I am sad. I am sad because we’ve decided that it is time to wean our 21 month old daughter and, as a tool to help with night weaning, to move her out of the family bed and into a bed, and room, of her own. She is growing up, becoming more independent; her father is now the point man for bath and bedtime and middle of the night snuggles from a limp and warm toddler trying to find her way to sleep.
I am sad because I feel like I’m gone too much and struggling too hard and I’m giving up some favors of motherhood out of some sort of selfish need. I’m not happy with who I am as a mother lately – lacking in patience, no enthusiasm for finding adventures and making messes, a spectator and not a participant. Yet, here I sit, downstairs, while my husband paces the floor and sings our daughter to sleep; and suddenly I want to go to her and scoop her into me and smell her sweetly sweaty hair and take us back to what was before.
I am sad because I worry about failing her. It’s a thought that haunts me every day. I worry about pulling away bit by bit until only the thought of me remains and she is left wounded. I worry about trying to find healing in the wrong way and doing her harm instead of good.
I’m afraid. I’m afraid of taking medications and I’m afraid to not. I watch myself, a spectator and not a participant, from a safe distance and I am afraid, because I don’t recognize the mother that I was in me anymore.
I am afraid that I am going to become my mother. The way that my mother was afraid that she was going to become her mother. I am afraid that I am going to someday, one day, choose something, anything, over Mabel. I am in a season of transition and I am afraid that I am going to lose my way.
I am afraid that someday Mabel will wonder at where I have gone. That one day she will have to confront me with the pain that I have caused. I wonder who I will be on that day, in that era.
I worry, I worry, I worry, I worry. About everything. About how to change what feels like an inevitable course. About how to create memories now so that Mabel will, someday, have them to remember me by when she tries to figure me out.
I worry about my marriage. I worry about my husband; is he happy? Is he content? Does he feel well cared for? Can I break the mold I feel cast into and see this thing through? Can I ever truly relax and know that this is what will be for the next 50 years? Can I really just let go and breathe?
I worry about the cats. Are they getting enough attention? I worry about the house. Will I ever be able to keep it clean? I worry about my job. Am I working too much, or too little? Is it part of the problem or, as I remembered it, part of the solution?
I don’t have any answers. There’s no positive spin to sign off with here. There is, however, the comfort of the tears that came with writing this. There is the release of just letting the emotion out; these writings are sometimes the only way I can bear to feel what I need to feel.
And there is a little girl crying upstairs, fussing her way to sleep with a patient father. It’s been a little while, maybe I’ll just go up there and give him a break. Maybe, just this one more night, I’ll pull her close and safe and she can be little again.