i was 21 when i got pregnant for the first time. i was fresh off the plane from my honeymoon, barely unpacked in my new apartment with my new husband and our new dog. starting a life together was the only thing i wanted in the world and then that little pink stick threw a wrench in to everything we had planned.
i never wanted to be a mother. i didn't dream of having children, i never stuffed pillows under my dress to pretend as a child. i barely knew how to take care of myself let alone another tiny human. but when it happened, when i learned of the baby growing inside of me, i was a mother. i won't get in to discussions about when that life began, but my life as a mother began when i saw that positive pregnancy test. and when that baby was no longer there, when we lost that first precious surprising life changing baby, i was still a mother.
i wasn't ready. i had no idea how to mother. i had no idea what it would mean to be a mother. truly be a mother. not just someone who feeds and clothes a child, but someone who takes her own heart out of her chest and places it within another little human. because that's what motherhood is: taking a part of yourself, a part of your heart, and giving it new life within your child.
most days i feel like a caretaker and less like a mother. most days i struggle to find balance between 'brianna' and 'mom'. and don't even get me started on 'wife'. that ones gets pushed so far back these days i can't even begin to unpack my feelings about how sorely neglected that relationship is. i snap at william, i get annoyed with charlotte, sometimes i let theodore cry in his crib for a minute before heading up to get him. i'm exhausted all of the time. i rarely shower and never wash my hair.
i don't think any mother has it all together. no one 'does it all' with perfect balance. but i do believe there are women out there who are especially gifted at mothering. they take care of the pieces of their hearts within their little ones cherishing little moments that motherhood has gifted them. you see these moms at the grocery, calmly helping her daughter load up the little kid cart. you see her at school drop-off, giving a genuine hug before her son skips in to the classroom. you see her at the park, taking so much joy in seeing her baby head down the slide by herself and trying to climb back up.
most days, i am not that mom. i am taking a breather on the park bench while my littles play and beg me to push them in the swings for an hour (i always start with 'no' and i usually cave after about the 3rd ask). i am flustered and exhausted walking in to preschool drop-off, rushing to get william off to his classroom so i can get theodore home for a nap. i don't even try to take my kids to the grocery unless charlotte asks and i'm in a good mood.
but i want to be that mom. i don't want to be wading through deep waters, slogging my way through motherhood. i want to be above, soaring overhead and swooping down for lots of hugs and kisses. it's been more than 4 years since i became a mother that hot fall in florida, and i've learned a lot along the way. what i haven't learned yet is how to be myself and still be 'mom'.
i'm a work in progress. and that's okay.