The other day one of my co-workers and I were chatting and they said something I’ve heard countless times since the girls’ births at 29 weeks, “I don’t know how you do it.”
Every time someone says this to me, I’m unsure how to respond. The truth is, I don’t really know, either. I definitely wouldn’t have known before the girls were born. But that’s the thing about strength, right? You don’t really know how much of it you have until you’re put in a situation where you need to dig deep, stand with your shoulders back, and give it your all.
I am no different than any other caring mum. We may have different experiences of parenthood; we may make different choices, but we make those choices based on love for our children, and because shit just needs to get done. Did I want to be spending my maternity leave at doctors’ appointments and with different therapists? Do I enjoy waiting for the other shoe to drop? No, absolutely not. I want to be brunching with friends and watching my kids grow, but what choice did I have?
I do it because it needs to be done. I juggle the kids and work and the other crazy, messy parts of life because that’s what parents do. I’m not braver, stronger, or more prepared for this than any other mum, I’m just trying to figure this all out one day at a time, just like you.
In reality, we have no idea what other parents go through. We imagine, sometimes with horror, what other people’s days are like, but we never really know. We don’t know what’s going on in their hearts, their heads. My guess is, none of us know how we do it, but we’re driven by love and we get it done and we grow our tiny humans the best we know how. That’s just what parents do.