Three and a half years ago I wrote this post on an old blog. Yes, today I feel like I mostly have my shit together and am generally high on life, but if there’s any doubt that I was once where you are, here’s proof.
It is a daily challenge for me to separate my feelings towards motherhood from those of stay-at-home motherhood. I’ve always despised being a stay-at-home mom and felt stuck in my role as such. So often my discontentment with stay-at-home motherhood mixes with my feelings towards motherhood as a whole, and I begin to believe I also hate being a mom. I think to myself (and have many times said out loud) that my life was much better before I had kids, and while I don’t regret having them, there are often times when, knowing what I know now, I think I might have made a different choice.
I spoke to a friend a few days ago who is the mother of a three-year-old and two-month-old, a college professor, a resident in a town I love, and part of a close group of friends. I jokingly told her I hated people like her–women who are content and fulfilled and who could happily envision their lives with yet another child.
I count down the years until my son starts kindergarten and wonder how in the hell I can make it until the fall of 2017. Twenty seventeen. And once it arrives, what then? What will become of me?
I need a life plan. I’ve needed one for years, but it is easier said than done. I created a weekly schedule of what I’d want to be doing if I didn’t have kids (not because I want to get rid of them, but so I could see past them)–doula work, time to write/blog, Friday evenings with friends, Saturdays in the outdoors. Simple, but unrealistic. “I’d have to make more money for you to do that,” my husband said. (If I hadn’t sworn off blogging with emoticons I’d insert a big ol’ frowny face here.)
I don’t remember what life was like not being tired, bored, frustrated. Feeling like I’m suffocating. Feeling like every day is a struggle to keep my head above water.
We are moving to a new state in May. I have no doubt my soul will be more free there than it is here. We will exchange the big city, the suburbs, and the traffic for the high desert, views of the mountains, and endless opportunities to engage in the outdoor activities–hiking, camping, canoeing, backpacking–I once loved. Tension leaves my shoulders and my breaths deepen just envisioning it.
However, little voices ground me in reality again. I will still be isolated and alone, unfulfilled and struggling to get through another day and then another year, biding my time until my real life resumes.
I am fortunate to have in my Texas life a friend who will read these words and understand them fully. I share my thoughts here because if there are two of us in this boat, then there are probably three, or four, or 164. This is for you. May we all get our shit together–and until then, enjoy the company of the remarkable women seated bow to stern.