For Mother’s Day, I locked myself in my room and cried.
It started as a whimper but ended in sobs soaking into my pillow.
I kept it quiet.
All the while, no one knew that I was missing.
It was 3:00 in the afternoon. The entire morning, I had felt like a caricature of myself, a dark grey rain cloud above my head as I walked from room to room with moments of stopping and staring out the window. I kept trying to figure out the reason behind this sadness.It was Mother’s Day. I had my four kids. The four kids I always dreamed of having. The four kids we worked so hard to have. I was supposed to embody love and gratefulness and tiny rays of light should have been beaming from my eyes and illuminating the permanent smile on my face.
It was Mother’s day and I was miserable.
So I started trying to find answers.
Maybe it was the lack of sleep? The twins had been crawling into bed with us nearly every night and lately, the thunderstorms weren’t helping.
Maybe it was the move? I had a good thing going for Mother’s Day back in Portland, a long morning walk with my best friend and a stop at our favorite place for breakfast. An afternoon by myself visiting inspiring places and then time with my favorite people in our backyard. I didn’t know what I wanted for myself now. Everything had changed.
Maybe it was PMS?
Maybe it was the dreary weather when all I really needed was sunshine?
Maybe Greg could have tried harder?
Maybe the kids could have wished me more happies on this Mother’s day?
Maybe some flowers? Maybe a little more effort?
Maybe I set my expectations too high?
Maybe I didn’t deserve any accolades?
Maybe I yelled too much. Am I too controlling?
Maybe I make too much time for myself?
Maybe I do not make enough time for myself?
Maybe I am depressed?
Maybe I am just drowning in my own self pity.
So I locked myself in our bedroom and I cried. I cried because I knew the answer. It was all of those answers and more. It was the realization that motherhood is so hard. So fucking hard. It is beautiful and ugly. Giggles and tears. It is hugs and kisses, fighting and slammed doors. It is knowing that I could never imagine my life without them but at moments, desperate to have time away from them. It is constant motion, with some days leaving you feeling like you are the only one turning this big, heavy wheel that is your family. Motherhood is human. It is real. There are strengths and weaknesses and there are zero superhuman powers involved. It is “I love you” but sometimes feeling like “I don’t really like you right now.” It is navigating all of those contradictions and understanding that THIS is normal. I was feeling the normal, the part that no one ever really told me about and what we probably don’t share enough.
So I am telling you. Some days are shit. But most days are not.
And I don’t regret locking myself in my bedroom. I don’t regret the cry. I certainly don’t regret feeling it all. That evening, we had dinner with friends and I found I wasn’t alone, that I am never really alone. Because they listened and heard me and I didn’t feel lost or crazy. The following morning, the clouds lifted, literally, and the storm passed. And as I sat in the dining room, I watched Ulla walk in wearing a ballerina costume and pulling a Frozen suitcase, proclaiming she was going to take a trip to Portland. Before she boarded her imaginary plane, she turned and kissed me goodbye. As she walked away I thought to myself, “I don’t want you to go, girl, cause I would really miss you.”