So, growing up I can remember watching cartoons where the characters would get stuck in quicksand. At first it would be joking about being stuck, then there’s a growing sense of urgency about the fact that they can’t move. Then there’s another character that tells them they just have to stay calm and not move around a lot or else they’ll sink further in. Then one of two things happens: either the character continues to panic until they sink into the quicksand (but in a non-tragic, cartoony way), or they remain calm, don’t sink and they’re rescued. Sounds a lot like motherhood to me!
Some days…as a twin mom… feel like quicksand.
I don’t feel like I’m drowning, or trying to stay above water or anything like that. I don’t feel a sense of distress. But, I do feel like some days I’m sinking. Slowly… but sinking. And some days it feels like what I’m sinking into is a a spiral of identity confusion. What am I? What am I doing? Who am I? Is being a mom just sacrificing yourself so your entire identity is your children? Have I worn the same shirt 3 days or 4 days in a row?
Then, because we’re in the age of the internet & social media, when you go through those spirals you can’t help but look at other moms and what they’re doing. It seems like all other moms look like they have it together. They don’t look like they’re stuck in quicksand. They have clean houses and clean bodies and clean kids and their floors aren’t covered in cheerios – no quicksand in sight! Mom comparison was never something that I think existed so prolifically before the social media era. Everyone just minded their business and their kids and fed them canned Zoodles and nobody judged each other. I’m sure that isn’t entirely true I believe mom judgement has always existed but it has definitely never been easier to compare than it is now.
The truth is that everyone exists in some form of quicksand. Everyone has some vortex that they feel like they’re being sucked into one foot at a time. Just because things look great on the internet doesn’t mean that every mom out there isn’t tired of having to google things like “how to get poop stains out of a couch” or counting hours backwards to figure out when you last ate or drank water.
Everything that is true for the cartoons comically getting sucked into the spiral of sand is true for parents who feel overwhelmed. If you panic and let the frantic energy of how intense motherhood can be sometimes, the further you’re going to get sucked downward. It’s very easy, especially when you’re a parent that’s home on your own all day, to spiral into your own mind and anxieties and once you start it’s very hard to stop.
If you remain calm, remain still and try not to panic eventually it will get better and you’ll be rescued. Maybe not by someone else but honestly as cliche as it sounds, by yourself. I truly think that the more times you’re able to pull yourself from those quicksand moments the stronger you become. The easier it is the next time it happens because you know how to control it.
Motherhood can feel thankless sometimes and it’s important to remind yourself that what you’re doing is immeasurably valuable and no matter how many times you watch Baby Shark you’re still a badass lady.
Quicksand Rescue Techniques
On that note I’ll be over here taking some deep breaths and smushing blueberries for the babies – which is bizarrely therapeutic, highly recommend.