I've felt like I've given up a lot of dreams in order to pursue motherhood. That's true of all mothers. I also think that giving up dreams for certain realities and plain old sacrifice is part of earthly experience, and those who don't are missing some important experiences.
The problem I've been facing is that even my dreams of motherhood aren't happening. The whole experience isn't what I'd always hoped it would be. My days are filled with grueling hard work. I'm so tired and sore at the end of every day, and then I wonder why the heck am I still so fat? Aren't I working hard enough to burn that, yo?!
Discipline is the other dominant part of my days. I feel like a zookeeper more than a mother 90% of the time. "Don't bite that - don't hit her - you have to wear clothes - don't suck up the dirty water on the dishwasher door - don't smash the tv with the hammer - don't stick your finger in the outlet - don't play in the toilet." (PS - I have said every single one of those things today, and its only 1:30).
So I'm having to lower my expectations on this whole experience, which is depressing. I thought there'd be more sweet, calm moments. I literally cannot keep up with their energy. I can hear them, its nap time, but what are they doing? Removing the wooden slats on their bed frame and making a slide. I don't even have to go up there, I just know.
Then there are the things that just make me feel deprived. Like missing lunch because there's no time after I feed the kids (there is just no way I can eat at the same time,) or not being able to use the bathroom without someone coming in and asking me to do something for them. Millie bit a hole in a favorite dress.
I decided a long time ago that my life's focus is on my children and not me, but there are some days (like today,) that I just feel so run down and there's nothing left.
I wasn't planning on writing about this - but Trev and I were trying to plan a trip to Paris this fall. I was so excited. Looking at plane tickets and everything. But in the end it just wasn't possible. Maybe in a few years. But there are so many things like that in my life right now - well, maybe in a few years blah blah blah - but I need something to be happy about right now. My mom has been trying to tell me to shoot lower - maybe just a weekend away, or smaller dreams. I'm working on that one.
And then there's that stupid voice in my head that says, "Well, you can't complain about anything. You have running water. You're not raising children in the sewers in Mumbai. You have a house and a husband. There are couples who desperately want kids, and you're complaining about yours?!" I can't even let myself have a moment of decent self pity because I feel so stinking guilty if I do.
Outsiders who watch me with my kids are almost always amazed. And say so to me. It makes me feel good, and I think maybe I am succeeding. But I can't see what they see.
My greatest fear is that after my children are grown, and I've given it all I've got, there won't be anything left of me. Like I won't have any more dreams, and I'll just be this daft old lady who watches soaps all day, eating marshmallows. I know, reading this you're thinking that's a weird thing to be afraid of. But I am! What if this whole hard experience just knocks it all out of me?! It could happen, peeps!
I order in all these travel books from the library. "The Bazaar Quarter of Istanbul." "The Markets of Paris." "Spain and its Wonders." The last batch I returned them without even opening them. What's the point?
Trying to encourage myself is hard when I do the exact same thing every. single. day. And its not going to change for hundreds more days. But what am I complaining about? I'm not in a concentration camp. (SHUT UP, VOICE.) What to do?! I thought writing it all out might help....it didn't...poop. Now I have to go upstairs and reassemble their beds, for the umpteenth time.