Nothing particular happened. I just cried.
Looking around at the house I need to clean, feeling overwhelmed by a mess that I’m sure anyone else could clean in less than an hour. Listening to the sound of our dog’s clickity-clacking across the floor for what felt like a lifetime. Looking at the clock to see how much longer until nap time so I can get stuff done before working all evening. Also knowing I’ll never get it all done.
I rocked my baby before his nap, and as he nestled in to my chest I realized — and I mean really realized — that these moments won’t happen for much longer. Before I know it he’ll be too busy for me, to big for me, too cool for me. One day I’ll only know what rocking him feels like in my memories.
In a month my baby will be a year old. A whole year, just like that.
I remember the early days in the middle of the night when I thought about how I couldn’t wait for him to sleep more. Or the days when I thought about how freeing it would be when he’s drinking milk from a cup or bottle — no matter how much I loved breastfeeding. The early days when I sometimes longed for the freedom and individuality I used to have. The nights when I’d just wish for him to go to sleep so I could have time for me, or the days I’ve spent waiting for bed time to come.
I’m sitting here realizing I wished a lot of days away. I’m sitting here wondering if I spent enough time enjoying it, too.
Almost a year old and I wonder if I’ve given him enough. Enough attention, enough love, enough time. I wonder if he noticed the times I felt a little detached or felt the frustration I was feeling. I wonder how he felt in those moments. I just wonder if I’ve done enough. If I’m the mom he deserves.
Us moms tell each other that it’s ok to have days where we’re frustrated, that we’re not perfect, and that it can’t always be all sunshine and rainbows. I know that, I do. I’m quick to hand the exact same pieces of advice to any other moms I know and love. But the “mom guilt” is so real when it comes to your own babies. At least for me.
Why can’t I find the motivation to do it all? Why can’t I just keep my house clean all the time? Why can’t I cook meals from scratch everyday? Why can’t I spend time with my baby without stressing about the million other things that need to get done? Why can’t I better manage my time to be able to do it all? What’s wrong with me?
These are the questions spinning in my brain as I cry. As I finally melt into a puddle. Yes, finally.
Truthfully I’ve felt this emotional storm brewing for a while, and I push it aside because I don’t have time or energy or a real excuse to be a basket case about nothing. I don’t really have a reason to be sad; I have a good life. And yet, there I sat, in tears.
Everything eventually catches up with you, I suppose. Emotions don’t just disappear. Nor does the reality you don’t want to face.
The reality that I’ve been avoiding is that nothing is guaranteed, especially time. In fact, it’s a thief. It steals pieces of your life continuously, and consistently, sometimes without even realizing it. I can tell you that I feel like I blinked and was all of a sudden staring at a baby that’s grown up. A growing process that I know I was there for, but can’t help but feel that maybe I wasn’t present enough.
I’m not writing this to throw some sort of pity party, or for floods of comments telling me I’m a good mom and to take it easy on myself. I guess that aside from writing being my form of therapy, I’m writing this to be honest. I’m writing and posting this as a reminder.
No, we’re not perfect. Yes, there are days that are difficult and we are allowed to feel frustration. I won’t take that away from anyone. But we’re also allowed to still feel grateful.
Here’s the reminder: I could die tomorrow. Ya, I said it. Die. Tomorrow. I literally have no idea. None of us do. Anything could happen, and yet we spend everyday treating it like we’re guaranteed a thousand more. Like our babies are guaranteed a thousand more with us.
Maybe after wishing away the time until their nap or bedtime, once they wake up we pick them up and smother them with hugs and kisses. Maybe after feeling frustrated or angry we make sure to hold them a little closer so they know we love them beyond our emotions. Maybe we can work to keep our brains in the moment while still being able to look at the bigger picture.
He won’t be a baby forever. Heck, he’s already almost not a baby anymore. He’s growing up so fast my heart literally aches when I allow myself think about it.
Am I a good mom? I have no idea. Today it doesn’t feel like it. I wish I had some sort of uplifting revelation to end this with, but truthfully I don’t. I still have no idea what I’m doing or how I’ll be “better”. But I suppose having these moments that hit us over the head like a frying pan is a good place to start.
Let’s just love up and appreciate our babies, ok? Let’s all remember they’re tiny humans who don’t know any life other than the one we’re giving them, and they deserve to know a life full of truly unconditional love, time, and attention. It all just disappears way too fast, and we’ll never get these days back.
I Cried Today
Nothing particular happened. I just cried.