Motherhood can have ups and downs. Exhausting, beautiful, hilarious, frustrating, magical, overwhelming. I used to joke to Alex that new motherhood was like traveling abroad. You’re tired and jetlagged, and you haven’t showered and you have a cramp in your neck and you’re sort of inexplicably sticky, but then you look around and the world feels beautiful and otherworldly and you’re glad you came.

My friend Leigh wrote a fantastic post last week about how motherhood can sometimes feel tough to navigate, and it reminded me that everyone’s life—no matter how effortless and polished it may look from the outside (when you see women on blogs, in magazines, even just on the street)—without a doubt includes the same tricky moments, worries, doubts, ups and downs. That’s what it means to be human and real, and we should celebrate and love ourselves for that.

Recently, I came across this poem (excerpt below). I have such respect for all mothers, and women overall.

The Lanyard” By Billy Collins (an excerpt)
She gave me life and milk from her breasts,
and I gave her a lanyard.
She nursed me in many a sick room,
lifted spoons of medicine to my lips,
laid cold face-cloths on my forehead,
and then led me out into the airy light
and taught me to walk and swim,
and I, in turn, presented her with a lanyard.
Here are thousands of meals, she said,
and here is clothing and a good education.
And here is your lanyard, I replied,
which I made with a little help from a counselor.
Here is a breathing body and a beating heart,
strong legs, bones and teeth,
and two clear eyes to read the world, she whispered,
and here, I said, is the lanyard I made at camp.

(Top photo of Toby and me. Bottom photo from Nirrimi)