Words and images by Andrea Sunshine, andreasunshine.com
Parenting is amazing and amazingly messy all at the same time. Our society is not set up to support parents to nurture their children, only to increase its capitalistic intentions. So many of us have to do it alone, with the whole family resting on just one or two adults - which we've taught people is enough but it really isn't.
And then come more lies; about Balance and Perfection and the Woman Who Does It All. The truth is that perfection doesn't exist; balance - where you give evenly to every part of your life - is impossible; and only each individual woman gets to choose what part of the ALL she really wants.
I believe in seasons. I'm thick into the season of small children and it is chaos and intense and incredible and exhausting.
But you know what? This too shall pass. And as cliché and bullshit as that sounds, it is heart-achingly true.
One day we'll all be sitting in our tidy houses, drinking endless cups of hot tea and nibbling on chocolate whenever we want because there won't be any little hands reaching out and screaming for a piece.
We'll use the toilet in peace and there'll be no one in the back of the car asking for a snack every two minutes. But there also won't be cuddles and tears to dry and little people to tuck into bed at night. There won't be dandelions gifted to us in chubby toddler fists, and proud faces going down the slippery slide. There won't be calls of mama in the middle of the night, and notes saying 'I love you mummy' randomly placed on your desk. There won't be little ones in your home. They'll be grown. And while I'm sure that season will be full of its own challenges and rewards it won't be like this one.
This season is our NOW. This is our reality, and however we choose to use this time, let's remember it doesn't last forever. And one day it will be a memory that we'll miss. It's the brutal truth of this season that we're almost too exhausted to appreciate it.
But we can choose to see the JOY, when it happens. We can choose to breathe those moments in, and see them for what they are. And we can choose to feel proud of raising the next generation of people that will one day walk out of our home into one of their own.
This is worthwhile work mamas; this is important. You are enough in all your human, messy, glory. You are ENOUGH.
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Andrea is a free-spirited, unschooling, conscious parenting mum of three from Queensland who is actively and intentionally choosing joy in her everyday and encouraging others to do the same. She blogs at andreasunshine.com