If you had asked me when I was 16 what life would look like 10 years later, it would not have looked like this.At sixteen I had decided my life was destined for solitude. In my optimistic phase, it would include a gorgeous white home with wood floors on a sandy shore with sea grass. It included a highly paid executive job at a multi national corporation, a white cat, and a white BMW 325i. (I was no slouch on details.) In the end though, it would include no one but me. During my more jaded phase, my life would be lived out on Kangaroo Island in Australia where I would live alone in a rickety shack with lots of cats and a man trap. I'd be the crazy lady that kids would fear walking home from school. I'd be the house that the post man didn't return from because instead of a garden, there would be a camouflaged hole that would give out if any man stepped on it.
Those were the two scenarios. While one seemed to be slightly more Pottery Barn pleasant than the other, both shared the solitude factor. It might not have been what I really wanted, but it is what I thought would work best for me.
Well, life didn't happen like I had schemed. Actually, not one of any of those specific details panned out...well, I do have a Pottery Barn coffee table so I guess some things did happen!
Point is, I'm 27. I live in a little yellow house on a busy, busy street with my husband, my son, and my- you got it- cat. We swim in student loan debt, we share a tiny bathroom, and wash the dishes by hand. I'm not a highly paid executive, I don't drive a white BMW, and I never built a man trap. As the story goes, first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage. That was definitely not part of any plan. The husband part is great but I struggle with the mom part.There must be, at the root of who we are, a piece that knows what we are made for and what we are not. I have always loved babies. I mean, from the time I was a toddler, I loved pinching babies. (I don't do this anymore). I grew up swearing I would not have kids and in the back of my mind, wanting them. I wanted to avoid creating a person who I could hurt, who I could mess up, who could blame me later for all I didn't do. But here I am, a mom of one and a second is frequently discussed...and shot down....and re-discussed. There is not a single day that passes that I don't think, "I don't want to change that diaper! I hate cutting his finger nails! What do I do with him?" He is work. 24/7 work. I love him so much and at the same time, I can't handle him!
My strengths in mothering come down to dreaming and preparing and planning. We opened up a savings account for him from the day we received is social security number. My son will go to college and he will not have student loan debt. We will be able to help him put a down payment on a home. We will enroll him in summer camps that nurture his passions. We will show him the world and encourage his dreams. I already prepare for his wedding. I think of how important it will be for me to teach him about women and how important it will be for his dad to teach him how to be a gentleman. I pray for his wife and the protection of his heart when he enters into the world of dating and abrasive girls. I clothe him, I make his lunch, I fret over which daycare to put him and choose one that is more like a school because I already see his potential. Those are the things I am good at. I am not good at the chores of mothering. It makes me wonder--should I even be a mom? Is two something I should even think about?
What happens when your plans don't pan out? It seems my reality is infinitely better than any of my plans for solitude could have ever been. Those plans were made in fear. My reality came to be out of hope and love. But there are moments, moments like last night, when I am in the middle of an emotional blizzard and it all freezes up. I have my husband beside me to keep me warm and yet I am indescribably cold and feel so alone. Not a soul to understand what mothering is like. Not a friend to comprehend what our life is like. Not one person reaching out to say, "I get it," just a lot of realizing no one asked us to join and it's all too much to be a part of anyway.So I come here. I vent. I breathe. I release and I hear that I'm not as crazy as I feel. I read about Mom's who love their kids passionately and in a way I want to emulate. I learn that the chores of mothering really do stink. I just feel...safe...here...with you. Thank you for being my friend in this friendless phase of my journey. As I pave the road with my husband as the sole child bearing young lady, I would be lost without the women in my sacred space that tell me I'm going to make it.