Friday, March 15, 2019
I gave up.
Remember when we were 18 and we thought we'd have it all together as adults? Remember when our parents said no to those Spring Break weeks and we pouted for months? I still wish I had gone on them because I didn't in my 20's or early 30's. Now I'm 37 with a mortgage, car payment .. the weight of all adult responsibility and being a single parent (75% of the time) to 3 small kiddos. This is not the life I had envisioned stomping around at 18.
There isn't a magic backspace button where we can go back and redo. Without taking our future knowledge back with us, I don't think we'd change a thing - realistically. I can 'wish' I had done this or that.. but it's a wasted wish. The hard part is figuring out how to change the future to put you on the path you need, or want, to be. Like there are days I regret no focusing on a career. There are days I feel I waisted with all the fertility treatments in my 20's and the unknown lingering over my head. I question why having a career was never triggered with my desire to have kids. I mean how did I expect to take care of them? I wish I had taken that energy and put into something that I could still obtain today. I hope that I share this with my kids and they keep in with them. That ship hasn't sailed for me yet but I just feel ignorant for not caring.
At some point I gave up. At some point I kept hearing "you have two small kids - give yourself a break".. then #3 came. Now I hear "you have 3 small babies and a lot on your plate". To me though that doesn't justify the slacking. That doesn't justify giving up. I gave up on a lot. It's not just household stuff that simply got away from me. It's not just the friends that somehow got lost in transit. It's not just feeling overwhelmed or mentally exhausted all the time. It's not just realizing that you are alone, with three small babies, 90% of the time. It's not just all the appointments and therapies and Dr's visits. It's all of it rolled up in a hairy, slimy ball that's been under the couch for years. Sectioned off it's not unobtainable, but together it feels overwhelming.
I gave up physically. I did try for a moment after my first born. I did want to look the "mommy" part and wear khakis and blazers. I did try fake eyelashes and play around with makeup and hair routines. I did join a gym and tried to pretend like I cared about losing weight. Every time we stepped in that gym and it wasn't about my son I felt Mommy guilt. I wanted to do the hiking mommy groups. I wanted to do the beach play dates and walk our babies along the strand. I wanted to experience zoo days and park play dates. That never happened.
Then number 2 came around the same time the diagnosis came for my oldest. Then right as I started to get the groove of having 2 small kids and all the billion appointments, I found out I had created my unicorn baby. Should have been the time of my life, should have been one of the most celebrated moments of my life and it wasn't.
Why? because I was alone. I was left to handle it all. I was left to beg and beg for help. Instead of help I got "why not care.com", or 'why not order your groceries', "you've got this" or 'if it was meant to be it would fall into place'. The more I heard that I wasn't getting the help I was begging for .. I gave up. To me not one person cared enough to stop and help me unload groceries. Not one person cared enough to come over and chat with me or just help around the house. Not one person cared enough to drop off a hot meal, or ask if I needed anything, or offered to help. Not one person bothered to pick up a damn phone and ask how I was doing. That broke me. It broke me in a million bitter, angry, uncontrollably sad pieces.
My therapist asked me what my breaking point was. It was during my second pregnancy when I was begging, literally begging, people to fly out and help w my oldest son while I gave birth to my second. Knowing I would require a C-section, knowing my oldest needed care, knowing my husband was on deployment and couldn't come home. Begging and offering paid plane tickets, offering a free guest room & all the accommodations they needed just to be with me after my second child was born. To this day that still makes me angry and teary eyed. Don't get me wrong, it all came together, but that feeling.. that empty heartbreaking feeling.. has never left me. That absolutely vulnerable moment where I genially needed something.. broke me. Fast forward almost two year since my 2nd son was born and it's still the same.
At the end of this amazing vent sesh… I will say this. I will heal. I will learn to care again. I will learn to forgive. I have learned to be a better friend. I have learned to call people, on the actual phone, and see how they are doing. I have learned to take a hot meal to a new mommy.
but I have still given up.