I had a moment late last night as I was scrambling around the house cleaning dishes, picking up toys, feeding the animals, checking my work e-mail, taking the garbage and recycling cans to the curb . . .
A quick glance in the mirror revealed a disheveled person with crazy-lady hair piled on top of her head. There were bags under her eyes, and I did not recognize her. It’s the first time I’ve ever felt like I don’t recognize myself. And I don’t think it’s a phase. I think this is just my how I look now. Eternally tired.
And then I giggled to myself. It’s happened. I’m a full-blown mom and not the ever-youthful looking person I once was.
For the past handful of years I longed for a house with property, a baby of my own, and my husband to have a stable job in which he was happy. And now we have it! Yay! Turns out, it’s a lot of work, too. The kind of work that DOESN’T STOP. I constantly deal with feelings of guilt and restlessness if I’m not doing something productive.
There’s always a mental list of things to do running through my mind. It’s a bad habit I need to work on.
With the house and acreage come endless chores and maintenance (which doesn’t help my white-picket-fence syndrome). With a two-year-old child, changing diapers bookends preparing dinner, playtime, wiping spills, and finding her constantly moving sippy cup. And with my husband’s now-stable dream job, he’s on the road a lot, and I have to be a “single mom” during the week.
Earlier this week I was driving home from grocery shopping at HEB a happy camper—I mean I HAD just left HEB. I reflected on how all seemed right in my world and family, and it simultaneously brought me peace and terror. If things were going well, wasn’t it just a matter of time before something went wrong?
But then I look in the mirror and think, no that’s not true. We’ve worked hard and sacrificed for this life. This is how we want our daughter to grow up, with a clean house and aware of the responsibilities it requires to own a home and animals and raise a family. It’s not easy.
Instead of looking in the mirror to see my true self, I look at my daughter. Is she happy? Is she confident? Is she respectful? Is she learning how to take care of herself? If I can answer yes to those questions, then I can take pride in knowing I’m showing her how to do those things.
I’ll continue to try to get more sleep, drink more water, and eat healthy, but it won’t be out of vanity. It’s to show my daughter that we can be sure of ourselves and still strive to be better. I accept my perma-tired face. I’ve yearned for it, and now I’m earning it.