Sometimes having everything can feel like having nothing

Tonight I had a little conversation with my youngest, as he was running his palms against my face, my chest and my arms.

“Mommy, I love you very much.”

“I love you, too.” I said. And then, just like that, I stopped time.

And I just breathed the same air as he was breathing.

This is it, I said to myself, feeling the moment dilate like air in a hot air balloon, all my senses flooded by happiness.

Why don’t I just lie here right now, with no plan of helping him fall asleep sooner, no plan of getting up earlier and sitting in front of my laptop.

What’s the point? What’s the point of this marathon? Did I sign up for this? Who’s to say my life is worth the hours I spend working? Who’s to say my life is worth the amount in my bank account or the value of my properties or how sustainable I’ve learnt to live? Who’s to say anything about MY life but ME? And who am I lending my voice to?

“Nathaniel, I love you. Thank you for choosing me as your mother. You are such a special child, so strong and so brave and so loving and kind. I learn so much from you every day. I love you very much, thank you for our time together, I love sleeping next to you and waking up together and playing with you every day. I am so happy we are together. Thank you.”

He listened quietly while running his small, warm palms up and down my cheeks. Then, without another word, he put his arms around me and fell asleep.

And I continued my train of thought.

Sometimes having everything can feel like having nothing.

There is a level of freedom where it feels like you are on top of the world and the height can feel overwhelming. And you can feel a bit nauseous. And lonely.

Take another look around you. Not many people around, right?

Because most of them have their little boxes to mind. Their titles, their routines, their shoulds, musts and oughts, their little lives where they feel safe. Everybody seems to have it all figured out.

Not you.

You’ve stepped out of your boxes a long while ago. And several times. You’ve left comfort behind so many times. Because you’ve made an important promise to yourself: you will never give up freedom for comfort.

Yes, you may be feeling nostalgic.

It’s all right.

It’s all right to even go back to one of your little boxes in one of your past lives. You know you won’t last in there.

What will you do when you can do anything?

Holy mother of two. I’m FINE!


Baby and toddler

It’s been two hours since I need to pee and I am quietly sobbing in the darkness of our family bedroom, bouncing on the fitness ball with my baby fidgeting in my arms, while my toddler is rolling on the mattress, biting his nails. 

It’s been one hour since I’ve been trying to get my boys to sleep. I’ve told them the nap time story, breastfed them God knows how many times, kissed, snuggled, pleaded, hoped, prayed, crammed up rolling between them. When the baby was almost asleep, the toddler was loud and kept him awake and the other way round. I don’t remember how many times. My nipples are sore and I’ve been kissed, licked, hit, kicked, puked on, sucked, climbed on, pinched, bitten, ridden, driven etc, etc.

Their needs are so different and I can’t help thinking I am not doing the right thing for either of them. I am way too rational to believe that crap about being the perfect mother for them and way too spiritual to talk myself out of that same crappy conviction, so the conflict remains unresolved. 

As my tears are warmly raining over my baby’s head, I feel his resistance melting in my arms and sleep settling in like a broody hen, while his weight is pushing my arms closer and closer to my thighs. 

I get off the ball and start for the bed praying that he doesn’t wake up before or after I put him down and that his brother won’t make a loud noise or jump up when I get there. As I am softly kneeling on the mattress, I hear my older‘s velvet breath and realise he, too, has fallen asleep to my sobbing. 

My prayers have been heard. One hour of hard work and a good cry was all it took. Thank you.