This month’s Self Portrait Challenge (reading Karli’s reminded me of it – thank God I have you on my feed, babe. I keep forgetting!) is about Enclosed Spaces.

Here’s mine:

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Although I’ve been a mom for four years, I think I’ve only just discovered the verities of motherhood, and what it can do to someone who’s not ready, or might’ve had romantic or ambitious notions about the job.

Seven months into the role of a stay-at-home mom, it is not unlike the feeling of having walked into a trap. That sounds horrid, I know, but the truth is that much of it isn’t gratifying or liberating or warm and fuzzy. TOTALLY not what your mom or aunts or grandmothers want you to think it is, especially for those of you who are used to independence and travel and meeting people and long dim sum sessions and gaming into the wee hours of the night. Regiment and routine and housework and being mindful of what happens around the house and having always to set a good example for your children – all this feels oppressive and depressing. Most of the time, escape is all you think about.

But to equate full-time mothering to some claustrophobic confine is inaccurate. Unfair, even. Because there will be times that grateful relief for having been given the job will wash over. To be able to witness the priceless antics your kids get up to, moments you know can occur only once (which is why camcorders and digital cameras are a godsend). To be able to have those all-important conversations that can change so much. To rest, at the end of the day, in the loving embrace of a thankful husband for a job well done.

So using what is a bad (but functional) analogy for those who insist on one, motherhood isn’t a box. It’s a cage. You get meals, breaks and holes. For light. And laughter. For love. After a while, it even gets comfortable.

Give it another ten years and you might not even notice it anymore.