It has come to my attention that I might be scaring you a little.
I’ve had childless friends email me and say that my blog has made them afraid to have them, and some people with only one child say they are now afraid to have more. Or, they kindly inquire about my mental state … which is understandable and appreciated.
I don’t want to frighten you with my honesty. In fact, I have no agenda other than to keep myself sane. Sometimes things happen, like I find my 18-month-old sitting on the dining room table playing in his older brother’s bowl of cereal, or he throws up on his third pair of clean pajamas or drinks toilet water AGAIN while his older brother eats butter with his hands out of the butter dish in the kitchen, and the only way I know to deal with it is to put them to bed and then write about it.
So, let me be frank: I am stressed out and terrified. I’m afraid to take medication while pregnant, so I’m going to muddle through until the baby is born. And then I shall promptly order up a serving of Lexapro with a side of Percocet. I will not be attempting to breastfeed. I will love my children the best way I know how, which is to make sure I am happy and healthy so I can make sure they are.
Something changed about 3 weeks ago, like I literally felt a hormonal shift. My skin went from glowy to gross and I stopped liking my family. I started thinking I don’t want to be a mom anymore. I started thinking I don’t want to shave my legs anymore. All of these things take too much effort. I just want to crawl in a hole where no one can find me and eat Gummy Worms and watch Bravo TV until this baby is born.
I have also started to have panicky thoughts. What made me think I could handle three kids?! What will I do with another one?! She’s going to have colic, and I AM GOING TO DIE.
Last night I had to ask Husband to remove my toenail polish because I can’t reach my feet. That Husband, he’s a very kind man. He said, “Harmony, you can handle three kids. It doesn’t feel like it right now, but you CAN.” And you know, I thought I could too, at one point a long time ago when I could still see my feet. Now I’m an absolute hormonal mess and I feel like I can barely handle backing out of the driveway, let alone care for an additional person.
But. Pepper is on her way and I have to get it together. And I will. I had a very similar period of freak out before my other children were born, and we have made it this far. I sometimes space out and daydream that I am living some other life, but do I WANT that life? No. I want my life.
Strangely, I feel called to motherhood the same way a doctor presumably feels called to medicine, teachers are called to education, and church pastors are called to the ministry. Medical school is no picnic. Teaching sounds like a bitch, and I can’t even fathom leading a group of people to Heaven.
So, there are parts of everything that are tough, but you keep going because you love it despite of that toughness. And ultimately, the crap that you drag yourself through makes you better at your job and more grounded in what you’re doing. All of my work is worth it in the end, and I think it’s important for me to admit that this gig is pretty much the hardest, craziest thing I have ever done.
I’m not perfect, I am a disaster. And so are you. It’s time we all laughed at ourselves, and STOP LOOKING AT PINTEREST, FOR THE LOVE.
Love and Laughter at myself and others,