This morning as I was working at the family store, I had the opportunity to listen to some of my own music while I was working. Quickly, I was reminded of how much I used to enjoy my own music. I had such an eclectic taste in music, and used to find myself really musical. I don't realize it but now I only seem to listen to music that is appropriate to play around the girls, or music to dance around the living room with Noelle. There's a lot of Kids Bop, and Taylor Swift, lol. And this is fine. I enjoy this. I enjoy motherhood, but I forgot how much music used to mean to me personally.
That quickly moved to thoughts about other things I feel like I've "lost." I reminisced about the days that I was only responsible for myself. I could enjoy my weekend mornings and sleep in. I could dress and eat at my leisure. I listened to my music, and had time to discover new music. I could go window shopping alone for however long I wanted to. I could go to the gym and work out. I could go for a run. I could lay lazily on the couch and read book after book of whatever series I was currently on. I could put the book down and take a nap. I could drink a glass of wine or a cup of coffee in peace and enjoy the quiet.
On the other end, I could also call up friends and we could have spur of the moment dates. We could get dressed up and feel beautiful and young, go dancing, enjoy the nightlife. I could be whisked away by Joey, and we could go out for a night on the town at a moment's notice. We could explore new restaurants, bands, movies. We could feel free. We could dine, wine, and talk about whatever we wanted. We used to discuss politics, religion, love, music, the arts.
I used to work to work, not to make money. I used to go to school, and wanted to learn. I could devote myself to a job, or to my studies. Life was mine. Only mine. I could do anything.
Life is so different now. I don't have the time to discover new music. I don't go out. I don't have time to browse the bookstore for new books. I don't have time to stop at happy hour with my co-workers after a long day. I can't call up Joey and tell him we have surprise reservations for that cool new restaurant down town. I don't even buy myself clothes anymore unless it's a new pair of much needed yoga pants because all the others are worn and torn. I can't drop everything I'm doing and go for a run when I feel stressed. I can't call up my childless friends and say "Hey! What are you up to tonight? Should we do something? I feel like getting out!"
Please don't think that I'm unappreciative of my life, or for a second don't love being a mom to pieces. All I've ever wanted was to a mom. It was #1 on my bucket list, and the only thing I ever wanted passionately and desperately. I love my girls more than anything in the world.
I'm just tired. And sad. Sometimes, like today, I grieve my childless life. I miss my freedom. I miss myself. My old self, that could do anything I wanted. Now I feel like most of my days are centered around how to keep my girls happy, how to keep the household together, how to make enough money for the girls, how to pay those bills, how to finish my graduate program so I can finally contribute more to my family. It's stressful. And sometimes, like today, it's really sad.
I pray and pray that the funk I'm in will pass quickly. It happens off and on. I can go a long time without feeling like this because I do enjoy being a mother so much, but sometimes it catches up with me, and I just have to feel it.
I think about my own mom, who was such a wonderful, loving, caring mother who took care of us three kids while she was in college herself. She worked so hard. She cooked all our meals, kept us dressed, put up with our horrible demands, mood swings (mine), and childhood drama and nonsense. She drove me to school every morning because I just couldn't ride the bus when I was in middle school. She dealt with all this. She put her life on hold for me. She studied each night with a dictionary next to her because English wasn't her first language. She did it. And she came out of it. I look at her now and see that she has her life back. She's still a mother, and still wonderful, loving, and caring but she has time for herself now. She has her freedom back. She can do what she wants. She enjoys her time with my dad now. They go on walks each night together. They wander aimlessly and window shop again. They can spend whole days out together and date each other again. My mom has reconnected with her old friends from high school, and she's in charge of her class reunions and get togethers. She runs a website. My mom sings for shows and performs regularly. My parents travel. My mom has time for her passions and interests outside of her family. I see this, and I know, it will come back. It gives me hope on days like today.
I just had to unleash some of my thoughts today because my heart felt heavy. I just have to know that I will have time for myself again and I still, will, and will always have my own life outside of being someone's mother.
Until then I will hold my kids, love them, and remember they are only young children once.