I just drove off to nowhere and open to going anywhere.
Anywhere but home.
I just grabbed my keys and wanted any excuse to step out.
I couldn’t breathe.
So I walked out and drove off.
Drove and drove not wanting to look back.
Not wanting to think about being needed by anyone and everyone.
Not wanting to be asked for another snack, or a toy or dinner or to wipe a butt or to wash hands or to put on socks.
I didn’t want to be called mom; I didn’t want to be called babe.
I just wanted to be me — unattached to any title that meant being needed by someone else.
I didn’t want to be their everything.
In this moment I just wanted to be me.
I just wanted to be.
I drove off, trying desperately not to think twice about what I left behind at home.
Living in these days was like breathing just enough to survive but never enough to catch my breath.
Never enough to stabilize my heartbeat, never enough to quench my thirst for air.
Living in these days I feel like I’m constantly walking on eggshells.
It’s so hard to always be needed by someone else.
A kid, a husband, a sibling, a parent.
It’s. So. Hard.
You easily lose sight of yourself because you are not the priority right now.
By the end of the day you are just rewinding yourself to do it all over again.
But then even at the end of the day, you have your spouse who is expecting attention from you after a long day at work, and that’s just the way it is, because that’s what you are; you’re everyone’s person.
Everyone but your own.
Carrying a family is exhausting.
Mentally tracking everyone wants and needs and likes and dislikes is draining.
Who tracks yours? You just go with the flow because no one can do it as well as you.
You know the way your baby likes his pancakes.
You know what type of cereal they like.
You know how your husband drinks his coffee.
You know what can be thrown into the dryer and what can’t.
You know when they have special events at school.
You know when they need checkups and new shoes and new toothbrushes.
You know everything, and without you, it just may all fall apart.
That’s a lot of pressure — It’s a huge burden for one person to carry.
It’s a load that weighs heavier than mountains.
A mental load that is simply immeasurable.
So with that, I drove off and I couldn’t help but think to myself: if a ray of light made it through the cracks, would I gravitate towards it? Or would I keep sulking and burying myself deeper and deeper?
We are so much more than our worst moments, but it’s much easier and much less painful to just dwell in them.
So we dwell.
This motherhood gig is sticky, it’s messy, it’s too much to handle. But it’s also so much better than perfect, because it’s real. Exhausting yet exhilarating.