The Messiness of Motherhood: Welcome to Your New Life

I look around.

Crusted oats and gelled chia seeds cling to a bowl on my desk. A cup of coffee, still hot, rests to my left, along with a calculator, my daughter’s latest work from school, bills, tweezers and a stack of books. They have somehow gathered in my writing space to remind me that my orderly life has now become genuinely fucked because…I have a family. Which means endless messes and hours spent scraping things and vacuuming things and wiping things and watching my daughter bulldoze a room I just cleaned.

There is no order to my life.

Everyday, I wake with good intentions. Today, I’m going to meditate for five whole minutes! Today, I am going to get outside and tip my face to the sun! Today, I am going to radiate joy from every orifice! Today, I am going to clean as I go!

Instead, the alarm goes off. My husband hits snooze. My daughter karate kicks our bedroom door open and demands, at almost five years old, that I spoon her. Now. I oblige. There is a battle for time as we make lunches and breakfasts, shoving yesterday’s dishes out of the way, complaining about the messy kitchen, all while making Chemex coffee—a total asshole move on our part as parents, as it does nothing but suck more time with its pretentious process, but oh, is the coffee divine—and then my husband and daughter are out the door in a flurry of bags and hair and wet, rushed kisses, and I look at the destruction of our house, the house I just took time out of my busy day to clean again yesterday, and I feel…defeated.

But then the day cracks open into writing assignments and working on my second novel and a ferocious workout and healthy food, and then I get to pick up my daughter from school and take her to the park or a friend’s house where we snip fresh lettuce from the garden and eat it by the handfuls, and I feel grateful. Happy. Complete.

Which makes me feel crazy, because this wild ride called motherhood bounces up and down from elation to annoyance to joy to frustration. I never know exactly how to hold onto what I’m feeling, because the emotions slip through my fingers like sand. I just want to remember what my daughter feels like in my arms! I just want to have sex for more than five minutes! I just want to have a masseuse and a chef and a housekeeper for one day!

So, here I am, putting it all out there for this rich, relatable community. As a certified personal trainer and nutrition specialist for almost two decades, and an author of four health and wellness books (and a soon-to-be released women’s suspense novel), you’ll get some helpful health advice, a little bit of humor and a whole lot of honesty.

Because in a world where social media portrays the glossed over versions of motherhood with its Pinterest backgrounds and its photoshopped angles, I’m not interested in that. Reality is much more beautiful, because, you know, it’s real.

You’re real, I’m real, motherhood is real.

So let’s see what that looks like, stripped down, bare, raw, in its truest form. Let’s stop pretending and start leaning into what motherhood really is—beautiful, hilarious, scary, imperfect, unique, universal, messy.

Let’s use this place to talk about that.

Photo Courtesy of Nikki McFadden Photo

About Rea Frey

Rea Frey is a lover of coffee, words and sleep, though since becoming a mother, she gets too much coffee, writes endless words and thinks about uninterrupted sleep the way she would a lover lost at sea—that is to say, often. She is the author of four nonfiction books and an upcoming women’s suspense novel, THE LONELY GIRLS (St. Martin’s Press), which will be published summer 2018. When she’s not exercising, mothering, adulting, wifing, eating or writing about herself in the third person, you can find her blogging about various topics at reafrey.com.

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