My husband had a vasectomy. I was overwhelmed with four kids under six and I knew even though I’d keep having babies forever, it was time to be done. My anxiety was through the roof and I was hanging on by a thread. I didn’t think I’d be the best mom to my other four if I added more to the madness.
So we decided to do it and I was only a little sad. That moment of holding a new baby on my chest felt like nothing short of an encounter with Heaven, but I thought, my arms are full and so is my heart.
I thought it would be easy because I had four already; our family was complete.
Today I wish I could go back. I wish I could go back and hold you as an infant. I wish I could smell your skin and rock you just a little longer. I wish I could be still and feel that moment just one more time.
When I look at pictures of you in your toddler years with your round cheeks and pudgy hands, I smile. Inside my heart breaks a little bit because I wish I could squeeze you as you ask me a billion questions in your tiny voice, just one more time.
From the time I was a little girl, I had unrealistic expectations of myself. Part of it came from being a firstborn child, I think. I stressed about grades, my hair being just right, being “good”, and never ever disappointing anyone. Anything less than “perfect” was failing and torpedoed me into a shame-storm. It wasn’t “I messed up”; it was “I am messed up”.
I am a messy, scatterbrained, free spirit by nature, so I was constantly “failing” the so-called standards. Perfectionism was a merciless dictator in my life, and it manifested in stress, anxiety, isolation, depression, and eventually an eating disorder.
I wish you knew that sometimes when the house is dark and quiet, I come in and watch you breathe for a minute. I wonder there in the stillness if you know how much I love you. I think about the things I could have said differently, and I wonder if you let my mistakes roll off of you or if they stuck. I hope and pray there in the stillness that you would know how deeply and widely I love you.
I came across some horse-crappery today. It was an article called Men Prefer Debt-Free Virgins Without Tattoos. The title alone makes me vacillate between puking in my mouth, and wanting to run in to my street and scream a Katy Perry song.
I don’t have any tattoos, but I love them and now I guess I’m going to schedule one.
I have had really bad days of motherhood.
I have had really good days of motherhood.
When am I a good mom? On all the days.