Before and After

Once upon a time and long, long ago, I was alone.

That is, I was not a mother. A daughter, a sister, yes.

Motherhood is the most crushing and awesome events of life. I mean that very literally. Well, almost. No, I haven’t been literally crushed under the weight of responsibility of raising little people. But it has felt so heavy that at times I cannot breathe.

I do find it awesome. I know we’ve all seen it, that little cherub face, looking out at a display of fireworks, a coveted gift, or even just bubbles, with simple awe, completely enraptured by the moment.

Before I was a mother, I yearned to be a mother. I’m not sure what the driver is behind that emotion or desire. Sometimes I blame the environment in which I grew up: full of children, big families, and tradition. It made sense to continue this. Sometimes I blame the other facets of the environment in which I grew up: latchkey child, forced to grow up too quickly, wanting someone to love and love her back.

Regardless of the reason, I became a mother, sooner than I am advising my own children.

Married, yes, but also still a teenager. My 30-something-year-old heart drops into my stomach when I think of one of my sons coming home to tell me that they are about to become a father only a few years from now. Universe help me if that ever happens.

Motherhood has been everything I thought it would be, nothing that I could have anticipated, and so much more than I ever imagined. I know it sounds romantic, but I also mean that in the negative.

I could drown in the chorus of “Mom” that is sung every day.

I could cry when I swipe through my Instagram feed, images of my beautiful four rolling through.

I want to run away to a remote island when little tiny hands have touched me several hundred times too many.

What is silence? Don’t we all teeter between the idea of a little extra sleep and a few hours of “me” time (whatever the hell that means).

And so, I feel fulfilled and stressed and anxious and loved and like enough but not enough. They say it takes a village, but I cannot find my village. It’s so segmented and full of advice columns, stuffy opinions, and questions.

And so, this site was born.

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