Motherhood. It always seemed to be something way off in the distance for me, which as an 18 year old I assumed would be at the old age of 28. Then life and school and moving around happened. And then as a 28yr old I watched Sex and the City and told my friends I would never be 35 and still looking for love. SO OLD. And now here I am at 40 with A TWO YEAR OLD. At this point in my life I was supposed to be dealing with the horrors of adolescence with my teenager. Instead, I have bought a book called “How to Potty Train,” and I have only read up until it says I need to take days off work to make it happen. I don’t have the stamina for that. All this to say I feel like I have a long road ahead, and I am already so tired.
Before my kid came around I liked to get lots of things done. While not always motivated, I was pretty good at accomplishing goals. I liked to make it look fun and like I didn’t put much effort into it. I was the lazy marathoner, the funny triathlete, the PhD who never took it seriously–how much could I do while also acting like I was doing nothing? Easy breezy. At the same time I also suffered from crazy insomnia & a couple of episodes of bad anxiety. I am not pretending like I ever had it all together, but I somehow managed to make it work. A balance of sorts. Never one to “work hard party hard” but more like “work average and party once or twice a year.”
After having my kid, there are several moments where I think, “Wow, I really need to blog some mom tips for mom-ing.” “I have really got a handle on this mom thing. I need to let people know how to do it.” I have great ideas about how to get everything you need to get done over 24 hours all in the span of your kid’s 1 1/2 hour nap. I think about writing it up during her nap the next day & that’s when she refuses to take one, and all my expertise goes out the window. A sad desperation creeps in as the day goes on, and I think “Well, maybe at least she will go to bed early? Like these kids that go to bed at 7?” Instead, she falls asleep while protesting going to sleep by doing the moves to “Baby Shark” at 9pm, & I pass out alongside her fully dressed. I wake up at 2am filled with a need to “take a moment for myself,” which means spending two hours on my phone researching the long history of The Wiggles.
The things I already didn’t really like about daily life: laundry, dishes, grocery shopping, cooking, making appointments, going to those appointments, etc–they all seemed to weirdly triple after having a kid. She usually just wears a diaper, so why is the laundry literally never done? My hesitance about being a mom was legit because I knew it meant “less time” for me, and I LOVE TIME FOR ME! I thought having a kid would turn on some mom gene in me where I would really love doing all these things, but no: I am never so mopey than when loading up a dishwasher.
I am a mix of a working mom and stay-at-home mom and owning-my-own-business mom, so I feel the pull of all of these at all times. I really do love being with my daughter, so I dream about winning the lottery or someone giving me a million dollars, so I can be at home and really focus on her. I really love my business, so I dream about it being successful enough that I can work at one of those We Work spaces with endless cold brew and conference rooms and quiet. I really love my teaching gig, but I dream of a teaching job that pays double what mine does so I can actually pay my bills without all the anxiety. But the overall exhaustion I feel means I really can’t make any logical steps to grow in any of these directions. I just try to get through the week without making too many people mad at me.
I really do come from a place of gratitude, but I also really want a place to vent. My expectations for myself are often so incredibly high that it is humorous. I honestly thought this site would become a place to share about all my triathlons & training post-baby. I still workout guys, I really do!!! I’m doing a triathlon in a couple of weeks, but it is no longer the centerpiece hobby of my life. I thought I would be killing it as an athlete mom, but it’s going to take a few more years LOL. I will let you know when I can zip my wet suit up without outside help–that will be a real sign of progress. I do everything I can to encourage myself to keep training, even when thoughts creep into my head about how I USED to workout. There is no real “training program,” but there is activity. There is not much speed, but there is movement. Exercise continues to be my place of sanity, so I never give that up. I will put that baby in the jogging stroller until she is 18 if it means getting a run in.
If the game is trying to balance, I’m just no good at that. My social life is dead, RIP. I can no longer even remember to try to text or email someone–even if I love and miss them in my life!–unless they contact me first. I am that spacey. I have always needed alone time, so I find hours of that here and there & mostly spend it all watching Real Housewives. That is my self care.
Kenzy just woke up from her nap. She is the cutest thing you will ever see. She is about to walk in here to tell me “BOO!” She is my life now. I haven’t adjusted to it as quickly or as painlessly as I would’ve liked. My mind is still a blur, the same way it was 2 years ago today when I watched my newborn sleeping for hours while marathoning HGTV because my brain could literally not handle anything else. I remember I needed a babysitter for 2 hours to get away, and I went to a nearby park & just focused on breathing. I guess I’ve made progress from that (breathing fine!), but it feels slow. But the optimist inside me also feels in another two years i will be like “LOOK GUYS I’M DOING AN IRONMAN!” and “LOOK GUYS I’M INDEPENDENTLY WEALTHY!” and “LOOK GUYS I’VE GOT A CLEANING LADY!” and “LOOK GUYS I’M READING BOOKS” and “LOOK GUYS I GOT MY KID INTO A PRESCHOOL.” I don’t know have a plan for any of this, unlike my entire 20s and 30s. I’m just going to wing it. I’ll let you know how it goes, but I probably won’t be writing any how-to articles about it.