Do you ever wonder if somebody else would do a better job at your life than you? Do you ever think that somebody else could handle it all better? They could come out of the challenges unscathed, be happier in the joyous moments, figure a way to speak their mind at just the right time, be more kind to their loved ones?
That’s the problem I find with being a mother. You are the most important person in your child’s life – you are the center of their world no matter how you play it – and yet it seems so common for mothers to doubt their competence for the job. From the day that my newborn babies were handed to me in the hospital, I have been uncertain of whether I can give these little humans all that they deserve.
We are so willing to displace ourselves. Here: take my chair, eat my breakfast if you’re still hungry, take over the space in my bed, take my sweater, take my mind, my heart, my soul. I don’t need any of it?
Have you ever gone hungry for three hours before realizing you actually forgot to feed yourself a meal as well? Have you ever lost sleep to stay up with a sick, wired or frightened child? Have you ever gone cold, postponed going to the bathroom for hours, left out the shower? I think you’re laughing at me right now. Who would bother asking such a stupid question of a mother?
Lately I’ve been deeply wondering if someone would do a better job as my husband’s wife. As my farm animals’ keeper. As my mother’s daughter. My brother’s sister. Here: take my life. In my exhausted delirium I have even tried to think up alternatives for all of the above. But how would I slip away without being noticed? If someone would do a better job at being me, how would I go about seeing this transition through?
If you’ve ever had thoughts like this – stop them now! Shut them up immediately!
You are the only one that can live the life that you’ve created for yourself. You are the best one for the part. Only you can play out this role. You are unique – there is only one of you and only ever will be, only ever was just one of you. If you slip away your life will go unlived without you. The walls will tear down and all that’s left will be the place where your life should have been.
A friend recently said that her summer was magical. I was so proud of her as I watched her work so hard to give her children a number of wonderful experiences and memories. Camping trips, zoos, beach wanderings, hikes, parks, family, friends. She made garden stones out of artifacts collected from beaches that were visited. Picture books were printed. And when the adventures were all over, she kept them home to rest their tired heads.
So small, these things that a mother will do to build a life for their children. So many sacrifices gone unseen. So many doubts and fears that all that is done isn’t enough.
But this, my dear friend, is your magical life. Only you are fit for this role. And you are doing it just perfectly.