The invisible load of motherhood

Andrea Huls
4 min readSep 7, 2023

I love being a mom, but I don’t love the loneliness that has come with it.

A mother caressing her baby in the master bedroom. Both reflected in a large mirror on the dressing table.
Photography by Andrzej Witek

A tiny hand pulls my hair and the other eagerly slaps my face.

Baah ba ba! Ba ba ba!

Time to wake up mama! My little redhead baby is wide awake and ready for some action. It’s not even 7 AM.

I, on the other hand, want just five more minutes in bed, five more minutes I rarely get.

The smell of poo hits me right away. I get out of bed and grab all the essentials.

Changing my 9-month-old baby turns into a wrestling match. Who knew babies could be so strong?

Mamiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii! Maaaaamiiiiiiiiii!!!!

Oh, now, that’s my toddler. Now there are two of them.

Mamiiiii I want cereaaaaaaallllllllllll!!!!!

Morning sweetheart! I say in a soft and happy voice.

Mami, I want cereal. I want my cereal. I want milk.

Off we go. I enter the kitchen, baby on one arm, my 3-year-old jumping around me. With cereal on hand, I tell my oldest to grab his bowl and spoon. Next, the milk. Not too hot, not too cold.

Meanwhile, hubby gets the backpack and school lunch ready.

In a split second…

Noooooo! Buahhhhhh!!

Screaming. Tears. Red face. The end of the world. What happened? My toddler spilled a tiny bit of milk on his hand.

I take a deep breath and reach for a napkin. I validate his emotion. We clean up. All is good again. Until it’s not. He wants the blue socks with the dots, not the stripes. This is important. It might seem silly, but to my child, it’s a crisis. We put out this fire until there’s another one. And so on.

Baby starts to complain too, he’s hungry. I’m breastfeeding and I feel his tiny teeth pull my nipple. Ouch. To show him it’s not okay, I hide my breast. We try again. He bites again. He smiles. For him it’s a game, for me, it’s rather painful. We start over one last time. He laughs and looks at me with his big blue eyes. Finally, he focuses on eating.

This is just the beginning of my day.

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Andrea Huls

Writer, documentary filmmaker, photographer, feminist, mother, and much more.