I asked for affirmation this Mother’s Day. That and whatever surprise breakfast M is not so sneakily envisioning. I don’t want flowers or a necklace or a bottle of wine or anything I can physically hold — I just want to know that I’m doing okay.
(I know I’m getting something else too — M climbed up onto my lap and muttered through her hand over her mouth, “I’m NOT telling you that we bought you jewelry.”)
Being at home with two kids is rewarding. More rewarding than I thought it could be. It’s also totally, completely exhausting and sometimes it’s shattering. I told friends, last week — my kids are crushing my soul today. The loudest shrillest shrieks from a teething infant. The pure defiance from a preschooler getting used to new boundaries and new routine. And then getting up the next day and hitting that same wall over again. Debating between an hour of sleep, or feeling like I have a tiny sliver of a quiet house and time to myself at midnight. Oh, I’ve done this before I know, but with two of them I feel like there is literally nothing left — no time, no energy, no vigour. I pour it all out and feel depleted and wonder if that’s still even enough. And at the same time I know that every decision I make, every moment we have, the ones I’m proud of and the ones I’d rather forget, they all add up to my kids’ lives.
Mother’s Day? I don’t know. I want a break and I want to be with my family at the same time. I want a housekeeper, I want a money tree and I want to freeze this all so my kids stop growing in the midst of the hectic rush.
Like I said, affirmation. I want to hear that it will be okay despite not having the break or the housekeeper or the money tree. I want to hear that I am keeping it together. I want to hear that I will eventually be lifted out of these trenches. Most of all I want to be able to believe it. I’m not sure if that can actually be gifted to me, but I think part of it has to do with giving myself the gift of trust. I have to trust that when I hear these affirmations — because they are indeed said to me — I can believe them.
I am Mom. Sometimes I’m great at being Mom. We had a day last week, a Monday at that, when both kids napped in my bed side by side after their first daylight wakeup, and then we all got dressed, and we went to the coffee shop and I wore A in his carrier and he fell asleep while M and I ate yogurt and cookies and muffins and nobody had any meltdowns so we went to the grocery store and even the post office, and when Matt walked through the door after work dinner was bubbling on the stove and the baby was napping and nobody was crying. Sometimes I’m staring around myself wondering how the hell I’m going to Mom my way out of this one.
And… that’s all I’ve got. There’s no tidy bow to wrap this one up in. It’s just as simple as I am Mom, my kids melt my heart and break it open thirty-nine times a day, and I’m glad to have them.