Before I had my babies, I thought I was a morning person, because I definitely wasn’t a night person. When the clock struck 9:00 pm, my eyelids would receive their daily load of sleep. By 10:00 pm, the weight of the exhaustion would break the imaginary toothpicks holding my eyes open.
Now that I have my girls, I have concluded that I am just a person who is able to adjust to different seasons. Sleep interruptions and deprivation is by far one of the greatest challenges that motherhood came with. I now understand how sleep deprivation is a form of torture.
I’ve had to adjust to late nights, waking up frequently, and somewhat early mornings. Our morning ride to playschool with Miss K is a time of singing, learning and laughter. We count, pray, go over our alphabet and sing (sometimes off key) at the top of our voices. I stick to the left and drive at 20 Kph.
Once in a while, there is a driver who is in a hurry to get to their destination, so their bonnet almost touches my boot. Initially, when she started school, I used to feel the pressure (that I put on myself) to drive faster. The times, I’d focus on driving faster, keeping up with a person whose journey and destination I knew not, I would lose the rhythm of the song that we were singing. I’d hit potholes and deeply regret.
In my journey as a stay-at-home mum, I have felt like a slug, covered in goo from all my crying sessions, inching along an Olympic track, as the rest of humanity, who I refer to as the ‘Usains’, bolt past me. And I am left behind, changing dirty diapers, dealing with tantrums, wiping running noses, still donning those nursing bras, covered in food stains while teaching shapes, colors, numbers and letters, pouring out myself in to my family while struggling to find me-time.
When I start to compare my journey I lose the rhythm of the music. I stop dancing. I lose my balance, and most times I fall into – the seemingly never ending -hole of self pity. Muddle in the pit of doubt and slide into the pool of questions. I struggle to stay afloat as I grapple with these questions:
“Am I where I should be?”
“Does what I do matter? Am I making a difference?”
“Will I ever catch up in my career?”
“What am I good at?”
Sometimes it feels like the fight of my life. It’s easy to descend into the pit. It only takes a few minutes to spiral down. Climbing up is no easy feat. My insecurities seem like the Himalayas, and I have to work through them as I sort the heap and layers of laundry.
It is hard and it hurts. The beautiful thing about rock bottom is, you can only go up. In the brokenness, there is beauty.
I am learning to stick to my lane and to embrace my pace. The reality is that there will always be people zooming past me. That is just the way life is. But they are on their own journey. It’s easy to covet their lives, but they too have their own struggles. And what matters most is that they are where they need to be. What matters most is that I am where I’m supposed to be. That I am watering and tending my lawn.
To avoid spiraling down to the pit, I have to keep reminding myself the truth, my truth in this season; why I do it. Why I strive to serve my husband and girls with joy, in this season. This role comes with no or low monetary pay, long hours and limited hours of leave. I believe that it is a calling. Some days are good. Some are gruesome. But I know that one day, I will look back and miss these days. One day Miss K and Ky will be all grown and I will be on to the next seasons. I’m listening to this song and reminding myself why I do it all.
To my fellow stay-at-home mum who has doubts her call from time to time. You are not alone. In the chaos and the monotony of routine, remember that you matter! You are making a difference. Your worth in this life is not equivalent to how much you earn.