Oh to be an acclimated mom! I remember the early days when solo excursions left me feeling far less than ecstatic. I used to venture out alone only to be filled with awkwardness and anxiety. The sort of sensation I imagine I might have, had I somehow misplaced one of my body parts only to find that there’s no hope for functioning properly without it…this appendage obviously being my child(ren). Today is NOT one of those times!! In spite of the ridiculous music, this waiting room is a perfectly lovely spot for creating a (childless) 'Cone of Silence'-esque space for my thoughts and my pen.
Being alone at home is NOTHING like being out! Something about finding alone time at home drudges up feelings of guilt and anxiety for me. There are always things pulling at me, reducing my ability to just exhale and appreciate the moment. Sometimes I force all memory of those mounding ‘to dos’ out of my mind, but then the thought that I’m not taking time to be present with my kids, fills me with disappointment in myself. Is it true that all mothers carry around with them a growing satchel of guilt? You know…a satchel: a huge and heavy hobo-ish guilt-filled bag, slung over one shoulder causing a limp and a stoop, reminiscent of a hunchback. I’m pretty sure all us mamas stumble around with a guilt induced gimp. It seems that there must be an emotional prerequisite for motherhood. Someone deemed us all perfectly fit for the task because we quickly and easily feel breathtaking levels of needless guilt. While we’re there, we should probably throw in codependency for good measure, because what good is motherhood without a touch of codependency…right??
Yes, clearly I’m being sarcastic, but being a mom is HARD! It’s a full day, every day, of trying our absolute best. We end the day by tucking our sweet little lovies into bed and promptly sinking deep into a sofa, flopping onto the bed (face and belly first) or melting into the floor for a good hardy cry, hoping we did it well and that we don’t have to ask for forgiveness for everything and then start from scratch tomorrow. It’s truly arduous!
But it’s also incredible, and only a parent can really understand that. All others (non-parents) easily connect with the negative and taxing portions of parenting. It’s understandable, they’re easily observable by the stranger who unhelpfully assesses, “Wow, you really have YOUR hands full!”, as I’m attempting to wrangle my 4 kids, maneuver a shopping cart and navigate the aisles of my neighborhood grocery store. But then, sometimes the day ends beautifully when out of the blue, after saying goodnight, I hear my son’s sweet voice holler after me, “I love you forever” and of course I answer, “I love you forever too!” and still he continues, “I love you even more than that!” Words like these seem to wash all the worries of life in the trenches of motherhood away, like a cleansing rain. They give me hope that in spite of the drama, the crazy and the mundane, all of my intentionality leaves an impression on my childrens’ hearts, and they know they are deeply loved.