It might be the pregnancy hormones or the lack of sleep, but lately I've been feeling a little more neurotic than normal, and I've been struggling with the things we never talk about. The specific struggle has been the cultural-expectation, life-and-parenting-things that we sort of live through, but that are never really a topic of conversation. They are the things of life decisions that can sometimes seem easy to make, but are really tough when you're living through them.
These things, along with life and its promise of potential, has got me under a spell. The waves are strong and they are pulling me under. As a pregnant, working mom it's all starting to feel like it's too much. And for what? I know that I need to figuratively get out from under the current and ride the waves. But literally? What is that supposed to look like? Here are some random thoughts I've been having about some of the life-things I've been struggling with.
- Relationships are not easy. And love and commitment (and even blood) doesn't make them any easier. They take constant work and nurturing, and if each person in the relationship is not on the same page, in terms of expectations and hopes and desires, the relationship will never be fulfilling and it probably won't last. And maybe it's ok if it doesn't last.
- The choices we make in life often have secondary consequences. Take parenting. When I made the choice to be a parent, I didn't realize everything else that would be affected. Maybe I was naive, but I honestly didn't realize that when I chose to get pregnant I was also choosing self-sacrifice, and I was trading independence and peace in exchange for the responsibility of raising a healthy, loving human.
- We do not change as things in life happen. What this means to me is that we are who we are (at the core), before and after life events like marriage or loss, having children, moving to a new place or changing jobs.
- You will never be ready, and there will never be a right time, to have children. Children change everything, so if you don't really want them, don't do it because you feel like you should.
- There's a time to dream and chase dreams, and then there's also a time to live the life we've been given (and possibly let go). Determining the beginning and end of these seasons has always been a challenge for me.
- This next one should be a given, but the reminder never hurts. Food and sleep are critical components to happiness (and maybe even success, too). You would never believe the meals I have skipped or the sleep I have neglected, because I was busy or had something else to do. And I can tell you, in the end, it was not worth it.