Now that we’ve entered the “no more babies” phase of our marriage, in some ways I feel that I am dipping my toes into unchartered, yet familiar waters. I feel like I can start paying a little bit more attention to me and not feel guilty about it. In some ways it’s awkward, like trying to flirt with myself. I’ve spent the last five years either thinking fertility or pregnancy or nursing or labor and delivery or bottles or weaning or swaddling or spitup and now the girls in some ways, especially physically, are just not as needy. I’m just trying to figure out what to do with myself now that I’m a.) finished birthin’ babies and b.) approaching 40 (GAH…in a little over three years). I’m at sort of a mental crossroads and I’m trying to discover this new person, that I hope in many ways is a stronger and better one post-motherhood. I tend to be a wee bit restless and lately I have this restlessness down deep in my core. I want to change things up, but I’ve never had two children to think of before…two small human beings who depend on me to provide them with happiness and stability and snuggling and bedtime stories. It’s an awesome responsibility and one I don’t take lightly.
How do you keep from losing yourself completely in motherhood? How do you find balance between making sure your hubby thinks you’re still one hot mama, not burning the morning toast, getting the kids to school dressed and clean, squeezing in “me” time for exercise or a lunch outing with a friend, and arriving at work at a decent hour each day with some semblance of professionalism? How do you make time for personal growth without feeling selfish or guilty? Sometimes the juggling act is overwhelming and I get lost in the shuffle of the daily grind. Somewhere, deep down, is the girl who would take off with a girlfriend for a weekend to Chicago “just because.” Somewhere, deep down, is the girl who went to New Orleans with a group of friends for Jazz Fest and danced barefoot in the grass. Somewhere, deep down, is the girl who visited the hubby years ago for 10 days and did nothing but lie on the beach, soak up the sun, and fall more and more in love with the man I would soon marry. I’m trying to find that girl. I know she’s in here somewhere.