Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Motherhood gets hard

I feel like I'm at a lot point in my motherhood journey these days.  Juliette takes up my attention 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  I have two hours at band on Thursday nights, and two hours at church on Sunday morning (when I run the kids program for 60 other kids) that I am apart from her.  Other than that, she requires me.  I lie with her in the afternoons to get her to nap, and I sleep with her from the time she goes to bed until morning to get her to sleep at night.

These days I seem to have no identity or purpose than being a mother to her.  All my other responsibilities have to cram in around her, while I'm holding her, or while I'm listening to her tantrum because my task requires diverting my attention from her.  It's exhausting, and frankly makes me wish I was working outside the home during the day.

I know that I am lucky to have the opportunity to stay home with my children.  I have friends and siblings who wish they could.  I am not ungrateful for this blessing, but these days are not looking like I wish they would.  I have lost all my other identities: woman, artist, wife, sister, friend.  Everything I do and am is only an appendage to "mother to two-year-old" right now.  I feel distanced from so many things, like the perspective of my life is all skewed.

Mostly I mourn my relationship with James.  It's hard to develop as a twosome when there is always a third wheel along for the ride.  And if we do manage to have an hour in the evening when she's actually sleeping on her own in her room, then I can't even contemplate being in the proximity of another person.

I have a love-hate relationship with reading other people's blogs.  Lately people have been writing of their wonderful marriages, of spending time together, dreaming together, supporting each other.  I miss the early days of our marriage when it was just the two of us.  I yearn to hike and bike and eat out and plan and dream and walk hand in hand.  I know this is a different time of life and I love my children to bits.  I just yearn for a time with a little more balance.

I think our trip to France in June is coming at just the right time.  And while I'm worried about leaving Juliette for so long, I think it might be really helpful for both of us.


Mom said...

I am grateful that I am at a time in my life right now where I can take over for you with Juliette while you have some James (and Terri-Ann) time. I am hoping that I can also help Juliette learn to sleep through the night so that when you come back, you will get some rest. I love you!

Kevin H. said...

Your perseverance and determination in the face of such continuous, ongoing demand (for your time, your attention, your energy and your very self) never ceases to amaze me. It's a constant source of inspiration (and astonishment), dropping by here once a day; a kind of mental preparation for future hardships (and, one hopes, their attendant joys). : )

Somehow you always manage to rise to the occasion. Thanks for setting the example.

Terri-Ann said...

"Mental preparation" - take it all in now, Kevin, because it will all be either gone from memory or completely irrelevant when you get there! No wonder parenting books are so popular. Unfortunately I think that you need a separate book for every single child that was ever born. I laughed the other day when I heard an author speaking about his book on marriage and how he speaks and writes all day on marriage and then goes home and is like a deer in headlights with his own wife. Same goes for kids.