"The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new." -Rajneesh
How huge is that statement?
For most of my life when I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up my answer was "A mom. I just want to be a mommy." My other answers? Veterinarian, Zoo-Keeper, Wild animal photographer; specifically to see the snow leopards in the Himalayas. (I vividly remember that one being my answer in about the 6th grade where I spent hours in the library looking at pictures of snow leopards and reading all about them.) But more than anything having to do with the animals, I wanted to be a mommy. I wanted to grow up and get married and have beautiful babies and stay at home and do nothing but keep a clean house and cook great meals and bake delicious things and be the best mom in the whole world.
How many people actually grow up to be what they always wanted to be? Some do. Some take the proper steps and do exactly what they have always wanted to do. Some don't. Some change their mind completely. Lots of times even. Some people hit bumps in the road which lead to detours which eventually lead to a completely different life than they imagined.
I am a mommy. I have been for two years, one month, and two days. That is what I've always wanted to be.
My road to being a mommy was not the road that I planned on taking. I hit bumps and I took detours. I didn't have the husband and the house and I don't get to stay at home and I am a terrible cook and I rarely bake. And oh my hell, my apartment is a disaster.
I am a single mommy. Life is hard. It is really hard. I don't have a lot of time to dwell on it or feel sorry for myself. I get up and I rush out the door and I hate dropping my baby off and I am always, always late for work and when I'm at work I am wondering if my baby is ok and thinking about how messy my house is and how I really need to go grocery shopping but I am really broke so the thought of having to get groceries just stresses me out which leads to being stressed about everything else that I can't afford and how I hope that I will be able to pay rent on time or if I can't just hoping that my landlord will be understanding. (He absolutely is, which I am SO grateful for.) And then I pick up my girl after work and I am so happy to see her and she is hungry and tired and I am tired and we go home and after a rushed lunch I just want us both to go to sleep. Meanwhile more dishes were added to the sink that was already full and more clothes are thrown on the floor and toys are being dragged all over the house and I just stepped on a cookie and crumbled it into the carpet and then I am getting grumpy because Ayla is so tired but rather than taking the nap that she needs she is throwing things and whining and nothing I am doing is making it any better. So eventually she takes a nap but by this time it is too late for her to be napping which means that we will be having a late dinner and both be up until 2 AM which causes me to have to rush out the door in the morning without taking the time to get ready for the day and feel good about myself and feeling bad about dropping her off and being late to work all over again.
Sometimes it all catches up to me. Sometimes I feel like throwing myself into bed and not ever getting out when I think about all of the ways that I am falling behind and all of the things that I can and should be doing better. And I get angry at myself for the choices that I have made and I get angry for the detours that were made in my life, whether I wanted them or not. I feel angry that I am a single mother because this is not meant to be done alone. It's difficult enough with two parents in the home. It is not meant to be done alone. And I am angry that I am not home with my baby and that I am stretching myself thin and always being so tired and not being present. I worry. I worry about everything. I worry about time and money and food and clothes and cars and phones and decisions. I worry so much that I forget to be present. I forget to enjoy today and now. I forget that I can be strong and even though this parenting job is not meant to be done alone, I can do it.
And oh my gosh, every tear, every ounce of stress, every bit of pain I feel is so worth it. I love my daughter more than I could ever hope to put in words. She is the most beautiful, silly, loving, frustrating, smart, amazing little girl I could imagine. She is everything I always dreamed of in a child. And as often as I feel lost and tired and angry and like I am failing, she makes me feel the opposite. Two days ago we were in the car and I was crying. Tears streaming down my cheeks. I can't even tell you what I was crying about. I cry a lot, but rarely ever in front of Ayla. From the backseat I heard, "HI!" I looked back and she had the most concerned look on her face. The way she looked over my face broke my heart. She said it again, "HI!" I smiled and said, "Hi baby!" through my sobs. She said, "I wuv you!" with that concerned look still on her face, never losing eye contact. In Relief Society we learned about angels in disguise and about how people are there for you when you need them even if they don't understand why. I know that Ayla was concerned and she knew that something was wrong and that she didn't know what else to do but say hi and tell me that she loves me. That was all I needed. My little girl that I worry so much about taking care of was worrying about taking care of me. A little angel in disguise.
And speaking of angels, I can't say enough about Kyle. He keeps me grounded. He gives me hope and he makes me laugh and he makes me forget my long list of worries without even trying. He literally makes my problems melt away. Sometimes I am stubborn and sometimes I stay grumpy and I fight it, but I don't know why. When I just let myself be me with him I feel happier and more care-free than I have felt in years. I feel like I am the person that I want to be; the person that I am but haven't been for so long. He literally makes me want to be the very best version of myself that I can possibly be. And there are days like today that I bring myself down so much. I tell myself that I'm not good enough for him and that I am holding him back and that I seriously don't deserve someone so wonderful. I wish I wouldn't do that. I wish I would always let myself be happy and care-free with him. All I want is to make him feel the same way.
I love him so much for showing me that people can be good and can be trusted and for reminding me what it's like to be treated well. He makes me feel special. Sometimes I don't even know how to respond to how amazingly sweet he is to me. I've not ever been treated as well as he treats me. And the way that he treats Ayla... I know that he makes her feel special and feel loved and I couldn't ask for anything more for my little girl.
What is my point with this post? I just wanted an outlet. I wanted to type it and read it back and maybe lift a little bit of weight from my shoulders. More like make a little more room in my head.
I wanted to remind myself that my life IS hard and I CAN admit that, even though I try so very hard to keep it to myself and carry that burden of stress and shame of failure by myself, I need to let it out sometimes or I will be buried in it.
Ayla is awake now. Her nap was too long and too late. Even though I am exhausted and want nothing more to go to bed I am going to get in the car and we are going to get ice cream. After all, I didn't get dinner because like I said before, I am a terrible cook and I ruined the dinner I tried to make for Kyle and I.
I am going to drag myself out of my bed after hours of tears and heartache over bumps and detours. There's no going back down those roads, I can only move forward from here so really, there's no use in crying over it, eh?
But even when I cry it's understandable because I'm only 2 in mommy years and all two-year-olds have melt-downs.
"Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn't know you had, and dealing with fears you didn't know existed." -Linda Wooten
*I apologize for the run-on sentences and fragmented thoughts in this post. It just felt right!