Can a Mother Truly Feel Whole?
Or, can you help me fit two pounds of tasks into a one pound bag?
So, a babysitter happened.
Unlike the nerve-wracking, is-she-actually-going-to-show-up-or-even-respond-to-my-texts tension that led up to all the other potential babysitters (and there have been a LOT), I have no doubts or concerns about this one. I just met her and was like, “Oh, yeah. She’s the one.”
Like that fateful day, 20 years ago, when my husband first saw my photo online. But that’s a story for a different day.
I tell you this not because you should care whether or not I have a babysitter, but because a year after this heart-wrenching essay, I feel it necessary to reflect.
I found myself, just a few nights ago, sitting on the same couch, running my fingers down the same stitching in the leather, swiping away the same furious tears (okay, maybe technically different tears, but it’s more poetic that way) before they could roll down my face and thus had to be acknowledged.
“I’m tired of having to choose between myself and everyone else,” I said. “Because if I have to choose, I lose every time.”
My husband was supportive. He wants me to be happy. He will be happy to do some of the things so I can work, or exercise, or whatever it is I need to do.
And, like, cool.
But how is it that, a year after this essay, we’re still having the same conversation?
Lots of reasons. Both the older kids are out of school for summer and everything is generally more loosey-goosey. The toddler is still a toddler. Our perfect nanny left to have her own little one. Everything just feels like it sucks a little more for women now than it did a year ago.
Also, it’s a fact that no one ever offered me a job I didn’t take. Currently I am a:
Social media presence (which could be damn near close to a full-time job)
And that’s just the things that more or less generate income (or eventually will?).
During this conversation in which I was sobbing about my loss of identity over the last several years, my husband gently pushed back, saying he’s actually seen my identity expand over the last four years since I quit my job in school administration.
And, damnit, he’s right.
I’m still not settled. I’m still stuck trying to fit two pounds of tasks into a one-pound bag of time. But his perspective made me feel a little better about it.
I came here to tell you I wasn’t going to have anything for the newsletter this week, because the sitter doesn’t totally start til next week and I have 2 day jobs to do during my usual Wednesday newsletter-writing time.
But would you look at that? I think I just went ahead and wrote the newsletter. And a day early, at that.
Hope you’re having a good week. I’ve been posting (a teensy bit) more on social media this week - I’ll try and catch you over there. But until then, tell me: do you think it’s possible to feel whole as a mother? Or is there simply no time for that?
Until next time,