“so be sure when you step, step with care and great tact. and remember that life’s a great balancing act. and will you succeed? yes! you will, indeed! (98 and 3/4 percent gauranteed) kid, you’ll move mountains.” -dr. suess
the basement was old and musty and dark. a bit creaky and scary. lots of odds and ends. it held my mom’s typewriter, before we had a computer. the kind that you could electronically write a line before it typed on the paper to check for errors. i thought that was amazing. i attempted to write a book on it once, when i was maybe 10 or 11. i think i got half a page in. i was an early riser when i was younger, but my mom was always up before me. before all of us. i just assumed that’s what all moms do. they wake up early. some mornings, i would slip down to the basement to find her, that’s where she usually was. one lone lamp would be on, hovered over her bible or journal or crossword puzzle, maybe a blanket wrapped around her if it was the winter months. now i know that those mornings were probably precious to her. my little feet coming down meant the day was starting, her alone time would be another 14 or 16 or 18 hours away, right about the time she was probably ready to collapse in bed.
i am not all moms. for me, waking up before the kids is a real problem. well, that’s not quite true. i usually wake up, i just don’t usually get up, before them. imagine all that could get done if i were to wake up an hour or two before them?! i probably wouldn’t get to the end of my day and feel guilty for not doing more than the bare minimum. or would i? there will always be more to do. but for my own sanity, and attitude, it’s always been a good thing for me to have a few moments to prepare myself for the day when i do get up before them. on the rare occasion that it does happen.
it hit me a few days ago that i am nearly in the 30′s. week 30 is this wednesday. 10 weeks to go may seem like a long time, and it does even to me when i think about this baby being a christmas baby. christmas just seems so far away. but the reality is, we’re almost done with september, i’m not sure how that happened, and october and november will likely fly by as well. and what do i have for baby? nada. i need to start getting my act together. or at least thinking about it.
but even more than that, more than the physical needs for this baby, because i know we’ll have no choice but to figure it out, i’m wondering how i will ever get up before the kids when this baby comes. if i have trouble now fitting in what i want to get done on top of what needs to get done, i’m worried i will live with a constant sense of guilt and a feeling like i’m not achieving anything. my intentions are great. once i actually wake up, my to do list is long and my energy is high. and it sloooowly slips away from me as the day goes on. and the “to do today” list turns into a “to do tomorrow” list.
i sometimes think i might harp too much on this particular subject. these feelings of inadequacy and loss of time and and loss of self. on how to find contentment and balance, and even these love/hate feelings i have towards motherhood. the love being my kids, but the hate being the lack of time for much else. hate might be a strong word strong, but you get the idea. but i wonder, if i struggle with and think about such things often, am i the only one? probably not.
part of all of this is driven by needing to feel a sense of validation for my days. usually measured by the number of likes on my instagram pictures. which is, obviously, silly. but deeper than that, i want to feel like i’m doing something worthwhile. knowing i’m accomplishing something. i want to be challenged and creative. but for me, what’s a daily battle is realizing that i’m already doing something worthwhile. it just may be that it’s not what i think a picture of success should look like, or, more so, it’s not the kind of achievement that gets the attention that i desire. and that’s the real issue. that’s why i feel guilty. that’s why i feel unaccomplished. because priorities can sometimes get a little whacky.
of course there is always room for improvement now, and perhaps part of my problem is poor time management or laziness. perhaps a third baby will force me to whip myself and my hours into better shape. i hope so. i hope i get better. but, one day, chances are i will get to pursue other things more fully. i’ll have the time and energy for it. early mornings won’t feel so daunting. maybe i’ll finish that book i started 15 years ago. next to raising my kids and loving my husband through decades of marriage, that would be my mountain moved.