Disclaimer: This post is one that shares my honest feelings today, which is one where sleep depravity and self pity got the best of me. If rosy portraits of motherhood are your preference, this is not the post you should read.
After going to bed at 3AM and being awakened by my newborn at 4:30AM and never really getting back to sleep, my day started out with severe sleep depravity. I am sure God was holding me as I was holding my infant and trying to make her a bottle after only sleeping for less than two hours. I stumbled through the kitchen as if my blood alcohol level was off the charts. I somehow managed to get back up stairs, feed her, and thank God that she feel back to sleep. I got three more hours of sleep before my preschoolers were jumping on me telling me to wake up and make them breakfast.
I reluctantly got up, took a quick shower, and tried finding my contact case so I could replace the glasses I was wearing. When I found it, I rinsed my contact case out, which is what I normally do before I put my contacts in them before I go to bed. The problem was, the contacts were in the case already! My brain obviously was not awake. With contacts down the drain, I put my glasses on so I could make some pancakes, bacon and eggs for the kids. We also had out of town guest come in the night before, so I had to cook more than normal. No time for sleeping in, I had company to entertain.
The busyness and sleep depravity continued as I took our guests around the area, stopped for lunch, a little shopping, etc. After returning home for a late afternoon nap, the kids decided to stagger their naps. Only two kids slept at a time. When they woke up, the other two decided they were sleepy. That basically meant no afternoon nap for me…..which I was really counting on. With early evening plans, the day slowed down around 7PM with enough time for me to get ready for my date with my husband around 7:30PM.
I decided to use a few of those minutes to hop online to see what was going on in the rest of the world and check my email. That’s when self pity came in on my like a Tsunami. As I connected with some people I was acquainted with years ago, it appeared as if everyone’s dreams were coming true. I was so proud and excited that some of the people I knew who were trying to make it in the entertainment industry when I was, actually have hit the mark in a big way. While I celebrated for them externally, internally thoughts of self destruction mounted.
“Look at you. You’re just a New York flunky who never made it. You’re the “almost” girl. You almost made it in New York…but didn’t. You almost had a successful recruiting business….but couldn’t continue. You’re good at almost doing anything.”
I tried to fight back, but failed. I bought a ticket and sat down on the bus headed to self pity and depression. It seemed that everyone else’s world was glamorous except mine. I wasn’t rubbing shoulders with movers & shakers. I hated the stretch marks that consumed my stomach. I hated the extra 20 lbs that adorned my body. I hated the fact that I am aging and don’t feel pretty and youthful anymore. I felt like a failure. I was angry that I was unhappy deep down. I felt ashamed of myself for not feeling grateful. I was too tired to fight back with the word of God. All I could do was cry. I tried to pray, but was consumed by sadness.
My thoughts took me back to a 40 year old woman I used to work with years ago at Bank of America. We had a side conversation one day about our dreams. She shared her dreams with me which were so far from her reality. She told me that life circumstances had consumed her so she gave up on her passion and did the only thing she knew how to do to make money and survive. She didn’t smile real smiles much, but was great at her job. I was in my early 20s then and all I knew how to do was dream. All she knew how to do was survive. I was sad for her. At the time I wish I had enough money to free her from her circumstance so she could pursue her passion. I remember thinking, I don’t ever want to become her and stop dreaming. Today, I felt like I was in her shoes.
Lord help me. No one told me motherhood would feel like this.
Alicia is a mother of 4, songwriter, vocalist and speaker. She owns and operates the mothering website, www.seasonsofmotherhood.org. She is also the facilitator for MOMORIES: 52 Weeks of Leaving the Legacy of Your Story starting in January 2010.