I was shocked to see that I had a comment yesterday, as I seldom do, unless you count spam, which sadly gets filtered out...The comment hinted that I was a bit more self involved and not as happy with my situation as I should be, given that I now have two kids and hence I should not be focusing on other aspects of my life (like running or playing piano), or experiencing negative feelings such as frustration, or sadness.
The writer had not had children yet, and was still battling infertility. I understand oh so well how one thinks in that position. I was there, and one does not forget.
One pictures a future that has one radiant child, or maybe two, and the love that surrounds them permeates the vision. There is nothing in that vision about daily life, brushing teeth, getting the flu, etc, you get the idea.
Conversely, when picturing a future that has no children (I was really good at this one!), one sees grey and black and empty, sad days, surrounded by other women who have what you want and do not seem to be as grateful for it as they should be, or as good a parent as you would be. A world full of daily irritation and emptiness emerges as the main picture. However, there is no room in this vision for the good things that might happen from day to day, such as dinner with your partner in a beautiful setting, travel that might bring one joy, deeper relationships with other adults, or a dog that loves you and you can run with every morning. I don't know. Something positive will happen, but I sure as heck did not see it as part of this vision.
To put it more succinctly: you cannot know how the future will unfold, whether you do or do not have children. Visions of the future took up 95% of my brain function during my infertility years, but most of those visions were lacking the awareness that they were snapshots, not reality, and that they lacked the substance and the emotion of daily life that actually coloured the snapshots.
That being said, I am immensely grateful to have Emma and Daniel. I pray daily and thank God for this unimaginable good family that I was blessed with. I love my children deeply, and wish that I never got frustrated with them, and that I were a better mother every day. Do I succeed? So far, not really, as the writer astutely noted. All I can do is stay true to my feelings, write about them, and hope that with daily work I become the kind of mother that deserves Emma and Daniel.
Ultimately, whether I deserve Emma and Daniel actually does not matter all that much though. What matters is that I love them enough to inoculate them against any mistakes that I make. Children are resilient and as long as they are loved, they do just fine. That should reassure all of you mothers out there that also struggle with being imperfect, occasionally frustrated, and occasionally focused on yourselves. We will be alright, and our children will be alright.
Thank you so much for commenting. As you can see, a comment prompts a post. Want to see me post more? (insert wink).