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.
This brought tears to me eyes. So true. There is nothing like a mother’s love.
Love this! It’s so true! It seems like a normal response from people to commend us for our strength, but we are doing it because it’s A PART OF US. Thank you for sharing this lovely post. I loved reading it! It made my day!
I can agree that you don’t really know how you do it, you just manage some how. But give yourself credit for not quitting. I realize the thought of quitting has probably never crossed your mind, but you could quit, and I’m sure some parents, for whatever reason, do quit, do give up. I think parenting is a never ending cycle of questioning, “am I doing enough?” At least when you are told “I don’t know how you do it”, someone is acknowledging that you are trying damn hard! Not because you’re trying to compete with other parents, but because you want to do the best you can for your kids.