It’s 9:00pm. I just got our baby down for the second time tonight. I’m laying in the bed with one of our girls on either side of me. Listening to each breath they take, holding their soft hands, taking in the sweet scent of their growing bodies. In this moment, there’s no other place I’d rather be. Everything, in this very moment, is perfect.
But the day was not.
Don’t get me wrong, there were absolutely beautiful moments to our day, but as I lie here reflecting, all I feel is an overwhelming sense of guilt about how I could have been such a better mom today.
I was grumpy when I woke up this morning.
I stayed up late the night before and in turn didn’t get as much sleep as I needed. I was short and lost my temper not even being up an hour. My oldest coming up to me and asking, “What’s wrong, mommy?” Me, explaining to her, that I was just really tired. Her, telling me, that it’s okay I could rest, she’ll take care of her baby sister.
There was another time when I snapped about the toys. “Can you please just pick up the toys!?” It’s never really about the toys. It’s the anxiety. The anxiety of never having a clean enough house. Never being able to keep up with the mess. Never being able to control things not going back in the order that I want them too.
Why did no one tell me about the anxiety before giving birth?
“Mommy, I cleaned up”. I know she’s trying her hardest, but I look and just want to run away. She sees the look on my face and knows I’m disappointed. Not disappointed in her, although that’s how it comes across, but disappointed that I don’t have some magical wand that can fix all our problems. Why can’t someone just make the anxiety and depression go away. It’s the cruelest thing that can happen to a mother. A mother that wants to be warm and loving and ends up being the complete opposite most days because the anxiety is all consuming.
I yelled today because they were just being sisters.
Fighting over who gets the glittery pink Easter egg even though Easter has been over for weeks. Fighting over who gets the the most toys on their egg hunt, or who gets to pick the next show on Netflix. Two sisters, playing a little too rough with each other until someone gets hurt. And with each bickering moment, I find myself getting closer and closer to blowing my lid. I just want to feel like I can breathe for a moment without the stress. But I never feel like my body is calm.
I find myself walking to the garage and just standing there for a moment to gather my composure. Or sitting in the car for a moment after starting it before walking back in the house to grab the kids. Sometimes it’s so loud in my head that I can’t hear myself think and in turn I just scream. And while I scream at them I feel like this horrible person and immediately wish I could take it all back. It doesn’t make anything better. My girls stand there confused and upset because the person who is supposed to love them unconditionally just hurt them.
Because I couldn’t control my emotions.
I hope they know it’s not their fault.
I hope they know there’s nothing they could have done better.
I hope they know they aren’t to blame for my actions.
I hope they know they are amazing.
I hope they know they are exactly what I need to model after.
I hope they know they are teaching me more than I could ever teach them.
I hope they know my love.
My unconditional, dying, passionate love for them. And that because of them, I will wake up tomorrow and try to be a better mom to them all over again. And I know that some days I will fail and I will fail miserably. But I also know that some days, we will get it all right. And it’s those days that I hope they know they should hold close and remember. It’s those day I continue to strive for. I hope they know I love them.
For now, I’ll just lay here and whisper to them how much I do.