I’ve been very open in the past about the more difficult, downer moments of parenthood- sharing the hard times is immensely freeing emotionally when the chaos is neck-deep and you honestly don’t know/believe it will ever get easier. So, in the interest of balance, I want to be open about the high times too.
Cause right now is a high point for us, as a family, and for me personally. My little TaterSnot is almost two (but not yet Terrible Two), and becoming gently articulate and responsive. She knows me now and she gives me neck hugs with a joyful abandon that I know can’t last- so I’m soaking up every single one. We get a respectable amount of sleep (though it means our household is
frequently always in bed before 10 pm) so I’m not a grumpy zombie. Eva enjoys daycare each day, so I can work at a job I love without feeling guilty or worried. And that moment at the end of the day, when I go to pick her up and she turns and sees me- I don’t know what language has a word to describe that kind of joy.
It’s going to sound sappy and cliched, but it’s 1000% true- she’s changed me utterly. I noticed the other day that my list of ‘needs’ has shrunk in the last two years to exactly this: Whatever it is I need to take care of her and my husband is all I need. That’s it. Money-wise, time-wise, energy-wise….if I have enough for that, I have enough. Not in a abstract,unicorn-y way. In a visceral, bone-deep, primal sort of way.
I can’t explain it without sounding ‘holier-than-thou,’ and it’s not my point to (“Oh, no, who could possibly need more than parenthood? That Kate Spade purse? Garbage, compared to the transcendent joy of changing diapers. My life was meaningless before babies…”). I’m trying to explain in words that this is working for me...and I didn’t know before if it would. There was a time in the not-at-all distant past when I didn’t know if I could do anything more than just handle the day to day reality of parenthood without losing parts of me that I really didn’t want to lose.
Having said that, I’m pushing to gather more friends (I have a few gems in my life right now) and really cultivate some female friendships (always my weak point). There are still plenty of things I want to do, but for this moment, for the first time since before puberty, I’m content. I’ve got a life I want. And that’s no small thing.