The moment that you realize that you have made it strikes at odd times.
It was early Thursday morning this past week at precisely 3:32 am. I was awake dealing with toddler sleeping shenanigans. My little girl did not want to stay in bed (her own bed). This is a fairly typical parenting problem. It was my thoughts that struck me as I was planning the day ahead (when I should have been sleeping). I felt a tiny flutter of excitement. The flutter of anticipation for the next day. This is a great feeling!
It brought me back to a time when I would be awake during the night feeding Max and Emma. I would think toward the next day with such an overwhelming feeling of despair, uncertainty and fear. How would I manage? Would everything go okay? How would Isaac react to the twins today? How am I going to get Isaac to nap? How am I going to survive the endless breastfeeding cycle? Why am I so hungry? I would fake it until the weekend where I would feel a flood of reassurance when my husband would arrive home for the two-day weekend.
I remember feeling like I couldn’t breathe. I was breathing underwater. There is even a song “Breathing Underwater” by Metric and I remember driving in my van singing and crying to that song with screaming kids in the back seat. Or Pink’s “Gotta get up and try”. Seriously. Singing and crying my heart out. I tell you this not for sympathy. I write this to expose my lack of togetherness in case one of my friends are struggling with the heartache that sometimes exist right alongside joy in the early days of motherhood. It wasn’t that I was sad. I was overjoyed yet personally overwhelmed and struggling and I couldn’t breathe.
However; this Thursday at 3:32 am I had no fear or reservations about the upcoming day. I had the full day with my kids to look forward to (not all enjoyable yet manageable). I have arrived. It isn’t always pretty or glamorous but it is definitely do-able.
*Dedicated to all of the mothers I know that deal with the good, bad and ugly aspects of parenting 24 hours per day, 7 days a week.