I don’t know if I will ever be ready or able to publicly share how or why my first marriage ended. One thing I can say is that it was a long process that took years to come to fruition. No one wants to get a divorce “God hates divorce”, but God loves you and he wants to see you happy and healthy.
It was hard to leave everything that I felt like I had worked so hard for behind, but in so many ways - it was life giving.
I still remember quiet nights in that tiny single wide trailer with fondness. I remember relearning how to care for myself. I had gotten so lost in my motherhood and marriage and divorce that I had to relearn who I was again. I remember peaceful dinners with my two small children. I remember taking a stand and claiming the space as my own. I remember finding time to read my bible every day and digging deep and leaning on the Lord.
I also remember feeling lonely. And alone. Because they are two completely different things. I remember being scared about making rent and the anxiety I felt when I had to be away from my children. I remember being devastated and then at peace with being on my own forever. My grandmother was a single mom of two kids who swore off men and I was okay with that for myself too. I remember coming to terms with never having another baby. I was attending a birth actually, as a doula, and the one birthing was so well loved and supported by her partner and it was so beautiful. And I thought, “I’ll never have that, I’ll never even have a chance at that again.” I excused myself and had a cry in the bathroom and allowed my grief to take over. I mourned the loss of babies that never were and I moved on more at peace than I had felt in a long time.
I was really excited about starting doula work though I knew that the income and schedule was often inconsistent. I was still tutoring a couple of students but knew that to make ends meet as a single mom I would need to teach some kids full time. I reached out to a friend that showed interest in the past and she was super excited, her daughter was exactly one year older than mine. So one day my friend’s daughter, my friend, her fiance, and her daughter’s father came to my place to see how schooling would go. The little girl’s dad- Matthew- made us some gluten free bread, and the rest is history. Sometimes he likes to tell people I’m only in it for the bread but we both know it’s so much more than that.
Then came the slow and steady process of blending our families.
Any mother knows that mothering is sacrificial love. Its hard and messy. You forget to eat because you're so busy feeding little mouths, you dont get to shower regularly because the velcro baby screams as you lather, and you havn't gotten a new outfit for yourself in months because they keep growing out of theirs (and how do you resist new hair bows!?). Mothering is exhausting, its impossible somedays and at times all you can think is, "I can't do this anymore! I need a break! I just need a break!"
Four years ago I fell pregnant with out first child. Four years ago I started down the road of sacrificing my selfish wants and needs for the health and well being of my children. I HATED spinich, but it was good for the baby so I forced myself to eat it every day. I LOVED lunchmeat and avoided it all ten months because that is what the baby book said! I sacrificed my "hot" body and precious sleep. I thought pregnancy was difficult, and then the baby was born. She had colic, and food allergies up the wahzoo, I was on a Total Elimination Diet for months. I said no to outings and functions because of her poor sleep and my restricted diet (dont worry things got better!). I think about it often and back then i had this strange idea that she would get bigger and I could go back to "normal" haha! My normal was being selfish, was eating as I pleased, spending hours in the shower and sleeping late, and going on unlimited shopping sprees. We had a second baby and I continued to sacrifice. It continued to be difficult and I often was miserable about having to scarifice. I loved everything about mothering except the sacrifice.
I knew that there was something missing, and that there had to be a way for me to enjoy this journey a little bit more. Through prayer an idea came to me that this difficult sacrifice of myself is part of the mothering journey, and that it is worth it, so so worth it. That I needed to embrace it and all of the difficulty that comes with it. You'll never guess, but I started feeling happier in my mothering. When I wanted to watch netflix during nap but laundry was calling I repeated outloud, "the sacrifice is worth it, this is important work!" I would remind myself to smile and power through (dont get me wrong, sometimes I did watch the netflix...and eat chocolate...lots and lots of chocolate!). This ephifiny through prayer happened nearly a year ago now and since that time I have learned to love the sacrifice.
For the first time in four years I am taking a "break". I am bringing my not so baby sister and her bff to a concert of their favorite band. I will be away from my precious babies for three whole nights for the first time ever. What am I most excited for (besides some QT with the baby sis?) - SLEEP! Haha! This morning I woke up feeling well rested. I ate a large uninturrupted breakfast. I took a long uninturrupted shower (and shaved both of my legs). I put on a new dress, and did my hair an makeup just how I like to. Then we picked up snacks that I don't even have to share! Just before we left for the concert I called my babies and talked to them and heard their sweet voices and broke down. I miss them. My heart aches not to be with them. Taking a break is important. You can not overflow you children's cup if yours is empty! It has taken me fpur years to take this break because I'm scared. This is the first of many steps towards letting go. My children already are needing me less and less and thats hard. So very hard, and so very important. This season of sacrificial love is short in comparison to the rest of my selfish life. I am trying despirately to enjoy my "break" but my mind is forever going back to them. I wonder if this is how it is and always will be? Will I be old and grey and knitting in my rocker shedding a tear because I miss my adult babies!? I'm sure I will have days like that. That's sacrficial love I think my thoughts are not my own anymore. They will keep growing and I will keep working on letting go.
Now parden me I have a concert to attend. 😎👌
I am a student midwife and doula serving families in the North Country, and living life with five littles.