Today is one of those days that I feel overwhelmed simply by the presence of my children, not to mention ready to cry when they ask/whine to me for anything. With a 4 year old and a 2 year old I am evolved enough as a Mom to know that these days come and go and I will return to feeling like a human again, but right now all I can think about is how in 20 brief weeks I will be starting all over with another baby to add to this already complicated mix.
The baby part has been difficult for me both times, though Cole was much more tolerable than my start with Aiden. Oh, that first year with Aiden I felt ruined. I remember sitting in the doctor's office on this layer of roll paper, in an outfit of pink paper six weeks after his birth and feeling as though I was drowning. Yes, I know I probably should have been medicated but that was't where my mind was. I felt like this was my new life, this is what it is when you have a child.
I had become a mother and it felt like someone had placed shakles around my wrists and somehow worked them around my desire and ability to function as a person. I couldn't do anything without this incredible stragey session of how to handle the baby or even to handle myself. I couldn't very well shower and get dressed in one chunk of time without having to stop ever 10 minutes or more to fuss with this crying blob, much less feel ready to take him out with me. Even the simplest errand, like going to buy super maxi pads for this ridiculous period that never ended (which no one had bothered to mention to me while asking me if I was so excited for the bundle of joy's arrival.) I was stuck in so many ways that I had never been before and it was suffocating.
As I sat on that paper covered table, sweating, bleeding and lactating through all that paper that surrounded me, I couldn't help but find myself thinking that the little baby had done it again. I had actually managed to feed him, change him and even hand him over to someone else so I could be alone for a few moments and I ended up trapped, naked under a bunch of paper, soaked in the aftermath of him coming out of my body.
What the hell could I do now? I was free of his presence, but once again trapped by his existence. Would this feeling ever end? Why do people do this? What could be so great in the coming years that would make me want to be further shackled by the arrival of subsequent children? As I write this, pregnant with my third childI still have very few logical answers to any of these questions.
I do know now that things do get easier, and more difficult at the same time. Having some perspective of where we have been was an amazing tool after the birth of Cole. The real problem though after Aiden was trying to figure out how to still be me and have room for him. I couldn't go to the grocery store without feeling overcome with jealousy and sadness as I watched people casually walking through the aisles as if life completely revolved around them. As if no one's life could be traumatized by their trip to HEB lasting an extra 10 mintues. Oh I know, I was selfish and feeling sorry for myself that I no longer could only focus on me, something even my amazing husband usually let me do. These kids were going to teach me a lesson I probably needed to learn, make me a better person, but I just wanted to feel free again.
Over time I have worked to find more of Leslie again. That shackled feeling has become more of a loose rope, and not around my neck thank God. I always can feel the tug of my children's existence, they are part of me, but I am working very hard for thme to not be all of me. The shock of their presence and the all encompassing intrusion they bring is more normal now and I do my best to cherish it at times, distance myself when I need to, and completely freak out or breakdown when that's how I feel....which results in Daddy's turn. I don't cry as often, at least not until the arrival of the third maybe, but somedays a good cry along with the kids is necessary. Almost equally important though is wiping the tears, calling a babysitter, a friend or my husband and having some time when the kids aren't the number one pull on me. Maybe I need to reread this at the beginning of June while life with three is beginning....