The past two weeks have been rough. Like, I think I’ve hit my mental and physical limit rough. Filled with so many beautiful highs like celebrating my husband’s birthday and having our first dinner date out together for the first time in nine months. Yet the lows… were pretty low.
I work from home most days and I had the false assumption that this would be amazing. I’d be able to support my family while spending time with my son. Ha, no, this has been more tiring than any other work schedule I’ve ever had in my life. I think there’s this unhealthy thought in my mind that because I’m home, I have to constantly prove that I am sitting at home working and not just watching day time dramas on TV. (I honestly don’t even watch TV anymore and couldn’t tell you what shows exist.) And so this spirals into me working and trying to juggle more while juggling my 8.5 month old. I have someone come and play with my son during the work hours so I am sitting in my home office doing work, but I feel the tug. When I hear him crying out or getting fussy I have to resist every urge to run out and swoop him into my arms. And when I take my lunch break to puree him some yummies and feed him, I have to resist the urge to respond to work emails on my phone during that time.
I feel like I’m not giving enough of myself to anyone.
All the while the thought in my mind is, “don’t they know??”. And the “they” is the entire world. Don’t they know how hard I’m working? Don’t they know I haven’t had time to eat yet? Don’t they know I need a nice, hot shower? Don’t they know I’m running on 5 hours of interrupted sleep? Don’t they know I don’t have time to cook? Don’t they know I don’t make enough to keep getting takeout every night? Don’t they know I met the deadline? Don’t they know I need a nap too? Don’t they know I never get a break or down time? Don’t they know that expectation is impossible? Don’t they know?
I feel I’m giving too much of myself to everyone.
And I think the “don’t they know” is really more of a “don’t they see?”. And the “don’t they see” is more of a “do they see?” which is really “does anyone see? can anyone see me?”. A yearning that’s hit my heart way before I embraced motherhood. Maybe if I’m seen, I’ll be known.
And it spirals back and forth between the guilt of not doing enough and the anger of doing too much. Ultimately I want my actions known and seen because it would feed some validation for me. In my mind if “they” see it, they would then honor my time, my space, my needs, my values, my world. Not only would they honor it, perhaps they would validate it with words of affirmation or more patience. There’s a piece that feels entitled to that, and a piece striving so hard to earn that. The validation and the affirmation that if they can see what I do, perhaps they can then know who I am. And if they can validate what I do, perhaps they’ll validate who I am. Because therein lies the core belief that who I am is still based on what I do. And if what I do is good, then I am good.
But I don’t want him to see. I don’t want him to see how hard I’m working. I don’t want him to see that I didn’t eat yet. I don’t want him to see (or goodness smell) that I haven’t showered. I don’t want him to see that I’m not sleeping enough. I don’t want him to see that I don’t have the time to prepare meals. I don’t want him to see my financial struggles. I don’t want him to see how I exerted myself to meet the deadline. I don’t want him to see how I’m struggling to stay awake. I don’t want him to see that I’m not finding time for myself. I don’t want him to see or hear me saying that something is impossible.
I don’t want him to see my need to prove, my need to earn, my need to validate my own existence. Because what I struggle with will seep out into the way I parent and how I parent will seep out all over him. If he sees that, then he will replicate that. I don’t want him to be a casualty in my own battle with my areas of insecurities. No, I don’t want him to see those things.
I want him to see that no matter how hard I work, I know my worth. I want him to see that I value my body and my health and my rested soul. I want him to see that I have decided to live a life that answers a calling and I so fully trust my life now in the Caller. I want him to see me working hard, but not at the sake of my heart nor to validate it. I want him to see that I believe I’m important too. I want him to see me proclaim the words that “all things are possible”. I want him to see a mother, a woman, who may still be afraid at times but embraces courage and lives courageously, genuinely, and intentionally. I want him to see that I don’t define my value through the eyes of others, but only through the eyes above.
I don’t want him to just see me, I want him to know me. But first, I have to know me.