It’s no surprise that things change once you have a child. In fact, sometimes it seems that life as you once knew it was tossed into a blender. I am constantly amazed by the incredible, unsurpassed love I feel for my son, combined with a desperate longing for things of the past. So, in an effort to deal with this epic mental battle in both a mature and enlightened way, I penned several extremely personal, deeply sincere love letters.
Love letter #1
I yearn for you. I think about you every.single.day. I can’t help but to focus on the fact that I can no longer enjoy your presence the way that I used to. You’d sit atop the coffee table, bringing beauty and character to a space that now seems so very bland. It is empty and lifeless without your glorious contents. The candles. The fake flowers. The perfectly placed Bible and family photo book. Yet it’s clear that you’ve become more of a nuisance than a thing of beauty. I try to put you back in your place, sweet decorative tray – you know I’ve tried. But, without fail, he finds you. He zeros in on you like a ravenous animal on the hunt. He yanks at your flowers, bites at your candles (Remember that ravenous animal thing? Yeah, I meant that quite literally.), and tugs at your handles. I just can’t take it anymore! It’s not worth it! So, for now, on the kitchen island you will stay. Right at the corner, awkwardly out of place, waiting for your moment to shine yet again. But…with another little “animal” on the way, the odds simply aren’t in your favor.
Love letter #2
Do you remember the good ol’ days? I know that I sure do. I pine after the days that I would open and close you with ease. You would glide so effortlessly within my hand. I would open you, grab what I needed, and close you all within a matter of five seconds. Now, when I misplace the magical key that allows Mommy and Daddy access to your contents, it feels more like five minutes. I don’t have that kind of time. Yet, here I am, doing it anyway. And it keeps him safe, and it helps me maintain my sanity, so I shouldn’t be complaining about the fact that I have to lock you now. But this is a cathartic moment for me…let Mama complain. And don’t get me wrong, I still love you, sweet cabinets and drawers. You are just as beautiful as the day the house was built, and you hold even more treasures now that there’s a tiny human in the house, but is it wrong of me to ask you to change? To ask you to be what you used to be? Probably. It’s how I feel, though, so I thought you deserved to know.
Love letter #3
Oh, how you used to shine and sparkle like the stars in the darkest of night skies! I chose you, perfect you. You were beyond my wildest dreams. And you still are, but you’ve been tainted. By splatters of milk, crumbs of uneaten and tossed aside midday snacks, tiny hand and footprints. I used to care for you every day (Okay, every other day. Fine, every few days.), but now I can barely muster the energy to sweep and mop your alluring, grainy self once a week. So you’ve been cast aside, precious hardwood floors, because someone else has come along. And he doesn’t quite understand how to respect you in the way that he will be taught someday. You used to be so full of life, but, at least for now, grimy, sticky, and lackluster you shall remain.
Ah, that felt good. Real good. The things that you miss from your former, childless life may be completely different, and they undoubtedly shift as your children grow and change. But, in the end, I just want you to know that it is okay. It’s okay to miss things that seem silly and petty and unimportant. And, better yet, it’s okay to admit it.
Saying that you miss something from your life before children has absolutely no bearing on the kind of mom you are and the unconditional love you feel for those precious humans placed in your care.
The two are not mutually exclusive, and don’t ever let anyone guilt you into believing any differently. You, Mama, are an absolute rock star, all while missing your delightful coffee table decor, unrestricted cabinet doors, and spotless floors.