What Grade 3 camp drop-off reminded me about mums


One of the aspects of motherhood that intrigues and saddens me the most is the feeling among women that they're alone in feeling like they're failing or disorganised or cranky or overwhelmed or guilty, and that everyone else has their act together (at least to a greater degree than they do).  

I'm interested in this concept because, some days, I am one of those women. 

Yesterday, I was dropping off my middle child at Grade 3 camp, and because he was (thankfully) far more confident and excited than we'd pegged him to be, I had plenty of time to talk to the other mums. And I was reminded yet again of one of the most comforting of all motherhood facts: We're really all the same. 

We all love our kids fiercely.

We all worry. We all fret.

We all get exhausted. We all get exasperated.

We all yell. We all cuddle.

We all feel guilty. We all feel proud.

We all feel angry. We all feel joyful.

We all get stressed. We all eventually relax.

We all feel overwhelmed. We all feel over it.

We all feel beaten. We all feel elated.

We all love it. We all can't stand it.

We all feel organised some days, and hopelessly out of control others.

We all get tired when they're around, and we all miss them terribly when they're gone.

As the camp buses loaded, some mums said they'd had a happy, easy morning. Others said they'd got cranky and now feel terrible. Still others said they felt sick with nerves at the thought of their child going off without them, while some said they couldn't wait for some blessed peace and quiet. It was a mixed bag of emotions and experiences, and it was all relatable and it was ALL OKAY because it was ALL OF US.

Apparently it was Ricki Lake who summed it up best with this: Motherhood is the greatest thing and the hardest thing you'll ever do.

It's great AND it's hard for all of us, not just one of us. Not just me. Not just you. Being a mum is everything, everyday for everyone. I wrote more about this here, and I love this article from Good housekeeping about it too.

As the camp buses rolled out, I thought, You know what? I'm just like them. They're just like me. We're not the only one, and we never will be. Cheers to that! 

If you're feeling like this at the moment, here's some great stuff to read: 

This from Inspire More on feeling 'enough' when you're at your wits end

This awesome blog post from Beth over at Baby Mac. 

This on self-care from the awesome Amy Crawford at The Holistic Ingredient

Three tips from happiness guru, Gretchen Rubin, on how to worry less

And my most popular post about comforting thoughts, just for good measure.

Natalie Bartley