Tag Archives: motherhood

Morning Whispers

It’s 5am and my alarm blares in short bursts of sound next to my ear. My sleep-addled brain comes to terms with the fact that it has to wake up now, and my hand clumsily fumbles for the button in the darkness of my bedroom. With the silencing of the alarm, I hear the soft snores coming from my husband next to me. I have no clue how he manages to sleep through that obnoxious noise, and yet here we are. I let out an exhausted groan and reach for my thermometer, taking my temperature for my cycle tracking app. Another “red day” it reads. Awesome.

As I push past the desire to go back to sleep, I sit up and try to focus my bleary eyes on the doorway. I put one foot in front of the other and grab my pre-planned outfit hanging on my dresser drawer knob.  I leave the comfort of my bedroom and head downstairs, tip-toeing so as not to wake my sleeping daughters on the way down.

I’ve never been a morning person in the conventional sense. As an introvert, it’s difficult to handle exchanges with other human beings for at least an hour upon waking. I have to warm up to the idea of human interaction as a feasible suggestion of reality. But in another sense, a much more internal sense, I am at the peak of my alertness and creativity. While my body struggles to fumble over the simplest of routine tasks, my imagination and creativity somehow run at optimum levels despite the outward suggestion otherwise. I can have an entire deep conversation with myself in my head while simultaneously knocking my glass off the kitchen counter and tripping over the living room rug.

I know that the outpouring of my thoughts stems from the sanctity of the quietness around me. Nobody NEEDS anything from me at that moment. It’s like the constant push and pull of schedules, demands, requests, phone calls, social media, and endless parade of to-do lists pushes my creative ideas to a back corner of my mind where they wait for the opportunity to break free. So when my alarm goes off, an internal alarm also goes off, signaling the unleashing of the sound and fury. Light flashes and resonates in a jumble of words and pictures, all competing to be heard. Yes, that was a dramatic interpretation of what happens in my head. And yes, I felt referencing Shakespeare was necessary to get my point across.

As a mom, and a working mom at that (enter mom guilt soliloquy here), my own thoughts and feelings usually take a backseat to the needs of everyone else. Not always, and it’s not even a bad thing really, it’s just a THING. It’s a stage of life. We poor (mom) players on the stage know our roles, and we play them to the best of our ability. Honestly, I find it just as important for my own growth and development as that of my family members. Learning to navigate my thought processes and rearrange and put others before myself is a good and necessary skill to have, and it runs deeply within my belief system. I let my light shine, but not too brightly. It’s all a balancing act before an audience of deep conviction.

But when do I get to let it out? When is the right time to have my own thoughts and emotions run freely? Well, in the morning apparently. When my body is at its weakest, and my household is at its quietest. When my mind is fresh from sleep, and I am the most malleable and vulnerable. It’s in that quiet space that I am weak and receptive. It’s in that silence that my strength is renewed. It’s where I hear the whisper of Truth. It’s where my prayers are lifted up. It’s where my creativity can thrive. It’s where my inner light shines.

Where I miss the mark is that I don’t write my ideas down. Hence the blog I never (or rarely) post to. Hence the feelings of guilt over never seeming to do enough or be enough. Hence the lack of goals because I just cannot seem to nail down what I find most important. They say you should find your ‘why’ in order to set goals and follow your dreams. Well it seems I have too many ‘whys’ and too many dreams. The headspace alone that is required to capture it all is both the question and the answer to that dilemma.

So I’ve got to start somewhere, I reason. Small steps. Just do ONE thing. Write ONE thing down. See where it goes. Shine your light into the world, even if only for a minute.

I’ve finished getting myself ready. I’ve packed my daughter’s lunch for school. I slip back upstairs slowly and wake my husband to kiss him goodbye and to remind him of the day’s scheduled events. He whispers that he loves me and gives me a gentle kiss before settling back down under the covers. I wish I could crawl back in bed next to him and my heart pangs, but I stifle the feeling down as I shuffle out of the room and shut the door behind me.

