Sometimes it is hard to write. I love to write and put my thoughts on paper. I love to process my feelings on a computer and articulate the many things that are going on inside my head. But sometimes it is hard to do what makes us feel good, it is hard to pull yourself out of exhaustion, it is hard to give yourself credit for having anything at all to say. Today I am choosing to write. I don’t have much to say, but I am writing because I want to keep writing and sometimes it is so easy to let what makes us feel good slip away.
Starting this blog enabled me to connect with people in a whole new way. I expose myself through my writing, imperfections and all, and often in response I receive a message from a friend, an acquaintance, or a stranger that expresses solidarity, understanding, or thoughtfulness and we both feel less alone. I worry whether posts seem too dark, too down, or too vulnerable. But every mother feels these ups and downs, none of us are immune to them or perfect even though we may pretend to be. I love parenthood, but it is hard work. I wonder when I discuss how hard it is whether people interpret me as unhappy or unappreciative. I love my girls and my job raising them more than anything in the world, but in becoming a mom (or a dad) there is a lot that is given up.
My days are filled with the yin and the yang – laughter and tears, energy and exhaustion, lightness and darkness, levity and weight, confidence and self-doubt. Parenthood exacerbates the emotional extremes. It pushes me beyond myself and my own personal feelings, experiences, and ideas. Toddlers don’t care whether I got enough sleep the night before, I must feed them, play with them, and love them with all my energy and heart, day in and day out.
My daughters bring me joy every day, as they splash in the pool, jump through the waves, and lose themselves in the sheer abandonment of the moment on a beach vacation. Happiness, as I watch them circle the house, pretending together they are “lost boys” traveling through Neverland. Pure joy, as we sit outside in the afternoon sun our feet in a baby pool, shooing the dogs, and devouring fruit popsicles. Golden moments in time, as my big girl proudly walks our pet basset (the first baby) on a leash around the park chasing her dad, her baby sister running by her side. But, oh there is unadulterated heartache as I suffer their pain, hearing my big girl cry because of the rejection of another child or a lack of friends on the playground. To live these buried traumas again through my daughters is beyond painful. My heart shutters at the thought of middle school and high school – literally shutters. I need to toughen up.
So, today I am choosing to write. I choose to write because it is good for me. I choose to write because one day I aspire to be a writer. I choose to write even when inspiration has not hit me. I choose to write because it has been a hard month. I choose to write and not question whether anyone cares to read it or what they think (easier said than done). I choose to write though we’ve been up at 5am for close to three weeks straight. I choose to write because I haven’t in weeks. I choose to write and not edit since the girls took shockingly short naps. I am choosing to write and today that is what is important.