Ups and Downs

The past few days have been odd.  I go from being blissfully happy and recounting all the wonderful things in my life to feeling irritable, impatient, and crushing burden of Maternal Guilt.

I’ve come to realize that it is best if I just recognize and nod to the Maternal Guilt which is always followed by bits and bobs of depression.  Hi, baby blues, I know you’re there, I see you, but you won’t get me down.

First the good things:  long autumn walks, potato corn chowder, a new stock pot and roasting pan, cuddling, North and South, coffee, movies under piles of blankets, early nights, witnessing Hope come into her own as an independent young lady, watching Sam’s pure happiness when he is holding Atticus, good friends for visits, having the most terrific mother-in-law who brings chicken and dumplings, rain, quiet, Fleet Foxes…

The problem is that there is so much good in my life I feel as if I should be over the moon with happiness, near giddy with life…. and I’m not.  I still find myself desiring more than two hours of sleep at a go.  I wish I could go off by myself for a few hours and read a thick novel.  My arms are tired from hours of holding Little Man.  I want to brush my teeth before noon.  Basically, I feel so loved by Sam, Hope, and Atticus and these feelings of wanting to escape leave me feeling like a louse.  So much of my life is internal (i.e. as is my introvert nature) I need more than caring for others, I need solitude.  Not much, an hour here or an hour there, but nevertheless, I need for people to not need me a few hours out of the week.

But it is normal.  Folks would like you to believe that there is no sacrifice, that being a mother is nothing but pure joy.  Joy there is, but at a price.  I wouldn’t trade my family for the world and I love them deeply, but sometimes a mommy just wants a few minutes alone, the freedom to go to the store, the ability to have unscheduled potty breaks….

What’s the point of the rambling?  Self-assurance that I’m not a terrible human? To tell myself that I’m a good mother and my life is rich and beautiful and fulfilling, but that I needn’t go around with a 50’s housewife smile plastered to my face?  To admit, that I’m human and completely okay with that?  All of the above, but ultimately, the point is to scare out that dark little corner in the back of my brain.  That pesky bit of depression that creeps up on me every now and then.  Self-reflection and acknowledgment acts as a sort of searchlight illuminating that sadness, recognizing it.  That beam makes every thing not so dark.

Alright.  Solitude accomplished.  Time to go hug my babies.