Motherhood is messy. That’s my grand conclusion after two and half years of doing this, and I doubt I’m breaking new ground here, but there it is. It’s messy.
Right now, in motherhood, I feel akin to a jumble of yarn that just won’t untangle. As I start to pull on one string, three other strings get stubbornly tighter. When I pull on another, four strings that were supposed to stay put come loose. I try to sort my emotions and thoughts out, but my brain is too scrambled to make sense of things, because in my proverbial yarn world, all my strings are touching other strings which are tangled up in other strings. Messy.
The last few weeks have been harder than usual. It doesn’t help that we’ve traveled or that the boys and I have gotten sick and cranky—but it’s more than that. I have felt a deep restlessness in my spirit, a lack of peace, and a complete disenchantment with stay at home motherhood.
It’s surprised me, this sudden disappearance of peace, and I don’t know why it’s come about. I adore my two boys and I love, love, love being their mom more than anything else in the world, but lately, I’ve started to question whether I actually want to stay home with them. Do I have to stay home? Why do I stay home? Do I want to do something else instead? I chose to stay at home over a career—but then again, did I? Or did it choose me?—and it, quite frankly, freaks me out to question it.
If I’m being utterly honest, I just don’t like it right now. (Actually writing that sentence scares me a bit.) But I have to figure out if that’s a stage that will pass, if it’s just something I have to get through for a season… or if it’s something I need to more deeply reckon with, something that warrants a bigger change.
Maybe I will decide that yes, this is what I want. What I have right now, what I’m currently doing, is the right thing for me and my kids. But maybe I won’t. And this not knowing, this dance of “what if…” is difficult to sit with. There’s definitely a string of guilt, and it is tangled up with the string of love, which is touching the string of “gets easily overwhelmed,” which touches the string of ambition, which, what do you know, touches the string of just wanting to be with my boys. I’m a mess.
And I think I’m mourning the loss of the infant stage, as newly-one-year-old George inches near toddlerhood and leaves the cuddly baby stage behind him. We are currently in the process of weaning, and what a pile of yarn that is. I am so darn excited for the freedom I will have once we wean (since he doesn’t take a bottle), yet also devastated for our breastfeeding relationship to end. I equally love breastfeeding and grow weary of it—how can both be so absolutely true? We are down to two feeds a day as of this week. I have so many emotions about it that, really, I’ve just been squeezing my eyes shut against them all.
Amidst all of these strings, I know this: I love being Auden and George’s mother and I love my boys so very much. That, at least, I know I can come back to again and again, even as I sit within my messy thoughts for a while more.