I thought motherhood would be different. I thought there would be snuggles and milestones and cheerleading. I thought I would meet new friends and nap when my children napped. I knew there would be sleepless nights, but I could make peace with sleep deprivation for all the wonderful trade-offs that were supposed to happen.
But it was hard—it is hard. And I don’t think we say how hard it is often enough. Motherhood is a complicated thing. I think we are afraid of offending our children, whom we value so highly. I think we all carry some pain around for those who long for children they do not get to hold. And I think we have traded in help and support for what we think is strength.