Friday, October 10, 2014

a mother's birthday (and bump)

25 week bump

things i've learned this past year: i am a mother (who is pregnant), and i am 32, in that order. last weekend we went out at senior citizen hour for indian food for my birthday and then we took a baby bump photo, because pregnancy and motherhood supercede birthdays at this point. i'm smiling in that photo but probably i am thinking about how much bigger my butt is right now and how i wish i could get in the car and just keep driving all night and not go home. at least not that night. 

this is a messy time of life right now. i know it. or at least, the thought occurs to me. but it will not always be like this. there will not always be a sink full of bottles of curdled milk, or a minefield of hard, plastic blocks on the floors to inevitably step on, or bits of played with, never eaten mac and cheese crusted on the underside of my table (and in my bra and hair too). there will not always be unfinished blog posts, unused yoga passes, and wasted (slept through) nap times. there will not always be this insatiable demand for all my love, all my patience, all my attention, all my every single particle of energy and existence. the thought cheers and saddens me. 

if i'm being honest, this was a tough year. a year of many firsts as a mother of this baby-heart-of-mine. a year of daunting feelings—for him, for this period in my life, for this whole process of motherhood. it's hard, is what it is. and i've often felt like i'm failing or not doing enough or not doing it right. i've felt like i'm drowning in the needs all around me, with not enough energy or time or know-how to take care of it all the exact right way. it's been a year of learning that i can't do it all.

it feels like i'm repeatedly asking myself: is this my life?? usually in a tone of despair and while trying not to sob into the sink. 

i've wanted it to be easier. i've wanted to be better at it. i've wanted to be happier. but also, i've wanted to be able to take it all for what it is — a gift. a blessing to treasure. because i know this, right here, even in the midst of the messy and frustrating and hard and exhausting, this is the good stuff. 

some days, i see it. some days, i feel like motherhood has come naturally (and even, blissfully!), but there's also been a lot of times when i've felt completely out of my depth, frustrated, exhausted, lonely, inadequate and on the brink of madness. there have been plenty of days where i've thought that one more toddler meltdown about putting on shoes would put me over the edge. usually that's when i look back with fondness and a bit of envy on those days when i had a still immobile baby, because i can't now remember what that fog of sleep-deprivation and the evening crying jags felt like. or the incredible loneliness of being shut up in a house with a (sometimes) napping baby with nothing but unfolded laundry to keep me company all. day. long.  

i've done a lot of trying. trying to do it all, be it all, sometimes just trying to fake it all—the "best" mother, the "good" housekeeper, the "loving" wife. and i've failed so much and been disappointed so much. 

but recently, i've felt a little peace come back to me. maybe it's some fresh air and alone time. maybe it's letting go of a lot of disappointment, expectation, frustration, and the desire to do and be more that was weighing me down.

i am ready to begin a new year—a year of recognizing everything i have to be thankful for. of enjoying these delicious, taxing, fleeting years of childhood. of seeing all the miracles in my everyday mess. and hopefully, of finding the time to write some more blog posts and go to yoga once in awhile too. 

1 comment:

  1. Lovely, raw, and honest, but also slightly scary for someone who hasn't yet entered that stage of life. I guess at every stage the Lord wants to teach us that we can't make it on our own. That's why I've enjoyed spending time with you this year. Even in having some of the same feelings of despair, we can know we're not alone. Love you, Rebecca. Happy birthday, and here's to another year in the divine dispensing.