I always knew that motherhood would be hard. Before I ever carried or birthed my first child, I was aware that it would not be an easy role to take on. I knew that being a mom would test me mentally, and that there would be plenty of emotionally tough times to weather through, but, what I was not aware of, was the physicality of it all. Sure I had heard plenty of terrifying child birth stories, and it was pretty evident that pregnancy itself would be no walk in the park, but I never really thought about it much beyond that.
Almost five years, and three kids later, and I have never felt more aware of how physical this role truly is. I am constantly exhausted, both mentally and physically. My body is tired. By the end of each day my bones and muscles ache. Never before have I used my body more than I do in this season of life. My days are spent trying to prepare meals and keeping up with household chores, all while carrying a one year old on my hip. I regularly spend hours at a time pretending to be a horse or a camel, while my kids ride on my back (sometimes two at a time). Often, my afternoons are spent racing with them from the deck to the hammock in our backyard, because when my son utters the words “on your market get set go”, I simply can’t say no. There are days where I swear that I spend more time on my hands and knees cleaning up crumbs and Legos, than I do standing upright. Dressing them all and getting out the door each day has become the equivalent to running a marathon. Up and down the stairs I go to fetch a shoe, or a hair bow, or that one toy that just must accompany us, while we run errands for the day. The lifting, and the bending, and the long days on my feet are taking their toll. Some days it isn’t until my kids are in bed, that I sit down for the first time all day.
Being a mother with young children is SO physically hard, but here is what I have also realized… that I am, at this point in time, the strongest that I have EVER been. My body is more capable now than I ever imagined it could be. I may ache in the evenings, and feel exhausted from the hard work that is synonymous with motherhood, but each day my body allows me to get up and do it all over again, even when my mind doesn’t think that it can.