As I sit down to go over this post again for the third time, I'm finishing lunch at 3:27pm - I dig up a cold salad from last night and a hot fork from the dishwasher (nothing else was clean - not even a toddler fork, I checked). The first half of my lunch consisted of some peppered gluten-free organic hippie Mac and cheese from a box (with a toddler fork) and the most handsome lunch date in all the land, my three year old, Roman. That kid is funny and he understand so much. And he calls me his best friend sometimes. No including Dinky, Donkey, Honkey and Homie, of course. (He swears they're real and they live at his Regular House, which is, "sooooo far away, like 15 minutes." That's normal, right?) That kid, I tell ya.
Despite my amazing lunch date and my amazingly magical Teddy bear, I, Stephanie, am going through something. I don't feel like me. I mean, I'm still ME, but I feel muted or subdued or hidden. Like I'm drowning in a giant pool of happiness that is my life.
I don't know what's wrong with me - I have a fantastic life. A damn good life. A hot husband who is good to me and our boys. I have two healthy, amazing children that love me. I have both my parents and so does Dustin. We still have some of our grandparents. We are not in debt. We have a place to call home (even if we are still renters). We have food in our bellies. My babies are always fed! I get over-priced soy, decaf coffee drinks at least once a week from a drive through while I sit in my air conditioned car. Dustin gets the weekends off every weekend and I always paid on time. We are so in love and I am healthy! Scared for my health (like always), but damn it, I am healthy right now. We have it made.
But still... I feel like I'm lost. Like Stephanie is missing.
I know that what I'm feeling is partially due to my hormones (I had major anxiety issues six months post-pardem with Roman) since Teddy is coming up on seven months old tomorrow(!). I'm so thankful for that boy and his sweet smile! The story on those pages of our book... God, we are so lucky. It makes my eyes sting. We are so lucky.
Still... I feel broken. How is it that I feel so whole and so broken at the same time!
I know that I will get "me" back someday. That I will be able to sit in a dusty book store for hours, letting the pages of books written by familiar strangers slide off of my fingers. That there will be moments, long moments, of silence that aren't followed by the horrid scream that follow after a baby has drawn all of the air possible into their lungs while upset. Some day I will look in the mirror and see more than a pony tail and minimal makeup, oatmeal caked on my shirt from whichever kid decided to claim me that morning. I know that someday, I will be feel hot again. Not just passable, but hot. My butt will fit into my jeans and my bra won't smell like milk after one day of use. I will go to concerts at The Fillmore in San Francisco and let my body drift off, finding itself in the notes that float heavily in the air. I'll see dust specks catch flickers of purple light from the chandeliers and I will feel like I am a more this just a maker of oatmeal, wiper of tiny butts. Gosh, how torn my heart feels talking about this stuff! My children are the most beautiful creatures I've ever come across and here I am talking about needing to feel sexy at a concert without them.
Motherhood is very hard and feels very lonely sometimes. It comes naturally, the taking care of my boys, loving them and cuddling them and making them happy. I enjoy it so very much! The self-sacrifice is what makes it hard, though. Wanting to run out of the house and far away when Teddy is screaming bloody murder because I, heaven forbid, set him down ("You want to make yourself a SANDWICH?!! The nerve, Mother!"). Wanting to rip my eldest a new one when he throws a foam puck at my head and laughs. (What the hell? Mean much?) The endless giving with no break is what makes motherhood hard for me.
Having two is harder than one in a lot of ways. You know what you're doing this time around, so there is less of the, "is THAT normal?!" type of thing going on, but having two little birds chirp and cry and NEED all day and night long is rough! It's almost like they have a secret brothers pact that ensures that one of them will always be needing somthing when the other is satsified. and if one of them needs to be fed, the other poops and requires my assistance to clean it up. Poop and food do not mix, people! Mommy wants to sit in the bathroom for twenty minutes and pretend that the living room in Better Homes & Gardens is hers! (Better Homes & Gardens is a braggy name come to think of it. Yes, I see! Both your home AND garden are better than mine, but you could say it a little more nicely!)
I know that soon Teddy won't need me to hold him constantly and that he will be able to feed himself and I will LONG for the quiet moments when I tuck him into my arms and nurse him. I know that some day I will cry because my sweet Roman will no longer take my face in his two hands and kiss me gently. That there will be no more Ricky-Time dances at bedtime (Ricky is a stuffed frog) and no little buns to pat and diaper to fasten. The buns will be grown and I will be old. Will I still feel sexy when I'm forty? Fifty? Am I longing for days past where Dustin and I were young and free only to miss the beautiful days that are laid out before us right this moment? How do I balance it all, the longing for "me" and the loving and enjoying of "us" and not wasting any time when it sure seems like there's never enough to go around?
For now, we live for the weekends. For the times when I can have a little help. For the hour and a halves that Dustin and I have together every night, babies tucked in bed, us cuddling on the couch eating frozen chocolate covered banana slices and watching a show or part of a movie. The small sliver of heaven that we have to fit in "us" time in with clean-up time and fold that load of laundry time and grown up conversation time before we have to go to sleep and do it all over again. I find myself begging God to give me just a little more patience. A little more energy. A little more grace. Five more minutes of uninterrupted sleep.
Soon the days where I can work on my business or work on this blog or sleep all night long, they will be upon me, friends. Days when I can wear shirts that don't require easy boob access. Days where I will look in the mirror and see me, the me that I used to know. Will she ever be back? Will I regret even writing this post in the first place because I should have been milking every drop of my children's childhood possible instead of clicking away on my iPad, listening to Lana and eating leftover salad while they nap? Will I ever feel like the world is full of endless possibilities again, or is that the price of motherhood? Will I still feel like "me" when I'm no longer young and beautiful (oh, Lana!)? I AM GETTING GRAY HAIRS, people.
I'm trying not to blink and let this chapter of life wash over and drift past me, because I know that it goes fast.
Just keep your tired eyes open and don't blink, Stephanie.