10 lessons from 30 days of motherhood

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This blog is Day 30 of my 30 days of motherhood blogging challenge. Every day, for 30 days, I’m sharing diary-style snippets of my life as a working mum to one cheeky toddler. Consider this part creative experiment, part self-therapy. Feel free to play along at home! You can read days one to 29 here.

Day 30! I made it! If you’re still reading, thank you. I’ve loved connecting with mums throughout this challenge. It’s been a huge relief to know I’m not the only one grappling with fussy eating, toddler meltdowns, and baby brain.

I thought I’d wrap up this challenge with 10 lessons from 30 days of motherhood. Here are 10 things I’ve learned from writing every day for a month.

1. I’m never the only one

Writing down my thoughts and experiences made me realise there’s always someone else out there who can relate. I may do a lot of mothering by myself, but I’m never alone.

2. Writing is therapy

I’ve understood the healing power of writing for a long time, but this challenge only cemented my belief that writing is a form of self-therapy. There is something so cathartic about putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard). If you’re feeling overwhelmed, I urge you to try it! You don’t need to share it with anyone. I believe it’s the process of writing (and reflecting) that helps the most, not the final result.

3. Writing a blog every day for 30 days is probably overkill

I think I got the most out of this challenge in the first seven days. After the first week, I still enjoyed writing every day but I didn’t always feel like I had something to share (see the difference?). I also started to get physically tired as publishing a blog every day took at least two hours by the time I uploaded the picture, emailed it to my newsletter list and posted to social media. I don’t regret anything, and I’m proud of myself for persevering, but in hindsight I think 30 days was quite an ambitious goal.

4. Writing cultivates gratitude

I’m not going to lie, before I started this challenge there were days where I felt really resentful. Not towards Zoey, but perhaps towards ‘society’ (whatever that means). Motherhood can just feel so heavy sometimes. The mental load is real. The expectations are huge. The stakes are high. It’s easy to get lost in the challenges and forget to see the opportunities. But writing every day helped me to cultivate gratitude. It was impossible to write about my day without feeling grateful for it – even the challenging moments. I think that’s because writing offers perspective. It helps you reframe the day’s events and dig for lessons learned and mine for nuggets of wisdom. Now, if I’m having a rough day, I think “I’ll write about this later and things will become clear”.

5. Kids are epic teachers

I often say that Zoey is as much my teacher as I am hers. I’m learning so much about myself and about the world through my experience of being her mother. It’s easy to have preconceived ideas about how things work before children come along. One of my favourite quotes is “Once upon a time I was a perfect parent. Then I had children. The end.” I’m never going to clock this thing, ever. There’s always going to be more to learn. When I’m open to learning, motherhood feels easier. When I want to control it all, it feels hard. When in doubt, I try to remember that I’m a student of life, too.

6. The work I do as a mother is really important

It wasn’t until I wrote the Minutiae of Motherhood that I realised just how much goes into each day of mothering. And how important this work is, even though society can be quick to dismiss it. Writing everything down helped me celebrate this important work and made me want to give myself a big pat on the back.

7. Self-care is essential

The martyr trap is real and it could consume me if I let it. Looking after myself sometimes feels like the ultimate luxury when so many other things are vying for my attention. But I am a better mother when I’m healthy and happy. Period.

8. The days really are long and the years really are short

The most cliche saying about motherhood is so true. I seriously can’t believe it’s Day 30 of this challenge. It does not feel like I’ve been writing for a month. It both feels like I’ve been writing for a year and that I only started writing yesterday. Time really does take on a life of its own when you have kids.

9. Motherhood is an emotional rollercoaster

I don’t think there is any avoiding the mixed emotions that come with motherhood. I yearn for time alone to write then feel empty when I drop Zoey at daycare. I want to work but I feel like I’m missing a limb when she’s away from me. I want her to go to bed and then I stand over her cot when she’s sleeping just to adore her gorgeous wee face. Motherhood = total rollercoaster.

10. Motherhood is a privilege and an honour

I’m so grateful that Zoey chose me to be her mother. It’s the biggest privilege of my life. I’m grateful to myself for taking the time to record these 30 days and I hope I’ll record many more of motherhood’s small moments in the future.

Thanks for reading.

Until next time,
Jess x