It’s 2:30 p.m. on a random Thursday in January, and I’m drinking a glass of wine while my kid kicks the wall from her crib because she’s clearly not napping today.
Wait. It is Thursday, right?
All I wanted to do today was get out of this freaking house. I wanted to have plans, for a change. I wanted to feel connected to the outside world in a way that would remind me what stupid day of the week it is. Maybe have an adult conversation with a cashier, or a random person in line. I wanted something miniscule and mostly irrelevant to look forward to. I just wanted to have a typical day like when we lived at 485 – where I could forget that my family now lives in the middle of nowhere, away from all of our friends.
I just wanted to roam Target.
I just wanted to savor a venti chai latte from Starbucks.
I just wanted to dream about my next DIY project in the aisles of Hobby Lobby.
I just wanted to have a nice little lunch date with my daughter at McAllisters.
(And a spud, because God I miss those spuds.)
Petty of me? Maybe. But this morning I decided I was going to make my little day of former normalcy happen. I bundled us both up to brave the arctic that is now central Indiana, strapped us into the car, and made the 40 minute drive to the nearest point of civilization.
Our trip ended before noon, with both of us in tears. Toddler meltdowns + mommy meltdowns = bad news bears.
Motherhood is rough, and frankly I have been struggling lately. My life, as I used to know it, no longer exists. Most days feel like Groundhog’s Day, and I’m constantly spinning my wheels. Where am I going? To make things worse, I am clawing for every shred of what used to make me me, because I no longer recognize myself.
In the last 14 months I have made a lot of sacrifices for the good of my family – giving pieces of myself away. I gave birth, for starters. I quit my job to instead raise our daughter. I agreed to uproot our entire lives and move closer to family so that our daughter and future children can have a strong relationship with their grandparents. We’re doing the right thing, of that I am confident, but never once did I consider how these sacrifices would make me feel until after the damage had been done, so to speak.
And if we’re all being honest here, I haven’t felt so hot.
Many nights over the last several months have been spent with me in an emotional mess, and my poor husband doing everything he can to give me the world. “Take a solo vacation to find yourself,” he says. “Go back to work, if you want. Need an afternoon off to get a pedicure? Go for it.” He’s offering everything he can to help me feel happy in my own skin again, but unfortunately I don’t even know what I need because I have no idea who I am anymore.
Am I not more than that?
Should I be?
I just don’t know.
My life is different. I am different. And I’m just in the beginning stages of embracing it even after all these months. I must redefine myself, at least in my own mind, because I’m letting the good in my life pass me by. What are my passions? What is my drive? Motherhood has stripped me raw, as it does to the best of us, but I can’t let my best role in life take away me.
I’m consciously slowing down. I’m finding what I have lost along the way…
…and picking up the pieces to a new normal.
Tell me you’ve been there. How has your life changed recently, and what steps did you take to adjust? What makes you more?