I’ve been trying to write this post for the last three days and have not been able to complete it because well, I’m a mom and things don’t always go as planned. I’m writing this while my three-year old sits next to me making crashing noises as he smashes his Angry Bird toys against each other.
I know most mothers will agree when I say that being a mom is a full-time job. Whether you’re a stay at home mom or not; you cannot just ‘clock out’ and decide you’re done for the day. It’s a constant giving of yourself and caring for someone else’s needs more than your own. I’m not complaining (yet). I am aware of how fortunate I am to be able to bear children. They truly are a miracle and add such joy in my life. Just hear me out.
I arrive at my job around 0800, but my day starts way before then. Since having my baby girl, my morning routine has changed quite a bit due to lack of sleep. I’ve been setting my alarm for 0600-0630 as opposed to my previous 0500 wake-up time. I’m hoping she shakes off her midnight feeding so I can indulge in some much-needed uninterrupted sleep and so my routine can quickly get back to normal. I want to get back into working out in the morning and maybe having some fitness posts on my blog, but I digress. Without going into too much detail; my first job consists of trading my skills, time, and energy for money. It’s an adequate amount to keep me going back. I get an hour and a half lunch break which I cannot complain about since the civilian workforce (I’m currently on active duty in the Army) usually allots an unpaid hour.
My next job begins the minute I pick up my son from day care. I thank God he’s a good kid; I don’t ever receive any complaints regarding his behavior. I’m always happy to pick him up and hear about his day on the drive home. On a good traffic day we’ll arrive before 5pm. Most days are uneventful and for the most part I can say I can handle it all. It’s days like today where I feel overwhelmed and begin to question many of the decisions I’ve made throughout my life. I wish I’d accomplished so many things before having children. I can’t go back in time, so wishing it does nothing except instill a small sense of disappointment in my mind. Most days I am able to quickly shake it off and go about my day but today (or these last few days) has been different.
As I prepared to start the kids’ nightly routine, I started to feel a sense of loss. I felt a heaviness in my heart and immediately I was frustrated and annoyed by everything. You know, like the type of frustrated and annoyed you get when you’re hungry. Except, I wasn’t hungry. I just didn’t want to do it. I didn’t want anyone to need me. I didn’t want to get anyone dressed or brush anyone’s teeth. I didn’t want to read a bed time story. I didn’t want to sing Humpty Dumpty. Not tonight. I didn’t want the responsibility of having kids tonight. I just wanted to be alone. Yes, I’m aware of how awful that sounds, but I can’t be the only one that thinks this way, right?
Having kids means I’ll never see my dreams come to fruition.
This crept into my mind causing me to become overwhelmed with anxiety. Well, no shit. Who the hell wouldn’t feel anxious thinking this way? The reality is that, of course, I’m going to have these types of thoughts; maybe more often than I’d like to admit. I believed this false notion for a brief moment and in that split second I felt I could never accomplish my dreams. I have two other beings whose need of me is greater than the pursuit of my dreams. Dreams take time and I don’t have time. Have I really allowed these thoughts to sway me into actually believing these lies? Do I feel this way because society has led me to believe that I must drop everything (including who I am) because I’m a mom? Why do I have this incessant feeling that I have to give up my dreams because I have children, when I know I don’t?
I still have big dreams, so fuck that. I choose to reject those thoughts and continue to pursue what I want for myself. Does that make me selfish? Hell no! I know in doing so my children will be happy, not because of the things that accomplishing my dreams will provide, but because I’ll be happy, too.
My kids are an extension of myself and will always be my number one priority. This doesn’t mean I have to give up who I am in order to care for them. I refuse to let myself feel that my entire life is over because they need me. The next time I feel crazy and begin to feel regret, I’ll take control of my thoughts and stop feeling sorry for myself knowing that I do have control of my future and I will accomplish my dreams. I’ll keep in mind that it’s O.K. to need a break and that I am strong for acknowledging the thoughts most women have, but are too afraid to admit.