It took me a while to figure out what was going on, but I've been doing some searching and thinking and reading and breathing, and I think I'm peeling back the layers and figuring something out.
You see, it's my children. They weren't easy to come by. I consider the details of my journey to motherhood to be more personal than I'll share here. But there are details. Lots of them. And it was a Journey. A long one. Let's just say that we didn't come by two sets of twins by sheer accident. We got ourselves into this, willingly, knowingly, with a lot of years and tears and pain and heartbreak.
I longed and hoped and wished and begged for this. Begged. I wished upon every first star I saw, upon every candle, every dandelion, every breath. If only. If only whatever power there was in the universe would let it happen this time.
I promise, I will be the best mother there ever was. I will deserve it.
And in the end, I believe that I was given a gift. I believe that my children were, and are, a gift that was given to me. They are a gift for which I am forever grateful and for which I should never stop working to be worthy of.
And in being given this gift of children, and of motherhood, I believed that I needed to keep that promise. I had better be the best mother that ever lived, in order to prove to myself and to anyone who might be paying attention, that I deserved to have been given what I was given.
I will never complain, I will never say it is too hard, I will never say it is too much. I will just do it, and be grateful that I have it to do. Because had things gone a little differently, I might not have it.
So I've been busting my butt to prove that I am the best mother I can possibly be.
I have been giving, all of myself, all day, every day, to these small people. My life has been wholly and completely 100% for and about them. How could it possibly be any less? How could I possibly take any for myself? They are all that matters. I must give my everything to them. I must do all the crafts and make all the homemade things and go on every field trip and participate in every classroom activity and volunteer opportunity. I must.
I must be THE perfect mother. Because any less would be a disservice to the gift I was given. Any less would seem ungrateful.
In the writing of it, and in the saying it out loud, it obviously sounds unreasonable. I see that now. But I didn't before.
So I've been doing better. And by better, I mean less. I've stopped trying to do everything. I've stopped thinking that best = everything. I have tried to slow down and to remember that what they will remember most is not all the crafts and field trips, but what they will remember most about me is whether I was smiling. And I can't be smiling if I'm exhausted and stretched too thin.
So I'm trying.