Tonight I'm re-sharing a post from about two years ago. It's a good reminder as I go through yet another day feeling like there's never enough time for me.
I've been feeling a bit uninspired here. We've been trying to soak
up the last weeks of summer by getting to the park every day before the
rains return. Together we've been going through the motions of the days
and weeks in between visits from family and friends and trips out of
town. Somehow I've been neglecting the camera, neglecting my writing,
neglecting myself, even.
Sometimes being a mother makes
me feel so disconnected from myself. Spending days wrangling my
reluctant child in and out of clothes and diapers, attempting to feed
her through yet another hunger strike when nothing finds its way into
her mouth and everything is thrown on the floor, going to and from
outings, errands and activities, most of them involving cajoling, if not
full on mommy-toddler wrestling matches. It's exhausting, as any
mother knows. There are no lunch breaks as I squeeze work into the
minutes that she actually naps. I breathe sighs of relief when she is
finally down for the night, even as I know that we'll likely have to put
her back down a couple times before we turn in ourselves, and then
inevitably a couple more times before the 5:00 am wake up call. The
day-in and day-out can kick your butt and kick it good. And it
definitely leaves me feeling a disconnect from the self I'd always
known, the me that has always needed down time, quiet time, alone time.
But alas, there don't seem to be any real vacations for mothers.
in the midst of feeling depleted and unmotivated, I had a wonderful
moment of connection this weekend. A moment where the mama-me and the
missing-in-action me seemed to coalesce and I felt so whole.
were up on the Olympic Peninsula at a beautiful garden wedding. It was
past Cora's bedtime and she was worn out from the day. Instead of
packing her up and heading off to bed as we always do, we kept her out a
bit longer. I wrapped her in the carrier as the dancing began. With
Cora snuggled against my chest, I took off my shoes and danced in the
grass. I barely felt the extra weight as I moved, clutching Cora's head
against my chest and moving us both through the night air. We danced
together until the party began to slow, when my quiet girl began her own
little shimmy to mirror what I too was feeling. Neither of us were
ready for our dance to come to an end.
And during those
moments I felt like myself again in a way that seems so to evade me in my life as a mother. There are usually no pauses. There is always a small hand in mine, a small life in my care, a small person's large will to negotiate. Yet for those minutes both parts of myself danced together as one. I was struck by such a pure knowing... a
peace... where I didn't feel pushed and pulled by the needs of my child,
but felt that rare feeling when her needs and my needs perfectly
converged, pulling the pieces of me back together.
as I tucked Cora into the hotel bed, my heart ached with love for the
little girl that has stolen my heart and re-written my life. I wished
that I could hold onto that feeling as I navigate the moments that seem
to make up my life and that feel like such hard work. I want so to not
lose touch with myself as I devote my life to my child. I want to be
able to find these moments when I need them, to find them in myself and
share them with my girl. I want for her to see me as a whole person,
not so much a harried mother going through the motions. As important as
maintaining that connection is for me, it's just as important for her.
so with that reminder and the memory of our sweet dance beneath the
stars, I will hopefully start these days a little bit fresher. Maybe
with a little more patience, and a little more forgiveness. And I hope
to be able to hold onto it as we move through our days, for both our