Low Days


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I’ve come to realize it’s not so much the actual hours in the day, but the mental “always on” of motherhood that makes time seem like a speeding train.

Motherhood is like that project you have that you lose yourself in completely, only to look at the clock and realize “it’s 4pm?!” I’ll take that over boredom any day, but as a person who was never bored before becoming a parent, feeling this day in, day out has been a struggle. I’ve spent months thinking “next week will be different” and while each week is surely different, it’s never better or worse, but just a different version of the same loop.

I’m home with E during the week this summer so I’m adjusting to what it feels like to be a stay at home mom. I thought it would be easier than being a working mom, even compared to being a part-time working mom like I was just a month ago. And in some ways it is easier (mainly, the wardrobe) but in many more ways it is not.

Possibly it’s just an adjustment phase, but I really don’t think I am my best self when I’m “on” around the clock. I’m not sure it’s possible that anyone is. And perhaps therein lies the truest difficulty of motherhood: needing to be your best self for your children despite there being days when you just aren’t.

This last month of being home has been full of lessons, and I think my truth is that adjustment into motherhood seems to have less to do with if I am home or not, or how many hours I spend at work or with Evan…but rather, that there is a tiny human who occupies my brain 24/7. And as that tiny human gets bigger and starts moving around more, and is less like a tiny human and more like a tiny person day by day, he occupies even more of my heart, my time, and my thoughts. Motherhood is consuming. And it’s supposed to be.

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deeply crave time to write. To think. To be “off” for even just an hour or two without interruption or an ear tuned to a sleeping baby. Writing is how I process the world. How I grow, and adapt, and feel alive. And I so need that, especially during transitions.

Getting that time makes me feel excited to dive back into singing songs and reading books and being 100% there with Evan. Not getting that time finds me cranky, distracted, and exhausted in a way that is at once physical and mental. It makes me feel lonely, and sad and in general, just LOW.

For months I’ve felt this way, and I haven’t been able to explain it well.

I thought there was something wrong with me for feeling it. There isn’t.

I thought it made me a bad mom. It doesn’t. 

I thought I would grow out of it. I haven’t. 

If anything, as he gets older I am finding I need this time, and feel the need for it even more acutely. Like water. Or needing to use the bathroom. Food. Sustenance.

Being creative is one of my greatest strengths as a mama, but it is also something I have to truly nurture as a person.

Realizing these things, admitting these things, means I need to be make a point to be intentional about the time I have and how I use it. I have to be stingy with the hours I have help, and I have to figure out how to juggle cultivating a strong marriage, getting back into shape and nurturing my work, while being a mama first and foremost. I have zero answers.

But I’ll figure it out. Because I have to. I owe it to my family to have fewer low days, and I owe it to myself to nurture the very parts of me that make me, well, me. Motherhood hasn’t changed that, and I finally feel confident enough to say that I know that’s okay.

P.S. It took me about seven hours between thinking about this, to getting out of the house, to finding a place to work (at the library, after I couldn’t find a seat at Starbucks). And I have 15 minutes left to hang out before I have to get home. But it was so worth. I needed to open my heart up and type through this stuff. It’s silly to anyone who doesn’t have the same need, but for those of you who do understand, as always, thanks for reading.

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And if anyone has figured it all out, I’m all ears. 😉


7 thoughts on “Low Days

  1. Yes yes yes. I feel this, too. We have discussed the possibility of me staying home full time, we could just eek by financially but what a big change to make. For the reasons you are expressing I would be nervous to make that change without trying it out first and really seeing if that’s what I would want. I also worry about having my days fully occupied with Dashiell and how I would maintain my energy and balance my needs. Something that may help is as E gets older his naps will consolidate and having 2 hours of uninterrupted time that you can count on helps a lot. Also, now that Dash can walk it seems it’s more fun to take him to places like the splash pad or the Children’s Museum and I can somewhat sit back and watch him. Like you said, each week is different but not so different but I have felt that since Dash turned a year old there seems to be more balance in my life in terms of having some “me” time.

    • Thanks for the encouragement, Kelsey – I’ve been thinking as he becomes more independent things will feel lighter, and each month seems to bring a bit more clarity and efficiency in our daily lives, so I hope that continues as well. If we didn’t have family in town I think John and I would be having those same conversations, and I think I’d have the same feelings. I know many mamas who wouldn’t trade being able to stay home for the world and this last month has taught me they deserve a lot more respect and credit then they get! But I can also say without any doubt that is not for me at this point in my life, or maybe ever. Looking forward to another huge transition into working full-time in August is scary too, but I hope to have better perspective about it all by then, or at least be more patient with myself as I figure it out. 🙂

  2. Well, V, I don’t know what you’re going through, but maybe one day I will. I think that this, like a lot of life changes, takes adjustment. And, if I know anything at all about you, it’s that you’ll accomplish everything you wish to with flying colors. 💕

    • Thanks Jenna. You’re so right about adjustment! I tend to lose perspective really easily when I’m feeling overwhelmed and motherhood has been kind of like bootcamp for that for me. I probably need to do some yoga again. 🙂

      • I always recommend yoga, even when people don’t want to hear it! If you’re interested, there’s a great app called Yoga Studio that I just love. And, you’re welcome, V. 😊

  3. You will figure it out and the rest of your family is there for you when you need us. Stay Happy!
    Love, Mom.

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