Let me begin by saying that I love my daughter. I (generally) love being a mom, and I have no regrets about my choice to procreate. This should go without saying – and for people who know me, it does – but this is the internet, so, you know… CYA.
I have a confession to make. There are times I don’t want to be a mom.
I’m tired. I’m drained, mentally, physically, and emotionally. I don’t want to be wholly responsible for the well-being of another life.
Let’s face it, being a mom is hard. Everyone knows this. And I knew that before I decided I wanted to be one. But nothing can prepare you for the sheer exhaustion that being a parent brings.
It’s not just sleep deprivation. It’s not just that it never ends. It’s not just that it makes you question every decision you make.
It’s that it matters so much. The decisions I make have a tremendous impact on the person I hold most dear. That’s a lot of pressure.
So sometimes, in the wee small hours of the morning, when I sit with my tea, checking Facebook and watching the news, I think about how nice it would be to have a day without that pressure. Without such high stakes. Without being so needed.
I took that freedom for granted when I was younger. Quite frankly, I squandered it, as most of us do. Today, just for one day, I’d like it back.
I want to be selfish today. I want to be lazy. I want to relax, recuperate, and recenter. I want to eat a hot meal, all the way through without getting up for someone else’s needs. I want to put the tv on any channel other than Disney, Jr. I want to take a shower that lasts long enough to steam up the mirror. I want to walk from one end of my house to the other without stepping on a toy. I want to have a conversation without being interrupted every 30 seconds. I want to stay up too late, knowing I won’t be woken at 7 am.
But, today I am a mom.
I will wipe my daughter’s bum, and dry her tears. I will help her pour her cereal and zip her jacket. I will watch Sophia the First and Miles From Tomorrowland, the same episodes I’ve seen 20 times, and read the same old books again. I will argue about brushing teeth and bedtime. I will wear stained clothing. My makeup will be smudged before I leave the house.
I will wake up at 5 am just so that I can have 20 minutes of peace before I start my day.
I will coax my daughter out of bed before saying goodbye for the day, and she will sign “I love you” as I go. I will tell stories of her antics to my students. I will smile as I catch glimpses of her picture on my computer desktop. I will anxiously await her shout of, “Mommy!” as she comes running across the room when she sees I’m there to pick her up from school. I will wrap my arms around her as she offers me a hug and a kiss. My heart will melt each time she says, completely out of the blue, “I love you, Mommy…”
Today I will be the best mom I can be, because my beautiful daughter deserves nothing less.
I’m not perfect, and I may sometimes get frustrated and forget how blessed I am. I sometimes long for the freedom of my pre-child days, but my nostalgia is quickly replaced with gratitude when I see my sweet girl’s face.