Today’s a rough one. I found myself multiple times today asking the forbidden, unspeakable question: Was this worth it?
I feel guilty thinking it, I feel guilty asking it. Hell, I feel guilty typing it. Because I know how lucky I am to have my two babies. I understand how lucky I am that they are here. Today. But I think it’s natural to think occasionally about your old life-your old self. I think it’s rather unhealthy, in fact, to pretend we are happy all the time as mothers and that we know with 100% certainty that this was “the life we were meant to lead”. I don’t know how certain I am of that today. Yesterday? Yesterday while sitting on the porch with my own mother enjoying a Spring breeze while watching my two babies play with one another’s hands and eyes and noses? Yes, that moment I was certain. This is the life I was meant to lead.
But today? Today has been challenging. Today I dealt with two babies that wouldn’t nap. Today I changed multiple poop diapers that ruined freshly washed sheets and outfits. Today my dogs, dogs that used to be the receivers of all of my love, howled at a group of pre-schoolers walking by the house and scared the kids and the babies. Today I put on a pair of pre-pregnancy jean shorts that only recently fit again and yet when I looked in the mirror, all I could see was my saggy tummy, my hollow, tired eyes and wrinkles. I look older. I feel older. I feel exhausted and empty and drained and it shows on my face and body and in my spirit. Was it worth it?
Today I found myself dreaming of a day when I took a 3 hour nap without anyone noticing-when I could take a book and a blanket to the park and read for as long as I wanted-when I bought an outfit that made me feel like a million bucks. When I felt good about myself. That’s not today.
Today I put the babies in a stroller and took the whole crew (dogs as well) for a walk. A walk that I thought might calm me down-might calm them down. And it didn’t. They cried and kicked and squirmed and screamed and the dogs whined and howled and tugged and pulled. And I was sweating and cursing and my lip was quivering and everyone I passed by just looked and stared apologetically. I wondered for a minute what would happen if I let go of the leashes; if I put the brake on the stroller and simply…walked…away. Gone would be the screaming and the whining and the howling and the pulling. Gone would be the constat, never stopping need for me to do something. Gone would be the responsibility and the finality of it all. I would be free.
I’m not going to lie and say that soon thereafter I came to a cathartic realization that my babies were my real home and that the thought of leaving them reminded me how much I love this life. Because I didn’t. And I really think that’s ok. I know that I am a good mother. A damn good mother. I work my ass off to take care of them, to make them happy and healthy and I know that I am a fantastic dog owner who cares for my pups and walks them when it’s raining or cold. I know that I am a good wife who is doing everything in her power to lose the weight, to get out of stretchy pants, to clean the house, to be supportive and loving-to be everything I was or that I see in magazines or on tv shows. I am trying and I don’t think I could try any harder.
I am going to be honest here and I feel guilty saying it and those who are reading it may judge me and say I don’t deserve to have these babies. But the truth is, today it doesn’t feel worth it. It just doesn’t.
Everything changes with a little time. A few minutes standing in the driveway with the door closed to the crying and whining and wanting rejuvenates my soul and reboots my system. I come inside feeling like a new person and those things that made me struggle before-that made me question this huge, life-changing decision-somehow are the same things that confirm it. Until then I will take a deep breath and wait.