It sometimes happens very unexpectedly. You wake up, begin your normal morning routine, and then you feel it. A very slight, hardly noticeable, ever so subtle “something,” call it a feeling, in your stomach. It’s not a pain, just a small ache. It could appear after some long weeks of parenting or working or both … or long nights of waking up with an infant. Sometimes it is not even a feeling that is desired … but it is still there, present enough to, for a brief moment, take your thoughts away from the tasks of the day ahead. Then this thought or feeling, given the slightest opportunity to be entertained, makes itself more present, but still whispers to you: “today …. I don’t want to be a mom”
Then it is quite possible that the tears begin to flow because, again, it is not a feeling that you want … but it is still just present. It could be your tired body, a sliver of discouragement, or self-doubt that gives you the hint or suggestion that you just cannot “do another day” of “this.”
And it’s quite interesting I guess, how much can be implied by the word “this” for a Mom. Oh yes … the word “this” … with, honestly, thousands of connotations: take out the dishes, clean up from whatever the teenagers left out from the night before (because, yes the house was clean when you went to bed), flip and start the laundry, breakfast, lunches for school, work or house to-do list, whatever is on the family calendar, errands, exercise, social media, etc.). And somewhere deep down inside, there is just this small voice that wants to have just nothing to do with “THIS!”
It’s a time when Facebook and Instagram are not on your side. On these mornings, it is not a good idea to scroll the feeds to see what other moms’ “this” has consisted of. These comparisons only make what was once a whisper of a voice, now become a scream. TODAY I DON’T WANT TO BE A MOM!
At this point, now having made it to the process of dressing for the day, I’ll even sigh with the flat ironworking and admit to my husband … ”you know … I don’t want to be a mom today.” And then, of course, there is a familiar connection because, well, maybe he felt the same last week about being a Dad.
That little voice wants so much attention because there are so many other things the voice would like us to consider other than doing today what we know you were are meant for. And we are very aware that just for today, we can, if we really wanted to … just throw in the towel, just for today.
A faint knock on the door, a voice calling from the kitchen, or a baby monitor indicating a slowly waking infant can be heard. And this is where one of the most beautiful moments of motherhood occurs. It is a moment not seen, not posted, not shared, and not captured by a photo. It is a moment of the heart and the will. It is a moment that silences, even just for the time being, that voice that wants to call us away and distract us from one of our most precious but also fragile reasons for existence. The voice is overpowered and silenced by what is stronger than a feeling that comes and goes: it is the willful and heartfelt decision that shouts “Today, I’m going to re-choose to be a Mom” very well knowing, at least for the most part, what that decision for today entails. Maybe not even quite full of the confidence, courage, or energy required for my response, the steadfast walk to the kitchen still begins, the coffee pot is set to “on” and that possible slight hesitation has manifested into a now very decided “yes” and my Mom day begins.