I creep quietly through the door of my girls’ room, and gaze at their sleeping faces, glowing in the faint light of the night light. They look like little angels, slumbering without a care in the world. Safe, secure, and well loved by their parents. I know when they wake up they will inevitably pepper my husband with countless requests and questions, whilst not eating their breakfast and arguing over outfit choices. These things are a normal part of life with little girls, after all (and some boys I’m sure, but really I only have girls as an example of kids in the morning.)

I know in equal measure, I will have the afternoon, evening, and bedtime bouts of child raising, but for now they are but an image of tranquil beauty, grace, and peace to add color to the emotional dialog in my head. I kiss them softly, once again feeling the pangs of emotion and longing to stay by their sides. To mother them, hug them, and even break up their inevitable sibling fights.

I push all the pangs of emotion down as I grab my personal effects and slip out the door into the early morning light. The faint glimpse of sunrise on the horizon acts as a final salute of splendor to my jumbling of thoughts and emotions. As the dawn breaks, so does my concentration of inward resolve towards introversion and feeling, and to write those feelings down. Then inevitably as I start to interact with people, my thoughts slip into silence, one by one, until I am just a robot of outward motion, and a vessel of muted inward emotion. I let out a sigh. Out, out brief candle, I think. Although you’ve signified more than nothing, for now, it has only been to me.

Wearing White Jeans Again, Part II

Just catching up? Read Part I here.

Yellow splotchy white jeans. Yellow splotchy white jeans. Interestingly (or not) enough, it was the perfect metaphor for my life. The white jeans were how I should have seen myself, washed clean of imperfections, forgiven, loved, with my whole life ahead of me. But all I saw were yellow splotches of imperfection, failure, and evidence that I was not enough.

With the tears still stinging my eyes, I tried in vain to scrub the stains off of my jeans. The splotches wouldn’t go away no matter what I tried. I took the yellow splotches as a sign that white jeans were for somebody slimmer, more popular, more wealthy, and for someone who could achieve it all without getting dirty. I threw them away in the garbage, and went on with my life, telling myself they just weren’t my “thing” and I still had plenty of other denim options. White jeans would be forbidden.

My body insecurities followed me well past my teens. I was a walking cliché of every young female with body image issues. Convinced my bottom and legs were simply too big, I fell into fad diets and exercise, protein bars and energy drinks, and “energy pills” to keep me going through full-time jobs and full-time junior college. I lied to myself, saying I was simply trying to get healthy.

Even after I got married, and my husband truly absolutely loved me and loved my body proportions, I still struggled under the guise of trying to “get healthy.” Fortunately for me, I never actually hit a rock bottom. In fact, each new thing taught me more and more of what NOT to do to achieve health. I could see the patterns emerging. I began to research in terms of health and nutrition as opposed to losing weight. I pushed myself through vigorous workouts, and dance classes, but really it was because I enjoyed them more than it was because I wanted to lose weight…losing weight would just have been a bonus.

Then, I got pregnant with my first daughter, and my view of my body began to permanently change. As I saw my body begin to change, grow, and literally expand before my eyes in such a new way, I began to feel as though the design for my body was completely out of my control, and out of my hands.

Pregnancy was new to me, and there was just so much information out there. Lists of do’s and don’ts and worries and frets of pregnant women all over the place. And there I was, wanting salted caramel ice cream one minute, and Granny Smith apples the next. The once chocolate and garlic lover couldn’t stand the smell or thought of it, and she even now liked mushrooms…MUSHROOMS!

I felt completely out of control and away from everything familiar when it came to my body. I was an emotional mess (well, okay, arguably that wasn’t new haha) and I felt like, based on stories I’d heard, I would never get my body back again. And there was a person growing inside me every day. Bigger and bigger, taking over control of my sleep, my movement, and my appetite.

I looked fine on the outside, buying up maternity jeans and tops, reading up on pregnancy health and nutrition, and listening to any podcast I could find about birth stories and the like. I even kinda liked my belly bump look. It was nice and firm and gave me an excuse not to exercise as much, eat what I wanted “for the baby” and dress in yoga pants and a loose top for work. But on the inside, I was starting to freak out about how I would look after the baby was born.

Stay tuned for Part III!