People keep asking me how much I love motherhood. As if motherhood brings with it a revelatory joy that’s kept hidden from all the other, non-mothers out there. People talk like I’ve finally gotten into some secret society I was longing to be a part of.

People keep asking how much I love motherhood and the answer is, well, I don’t.

Motherhood is braving one hell of a long hazing process. It’s worrying every minute if you’re doing enough and if you’re doing it right. It’s feeling completely inadequate because you can’t get up the nerve to cut such tiny fingernails.

Motherhood is that tinge of jealousy when you hear about your single friend’s freedom. It’s canceling date night because someone is teething and needs your shoulder to gnaw on, and no one else’s shoulder tastes quite the same.

Motherhood is waking up every other hour through the night because you are desperately needed, but feeling altogether useless. It’s mashing organic sweet potatoes and freezing them into ice cube trays while you forget to make dinner for yourself. It’s never being alone, yet feeling so very lonely.

Don’t ask me about motherhood. You know what it entails.

But if you want to know how much I love being a mom, I’ll ask you, how much time do you have?

Being a mom is sneaking in another sniff of her skin while drying her off after the bath. It’s wondering how long she’ll trust me this fully as I feel the weight of her in my arms. It’s holding my breath in awe as she drifts off to sleep because I’ve never seen something so beautiful.

Being a mom is counting the minutes until I can get home to see her nose scrunch and gummy smile after I’ve had a bad day. It’s living on the verge of tears because my heart is overflowing in my chest, ready to pour out my eyes at any inopportune moment. It’s the way she makes strangers on the street feel like my oldest friends with one giggle or wave.

Being a mom is cheering harder than I ever have at any sports game as she tries with all her might to put one chubby leg in front of the other. It’s remembering that a smashed avocado is heavenly, a half empty water bottle is a thing of mystery and a ceiling fan is straight up miraculous.

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