the heartache of watching your marriage become the hardest it has ever been.

It’s about accepting that your body will never be the same again, but that you still don’t like your reflection.

It’s choosing to continue building your career, while feeling guilty for not having as much time with your children.

It fills your cup and empties it at the same time. Two steps forward, one step back. But still on the move.

Motherhood is so many things.

It’s an ebb and flow.

It’s a drifting current that changes with the seasons, sometimes easy going, and sometimes high winds before a storm.

It fills your cup and empties it at the same time. Two steps forward, one step back. But still on the move.

And oh what a move it really is.

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