When Noah was nine months old, I had decided that enough was enough, and came up with an enthusiastically naive plane to "get my groove back". It was August of 2005, and I suppose the reality and the permanence of motherhood and all of the damaging free radicals that came along with it had yet to set in. I thought I would be able to eek out some old resemblance of myself. Thought I would find the time and energy to regularly exercise again, dye my rapidly graying hair, create art and nurture my relatively new marriage. I had dewy hope and youthful ignorance on my side. I also had a baby who didn't walk, who still napped (at least some), a cabinet full of zoloft and nobody had yet to start asking me "when are you having another". I believed that betterment was possible, that I was going to find my cozy, little niche, that I was going to find myself again.
It's been two and a half years since that faithful post and I can say quite positively that I have not "gotten my grove back". In fact, I resemble myself and the life I want to be living less than ever before. Days are spent wondering where things went wrong, how things went wrong. I have exhausted the solutions and the outs. It's just a waiting game now, waiting for something additional to come along that feels right, that belongs to just me. I am for lack of better words a "Mother" and this for lack of better words "Is my life" and I for lack of better words have just "surrendered" to the facts.
It's not that I don't love my child. You can absolutely love your child as any other parent would, but not feel quite right in your skin as a full time, stay-at-home-Mom. There are millions of mothers who chose to work, even when it isn't financially necessary and they still love their children just the same. I feel grateful for what I have. I count my blessings. The most loving husband, a healthy family, a roof upon my head, food and clothing and friends. Everything to thank my lucky stars for. And I do.
What's making me feel so sad is difficult to articulate. It's less about what's wrong and more about what's missing. Sure I have my superficial battles, they eat away at my spirit day in and day out. But, who doesn't, I tell myself. The nagging, little feeling I got at each over crowded playdate, the doubt of genuine interest I had in diapers and sippy cups. Or how about that feeling! That feeling they all said I would have around 18 months or two years. The one where I would start to long for another baby. Where I would actually MISS the soft, cuddly, powdery smelling infant days.. (Noah was never ever cuddly, although he was soft and squishy.)
That powerful, biologically driven feeling never descended upon me, I waited and waited some more ......and then I started to wonder. I wondering and I wondered and I wondered....what the fuck was wrong with me.
The woman with one child. To me, she was always either a tragic story of infertility, or a cold ice queen who obviously lacked maternal instinct. She was something for me to ponder out in public, she was a bit of square peg, shrouded in sadness or veiled in selfishness.
And now I am her. I am . Oddly, after tear stained nights and countless "sessions" with my therapist, comments from strangers and comments from family, I'm ok with this.
Look, I can't make myself enjoy endless kid centered things. I can go for Noah's sake, so he has fun, but as hard as I try, I can not seem to make reproductive responsibilities and child-rearing my soul thing. I personally need something else to go along with it.
The problem is, I am veritable parked in my current role for numerous time/energy/money reasons. I know that when Noah starts school full time in several years, things will change. But when you're feeling quite empty most days, and hopeless and stuck in "Ground Hog Day-the movie", you can't help but feel utterly freaked out, because several years is a LONG time.
Last night I had an odd quite a random dream. It was surreal and disjointed, but GOD, I woke up feeling so excited and full of energy. I was of all things, working in a job as the assistant to the director of the Art College at Wayne State University. I have absolutely no idea if Wayne State University has an art college, nor do I know anything of this mythical director, but gosh was it fun working for her. I multi-tasked around the offices and hung giant antique mirrors in their hall. I attended art openings, party planned for all the cliched students in their moody black clothes. I was "in my groove". Then my uncle Rick, who is, in real life, a wealthy 60 year old man with a third wife and five young kids between them and two exciting, successful careers and a very large house; came to pick me up at work. He said to me in this dream; "I want to have more kids." and I replied in a snide tone; "Of couse you do, you have a nanny." Then I woke up.
My mind used to be a muscle! It was nice and spongy and had two little arms with biceps and it enjoyed learning and debating and laughing. It used to be surrounded by like minded friends who championed the bleeding liberal heart and enraptured me in fellow existential joy.
Now this brain is just gray material. I sit alone and play my New York Times crossword puzzles on my little Nintendo DS, but it's just not the same. I went to the theosophical society for Mediation circle and met some fabulously open minded and freaky people, but they were meditating the whole time, so I never got past much more than "Om" with them.
"You're my Charismatic" I said to Ilya last week. Which basically means, I'm magnetically drawn to you fool, although you piss me off, I am drawn to your ways, your quirky, glowing personality forever. He lives, he travels, he loves, he creates, he dances quite good you know. I want to do all of these things too. More than you know.