Nothing in my life is convenient right now. Being poked by a two-year-old at 4am most mornings? Nope. Never eating a meal without having to feed other people at the same time? I don’t think so. Never being able to leave the house without needing to persuade little people to put their shoes and jackets on, to stop fighting, stop kicking the wall, stop wiping snot on each other? Nah.
I used to be able to glide through my life effortlessly (though I probably didn’t feel that way at the time). My life was my own. I could wake up when I wanted, eat breakfast in silence, put my shoes on and leave. I could go where I wanted, nothing but my wallet and keys to keep track of. It’s hard to even remember when navigating the world was that effortless.
Things are different now. So different. I accept that most days I am tangled up in children. I accept that I am weighed down by their needs. I accept the gravity of it.
And yet, I feel the burden deeply. It pushes my body into the armchair at 4pm. It makes me say yes to extra screentime at that hour because I just can’t move another muscle. I can’t muster up another smile. I can’t listen to another word coming out of their adorable little mouths. 4pm, baby, is when I feel the mind-blowing, earth-shattering heaviness of it all.
I think it’s important to say it, how terribly inconvenient motherhood is—especially motherhood at this stage, when the kids are so incredibly dependent on me. I think it’s important to say I feel buried in it.
And now I feel the push (from where?) to write about the joy, to tell you it’s all worth it. But I feel like that is the obvious part. My sons are gorgeous. Their stunning wondrousness makes me cry.
But I can’t deny that it is terribly inconvenient, stifling, so very hard to care as deeply as I do for them, and then to find the energy to care for myself as well.
I am trying to find the balance. Aren’t we all? I do, sometimes. And other times I don’t, at all.
And so I write. I tell my stories. I walk. I meditate. I do my best. That’s self-care. That sets me free.
This post was inspired by a prompt from the wonderful Jena Schwartz.