A few weeks ago I wrote about breaking my New Year's resolution, which is to write. I had been doing what I do best, procrastinating and finding anything and everything to do but write. It was mostly driven by fear, fear of failing, fear of falling, fear of finishing. When you set your heart on something, what do you do when it's over? I have a story that I'm writing, and what will I do when I'm done. And what will I do if it sucks?
I didn't realize it then, but I was also filled with the fear that my stories about motherhood were done as well. I've been writing this blog since 2011, as my girls get older the struggles are less, but they are just manifestations of previously told stories. More tears and snot, less boobs and poop. The general feelings stay the same, I'm always afraid of failing in some form or another, but in the end I'm always happy and sappy. As I began writing this year, and pushing myself to publish more on this blog, I became afraid. How long will I really be able to write about motherhood? Sure I'm a mother forever, but will anyone still want to read how after all this time I still don't have my shit together? The potential answer scares me.
Then last Tuesday I got my answer.
I woke up late, daylight savings, and we were in a mad dash to get to school before the warning bell. Caitlin had been struggling with her allergies since the weekend, and the lack of sleep was really ruining her life (according to her). We got to school with moments to spare, and dropped Mac off at her classroom just in time. Caitlin and I walked to the playground where she waits for her teacher, and just when I thought I was free and clear, the tears started. I surprised myself by being kind. I surprised myself by listening and not yelling. I surprised myself by actually listening to her. She did look miserable, and I thought, what is one day? One day of laying on the couch, watching cartoons and eating junk. I looked at her with fresh eyes, and knew, today was not her day.
In my mind I knew this was going to throw a wrench in my day. I had to be at work in a half hour. I still had to call my mom to make sure she could stay there. I had to drive her to my mom's house and call my manager to tell her I would most certainly be there, just a little late. I tried hard not to show my stress, but a little boiled over. Again I surprised myself by not freaking out on the outside, but I was totally freaking out on the inside. I was going over the "to do in less than thirty minutes" list in my head when I turned the corner to the parking lot.
And there, right in the grass, was another mother with her son puking in the grass.
There was my sign. This day was not even a little bad or screwed. This day could be a whole hell of a lot worse. This day was just fine.
In my mind, I told myself I had this day. Whatever this day was. I got Caitlin to my mom's and got to work on time. The sun was shining and I only had to pick up one kid from school. We got home in plenty of time to prep dinner. We even went to be early that night. All signs were pointing to YES.
Yes, "I still have stories to tell. I still have lessons to learn, and blessing to celebrate. I still have chaos and joy and a little bullshit to share. So just tell that story".
The signs and the message were clear. I'm not done here. I'm still me, I'm still insecure on most days. Insecure about motherhood or life, or that extra ten pounds around my middle. I'm still confident on odd numbered days (some even ones too). Confident in my voice, confident in my story. Confident that I'm hiding those extra ten pounds. Motherhood is dynamic, no two days are alike. I'm grateful for that. I'm grateful that it still hasn't swallowed me whole, even though it threatens to. I'm grateful that I'm still fighting.
There are still stories to tell here, and I will continue to write them. Because just when you think you've run our of perspective to share, there's a mother with her puking kid showing you that you are dead wrong.