As many of you have noticed, I’m doing quite a bit of maintenance on this website/blog. Last week included condensing my thirty-two categories down to just a handful. This week I’m digging through three pages of drafts and deciding which to trash.
I write a lot.
A stupid amount.
But what I’m finding are several unpublished posts just sitting in this “Drafts” folder that actually deserved to be published. So that’s what I’m giving you today. The following was originally composed on January 10, 2015. Note: Avery would have been barely 6 months old.
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This week, a friend of mine posted the following on Facebook. I’m leaving it entirely un-edited because the raw version of the sentiment comes out in spurts and with haste. Please overlook any auto-correct errors and grammatically incorrect but necessary emphasis functions. We all know Facebook is about one notch above a text-message when it comes to the English language.
Understandably, the post received a ridiculous number of comments, most of which affirmed that these feelings are seemingly universal among young moms. Young, not referring to age, but the number of years she’s been in the business of motherhood.
Like every other job, it seems that with experience comes security, and if we are lucky, one or two friendships with people at work. Those of you who have been following this blog since its inception know that I also experienced an immediate sense of loneliness and isolation when I decided to give up my profession and stay home to raise my kids.
Almost five years and two more children later, I wish I was saying that I’m over it. I wish I was saying that I figured it out and I have it down and I’m winning the motherhood race every single day.
I have a pretty good feeling that there are many women (and even some men) in my social circles who look at me and assume that I have it all together. After all, showing up
at church anywhere, even once a month, wearing make-up, with all my children bathed and dressed, does give the illusion of mild togetherness.
It didn’t escape the notice of one seasoned mother last Sunday however, that I sat down in class and immediately cursed at John under my breath. When she touched my hand at the end of the lesson, I burst into tears.
I know for a fact that my hormones are wreaking havoc with my mental and emotional stability right now. But like any functioning alcoholic could tell you, identifying the problem isn’t really the issue. As a species that biologically craves order and stability, I’m going to just say that feeling out of control is, for me, the most difficult feeling in the world. And I think every woman over the age of 22 would support me when I say that sometimes, we are simply at the mercy of our hormones.
Everything peaked on Wednesday of this week, and then came crashing down in a blubbering, slobbering, and more-than-audible seventeen minute cry. It doesn’t really matter what triggered it specifically, but in my desperation I reached out in a text message to my very first ever mom-friend. She and I met at Gold’s Gym in Burlington, when our first borns weren’t even 6 months old.
It was my first summer break as a working mother, and even then, like today, I was using my $10 a month gym membership to buy an hour or two of free childcare. I was, at the time, unknowingly suffering from pretty severe postpartum depression, and in my hormonal fog I could never appreciate the beauty of those first very awkward steps of what would become one of my most treasured relationships.
Brought together by a mutual female-adult-sized hole in our psyche’s, this woman and I would become for the next two years a regular date-night babysitting trade, summer mornings of coffee, goldfish, and a kiddie pool in the back yard, an extra plate at dinner when one of our husbands was working late. Even after she moved and then I moved, twice, we were long-distance support through two more nearly simultaneous pregnancies, and for me, a fourth baby.
Here is the text message I sent that day:
How many of us have someone (other than our husbands) to whom we can actually say “I hate this baby” and know it will be met with complete understanding and not an ounce of judgement nor advice. How many of us have someone whose first reaction to such a text includes, not a “hang in there,” or a “this too shall pass” comment, but rather a reminder that the big picture is overrated and then a confirmation of the desire to punch everyone who has ever told us to treasure this time because it all goes by too quickly.
I fear not nearly enough.