It’s nearly 9pm, baby girl is sleeping and the other is kicking up a storm and all I want to do is relax on the couch and eat ice cream. The apartment is in dire need of a good cleaning, and I should probably get a head start on this week’s work, but I honestly just want to breathe and not think about anything. Of course this is the moment when you think about everything and when your mind starts to conjure up silly thoughts and worries. I don’t usually scare very easily, to be honest I’ve been through a lot in my 37 years, and seen many things, but my attitude has mainly been that if you can get through one thing you can get through anything. When faced with the inevitable fact that I was going to become a mother I felt a little scared, but mostly excited. And I guess I’m not doing such a bad job. I am scared of the future, of the world that we are raising our child in, but at the same time I think that every mother fears this. We just try to do our best to raise a new generation of people who will take more care of their home the planet and who believe in the equality of humans and will not judge another based on religion, sex, skin colour or anything else. A generation who will see our mistakes and hopefully not follow in our footsteps.
I sometimes fear that I will fail at all this at some point. I see my own limits and frustrations and have to get past them calmly. Breathe and move forward. There is no more room for letting go in the spectacular fashion of years before, the whiskey and the barhopping days, nowadays it’s more of a “let me just lock myself in the bathroom for 10 minutes and listen to some very loud music”. I don’t want to be the person who gets angry for no reason, or who doesn’t react calmly in a situation that warrants a rational reaction. I’ve always been one to see things through clearly and to work out a solution, but sometimes the lack of sleep makes me more irritable than normal, or the fact that I haven’t had a moment to myself in days builds up inside until it becomes a silent scream. I am a very happy person in general, so when I feel this way I often feel like I am failing somewhere, however much I tell myself that it’s completely normal. Sometimes it’s hard not to create such levels of high standards that are difficult to attain on a regular basis, because it just leads to a more spectacular fall. Somewhere in the middle is good. And yes, mac n cheese is fine as a meal now and again during the week.
I used to fear that I would always let people walk all over me. At the same time I used to fear that if I spoke up I would be shut down. I don’t fear either of those things anymore. I’m just not very tolerant these days, and I don’t feel the need to deal with idiotic dramatics and attention seeking actions. If my feelings are hurt I will say so and move on. No one needs unnecessary hurt in their lives, right? To be honest I think once you start a family a lot of things that once felt important fall by the wayside. A lot of my attention is now focused on my immediate family, and the rest on my extended group of family and friends who I love with all my heart. But nowadays if I feel like I have been crossed once then I don’t need to make any further effort with that person, be they family or friend. I have to spend my energy on making sure these little ones get everything they need and more from me! I would rather spend 20 minutes kissing the beautiful cheeks of my sleeping daughter than trying to figure out why someone is yet again creating boring drama in their lives. We are way too old for that! And too tired. Way too tired.
I suppose this brings me to one of my main fears, one that has been niggling in the back of my mind since this new little baby was just two lines on a pregnancy test. A fear that gets a little more real with every passing week, and one I know is irrational and silly, but that is still stuck in my brain, waiting for me to confront it. I worry how we are going to cope with having two children under two, how I am going to make sure Luna never feels like I have abandoned her, while still making sure the new baby feels as loved and cared for as Luna does. And also making sure that in the middle of all that Cesar and I remember to exist too. I read articles that are titled “how to survive 2 under 2” (or something along those lines) and wonder if it really has to be all about survival? And then I see beautiful pictures of mothers and children and families on Instagram and wonder how they all have it together and how they make everything seem so easy and seamless. Maybe I am looking into this too much. It’s not something that constantly bothers me – I went into motherhood with a “go with the flow” attitude and I’m going into having another child with the same attitude. While I have always been the one to prepare, I also love being impulsive, come what may, and seeing where we end up. What can we really prepare anyway? The basics, a place for the baby to sleep, a place for her to play, a way for her to stay wrapped to me so I can play with her sister and cook and clean and write. Other than that nothing really. We don’t know what her temperament will be like, we don’t know if she will be feisty and loud and needy like Luna. We don’t know whether she will require round the clock feedings or will be relaxed and Zen and go to sleep by herself (one can always dream, nothing wrong with that). My fear isn’t about making sure my children’s physical needs are met, we won’t have a problem with that, it’s about me being able to give them everything I want to give them emotionally and physically, all of the time. The stories, the cuddles, the songs, the walks… Writing it out sounds a little silly, which in the end was the whole point of laying it out there. My way of confronting it, really. Of course I will be able to give them all they need. I just don’t want to see it as “survival”. Maybe more as a challenge? It’s more than an experience, it’s my life, and their lives, and Cesar’s life. Our lives. So no more reading about “survival” and more just living. Because even with the sleep deprivation, this is all a pretty cool way to live really.
I think we will be OK. If not there is always ice cream, anyway.