Silence like this is novel. It's quiet when my baby is asleep. But not silent. The absence of sound becomes filled with my anticipation of her cough, a bad dream, or a movement of some kind.
A mother's connection to her child makes a sound, even when her child naps.
Yesterday, I had free time. Free time. Let the words roll over your tongue slowly. Imagine not being hurried, not being needed, not feeing like you're stealing a moment for yourself.
Yesterday, I didn't want George and Claire to come home. I wanted to run away. I didn't want to have any responsibilities.
I write often about the way our identity changes when we become a mom, the reshuffle of priorities, the parts of ourselves that get put aside, because of the all-encompassing nature of being a parent. I don't write about my hatred for how these changes make me feel sometimes, or how I want to quiet the voices in my head.
You see, it's just that I don't want to choose between me and my daughter. I don't want to see my daughter as a chore. I don't want to have limits. I don't want solitude to get pushed aside. I want there to be more time and less obligations. I want my husband to take her more. You see, before Claire, there was more time. It all makes me so mad, I could jump up and down and throw a tantrum the likes of which even my daughter couldn't muster.
But, then, I feel guilty.
"I called my daughter a chore! How can I want to run away from my family?" I start to panic a bit, making up doomsday scenarios in my head. "What if they went away forever? That would serve me right." Self-recrimination sets in about now. "I need to just suck it up! I need to just be grateful for the time I have. I don't even work and I only have one kid; I don't have nearly as much on my plate as some people. What am I complaining about? I need to stop complaining!"
There are many truths. other than the ones in my head. I know that my feelings will pass. I know that I could not do without my daughter and husband for that long. I like that they need me. I need them too.
I also know that I really do need more time for myself. And that I'm probably not going to get it.
Yes, so many truths. Ones that refuse to be reconciled.
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