This all began on Tuesday night. We were driving home from “Meet the Teacher” and there was a beautiful sunset happening. I’m not one to waste a good sunset, so I told the kids that when we got home, I wanted to take some photos. There was the customary sighs of “photographer’s kids” and I just let it slide. I began feeling a bit emotional as we pulled into our neighborhood. This was the last sunset of summer. As I wrangled my little ducks all into a row, I began to feel sad that Matthew would no longer be able to play with his brother and sister whenever he wanted. I was not looking forward to having to console him over that loss. I thought about how much Jadon and Lilly have grown. And I thought, these siblings love each other SO much, can they love the new Baby as much? Will she be welcome into their little circle? I blinked back tears so I could see what I was shooting, and captured this…
I may make this type of shot a tradition, I love it so much. We had my parents over for some “End of Summer Sundaes” and then Jadon started acting out and bursting into tears over little things. I pulled him aside suspecting he was nervous about school…and I was right. I sat with him on the red couch I’ve been sitting on with him since he was born and we talked about it. I got little teary as he confided that he was nervous that he wouldn’t know what to do, that people would be mean, etc. Poor guy. I did my best to ease his fears and hoped that the next morning would be tear-free.
The next morning came early for Jadon, Tim & I. Jadon was up and dressed at 5am. Tim told him to try to go back to bed, which he did…for 30 minutes. Finally we were all up, having breakfast and getting ready.
And well, that’s how drop-off went! No tears, no sadness, just excitement.
So off Tim, Matthew and I went to have a day out together. We had so much fun! Then it was time to pick up the kids from school, so off we went. I hopped out to open the doors for them and asked them how their day had gone, a bit nervous of what the answer would be. They both simultaneously shouted, “It was…AWESOME!” Fears relieved. I still had not had any sort of teary emotional break-down over this whole thing and was pleasantly surprised. After all, it’s only school…no big deal…right? HA! I was about to be proven wrong. I noticed as we were out shopping that evening that my anxiety levels were going up and up. I was tired and not feeling that great so I attributed it to that. We got home and Tim set about putting the kids to bed while I cleaned….and cleaned…and cleaned. *Hint: When I get very very anxious, I compulsively clean and purge…a LOT. *
So Tim is noticing that I’m having issues, I am pushing myself too hard, getting too hot and refusing to take a break or let him do it for me. But on I go, cleaning and cleaning. Finally, I broke. I was carrying the mop to the kids’ bathroom when it hit me… it was just a mental image. A snapshot, if you will. But it broke my heart. It was a mental image of Jadon when he was about a month old, sleeping peacefully in my arms. I dared not look down the hall at his room through the tears welling up in my eyes. Elizabeth was kicking away hard as can be, making me double over in pain every so often. My hips hurt and suddenly the reality of motherhood hit me. Motherhood HURTS. A lot. It hurts growing that little life inside you, then there’s the pain of childbirth, the pain of breastfeeding, the pain of missing out on sleep. You break your body over and over, pushing yourself to the limits physically, mentally and emotionally. And for what? So they can go off and leave you and have their own life. Motherhood is not fair. I leaned against the doorway in their bathroom and sobbed. Why do I get left behind? I work(ed) so hard bringing them into the world, raising them, feeding them, teaching them. Then they go off to school and leave me without a second thought. I knew that thought process was selfish of me, I should be happy for them that they are enjoying school. I should be relieved to have a “break” from the constant chatter, noise, mess and bickering. I knew all those feelings would come, but for that night, I wanted to remember them being little, and to mourn the “loss” I felt I’d suffered. I found Tim in the kitchen and let him wrap me in his arms. He took me over to the couch and made me sit down. He cuddled me and got me some water and had me relax and cool down. I began to feel better, but couldn’t get the image of Baby Jadon out of my head. Where had the time gone? 😦
Okay, okay, before I lose you in this emotion-filled rant, let me say, the next day was MUCH better. I stayed busy all day and was feeling so accomplished by the end of it. It’s truly amazing how much you can get done with only 1 kid at home. We made cookies, I cleaned some more (but for non-anxiety reasons, because ya know, sometimes you actually have to clean your house because it needs to be cleaned) and ran errands. Which is where I will leave you. I have a hilarious “hormotional” story for you next time. Until then, moms who have kids in school,… I get it now. And moms who don’t yet have kids in school, cherish every minute. I have no regrets or “coulda, shoulda, woulda’s” thankfully because I had women in my life who constantly told me to cherish and take advantage of EVERY minute you have with your kids while you still have them at home all day. Be spontaneous, make traditions, and let loose. They won’t remember the times your house was clean, the laundry was done and dinner was perfect. They WILL remember the donut picnics, surprise day trips, and dancing in the rain.
Till Next Time,