Maybe solipsism isn’t the right word. It’s hard to say, but the thing I know is that sometimes being a parent is a lonely and isolating place
Sure, I’m almost constantly in close proximity to either one or two small beings when I’m home. They actually sleep ON me. They stick their small, warm hands into my shirt or climb under my dress or slide a hand in my sleeve to inhabit my very clothing and to be that-much-closer to me. They have crafted a calendar that allocates mommy time to either Will or Cody so that we could all stop fighting about who gets to sit next to or on me during any given meal. I truly feel so loved.
That said, I also sometimes feel unable to breath.
Parenting takes so much of me. I sometimes feel awash in lists of things I have been meaning to do or things I hoped for that I have yet to morph into reality. Last night I awoke at 1:30 am after falling asleep putting kids to bed. I woke up and for some reason, unable to sleep, went on a long trip down memory lane via my own Instagram. I watched myself grow babies and birth them and manage the chaos of bringing new life into a home that literally had a wall missing. I watched as my job changed when faced with elements of workplace discrimination at my former employer after having my second kid – an all too common, yet personally devastating slide into dysfunction. I watched an empowered me get my dream job and try to leave that trauma behind. I watched myself try time and again to assert a place for ME in the mix, whether by signing up for a race, or doing a Beachbody challenge, or getting a membership at cyclebar. I saw a lot of failure there at those moments, but upon revisiting it was left feeling impressed at my perseverance. Tonight I found the time to write this blog in the window between work and meeting a friend for a happy hour that I planned and scheduled five months ago. I often marvel that there was ever a person within me that could take the time to do self-reflection and write about it. Yet, that person is still here…just buried under myriad other responsibilities. And, I mourn her absence.
Please never take this to mean the joy of my children is lost on me. They are the literal lights in my life and the fact that I don’t write here often is an absolute reflection of my current priorities – they are topmost on the list. Blogging is not. But, reflecting and recording ones life is something I value. Something I care about. Recognizing that my needs are low on the list now doesn’t mean they don’t matter and I want the record to show they do matter. Moms matter. Our harried lives and our reflections matter. And the fact that motherhood can suck so much out of a person, yet they continue on, matters.
I have been in what I’d consider a low point in my life – mostly struggling with my thyroid, but having it manifest as a general malaise about all things, a lack of confidence in myself, and an overall sense of barely keeping up on a treadmill that shows no signs of slowing down. I’m fighting a deep exhaustion that sucks my will to take action. I am feeling unable to move the needle in my life and hanging on by a thread as a result. I need a recharge, maybe it’s a tweak in medications, or maybe its something that reignites my connection to my dharma and meaning. I don’t know. It is also winter and I’m staring into the dark at 5:30 pm. These are probably not unconnected things.
I’m leaving now, to have drinks with a friend who I reached out to 5 months ago seeking connection. I hope we find it tonight and going forward.