There are some rare moments in my current life when I have a little bit of quiet time when my non-mother self rears its head and for five minutes fervently wishes to be somewhere else, live something different with a whole other set of realities. It isn't new and has nothing to do with disliking my life, it's just a very long and deep cry for a break. It's been around for a while, I greet it like an old friend: "Oh hi. I know you. I know what you mean. But here we are, let's not look at the months and years, let's just take the next few hours at a time..."
The thing is, as much as I'm tired and overwhelmed, it is not the same feeling of sleepless despair from a few years ago, when everyone was small and I was still (still!) getting over the shock that that is my life, these babies, this work, this fatigue... Get up at dawn, run until sundown. Too little rest and then get up at dawn and run until... I'm still here, running at a pace that is always reaching some new high I thought surely was not possible. It seems all these years, these hours, these minutes have molded me, have hardened me and have softened me. This is my life, eyes wide open (figuratively only!), feet planted...back hurting. I have adjusted. The kids have grown and I have too. I am at peace with a lot more than I thought possible. I would like to think the kids can tell even if just subconsciously. I would also like to think that a lot of it has to do with reaping some fruit from all these years behind me. The babies are turning into people and it makes our lives richer in a million different ways. It's easier to do the work when the results are showing. It seems natural to want to tell my self from 5 years ago that things are going to be much better, but I know that is irrelevant at that time. Raising babies is the hardest.
People occasionally make comments when they find out that I have four children. It's rare because mostly I'm obviously barefoot and chained to the stove and not many new people pass by my kitchen. Actually people rarely say something, they just think it out loud for me to read it off their faces. "Well, that's one way to live your life." Why would I do this to myself? Nobody has asked me that yet, but it's usually hidden in the statement "Four kids?! I can't even imagine."
I've tried to answer this question in my head many times but I realize I'm sort of over it. I find it obvious. It's so obvious that I if I have to explain it, you won't get it. For me the question "Why have four kids?" comes down to the question "Why have kids?" Depending on how you think about that you'll either understand or won't. My children are not examples of children, they are each their own human being. Sometimes I feel like people are implying once you have two, why keep having more, why repeat the same thing again and again? I have no answer to that because it's...the question doesn't make sense to me. For me it's weird that in the here and now a young healthy couple having four children in the span of more than a decade is considered odd. And as polite people are I know it's odd to them. We are some strange family. Sometimes the wonder is positive and I get honest compliments and I like it. I'm not going to deny it. It's nice any and every time. I am tired and it takes a lot of effort and commitment and yes, it's hard. I love to get some encouragement. Yet there is always a little bit of a sting to it, because it also puts me on a pedestal that in the end very few people want to get even remotely close to. Good for you, but thank goodness it's not me!
That's one way to live your life...
I don't get nearly enough sleep. I am worn down at the end of every day and on many I'm worn down at the beginning already. Every lump on my body has sold its soul to gravity. My kids drive me crazy. But it's not really about any of that. I don't have to explain myself. That's exactly the way to live my life.Posted at 04:03 AM on June 21, 2013