This is a guest post that Jill at ScaryMommy.com posted back in 2o10. I like looking back and seeing how things change… and how they seem to stay the same.
I think that most people, Mother’s or not, have ideas in their heads of how they would like things to go. From early on in life, I developed an idea of what I thought I wanted. I said I never wanted marriage and kids, I just wanted to be a career gal. I thought money would bring me happiness more than “I do” and “It’s a Girl!”
Secretly, I knew better and wanted a family but you would not catch me admitting it, unless we were really close.
I waited to marry, taking my vows at 33, to a wonderful, hard – working, family -oriented man. We had the same interests, desires, and wants for the future. And 9 months after our wedding day, when Katie was born, we were well on our way.
But before she was born, and we had that new parent glow that could light up a galaxy, the cracks in the marriage started to show. Nothing major and nothing love ending, but certainly enough to taint what I though marriage was and should be. I was a hormonal mess and he could do no right. Always lovely in the first year.
The first six weeks after Katie was born, family life was just as I expected it to be. Wonderful. My husband was, again, my Prince, and Katie was the perfect little angel. The fact that she did not sleep – ever – was just a bump in the road. Little did I know that would still be a fight 4 years later.
At 6 weeks old, we had out first real, possibly relationship damaging fight. We were extremely exhausted, beyond frustrated, and helicopter parents to a fault. A horrible disagreement was bound to follow! We worked through it, of course, and went on to have two more daughters in 2 and a half years.
We thought having our children close together would make things easier. In fact, the dreams I had of watching my three children lovingly play with the same toys, the same friends, and have the same general interests got me through most days. And sleepless nights. I would be firm, but loving. Interested, but independence teaching. Mature, but playful in my understanding.
But reality has hit – like a ton of dirty diapers on my freshly mopped floors – and the cracks are beginning to show. There is almost no time during the day that the three play together nicely. Maybe once or twice a week, I can get a few minutes of loving, sisterly, playtimes. I am mean, and occasionally snuggly. Interested, but too preoccupied with what else I have to do to teach anything. And I am a spoiled, complaining, brat.
Not at all what I envisioned my parenting to be.
In fact, almost nothing in my life turned out the way I expected it to. I adore my husband but never see him, can’t seem to reconnect because of that, and can’t afford the Nanny it would take to do so. I miss him.
Parenting these three young girls was supposed to be fun, easy, and fulfilling. It, in reality, is frustrating, anxiety enducing, and causes more self – doubt than I have ever had in my lifetime.
And I was an unpopular cheerleader AND a band geek!
But the most shocking things are the things I never even thought to dream about.
That looking into my husband’s chocolate brown eyes just once a day can fill me with love and admiration for him for the entire week. That seeing those same eyes in two of my three daughter’s reminds me that he is always with me, even if not in person. That no matter how angry and frustrated I am at him for whatever reason – usually born from loneliness, to be honest – just feeling his hand when he hands off a child can send tingles up my spine. That I will love him, despite the cracks and crevices that have not been filled yet, victims of a hectic life in an unsure world.
That my children, no matter how aggravated I become at their lack of listening skills, inability to share, and aim at driving me batty, can send me into side splitting gales of laughter at a moments notice. Can draw tears to my eyes just by laying their tiny hands in mine. That I miss them when they sleep, think they are growing too fast, and mostly yearn for the attention they need from me.
And though I need a week of solid sleep just to catch up for last month, need to have a shower installed in my kitchen so I can multi -task, and want to have a poster board cut out of my husband made in full and travel size, I am truly happy. In love with my life despite my hatred for some situations. Smiling beneath the permanent frown, giddy beneath the complaints, content beneath the chaos.
And I never saw it coming.