Slowly but surely I have become my own mother. Through the last few years we have quipped, “Apple-tree. Tree-apple.” We are so similar that there’s doubt as to whether or not I ever fully fell from the tree. Since becoming a mother myself I have discovered just how much my momma and I have in common – how much I am my mother. Sixteen-year-old me would have had a meltdown at this evolution, but over a decade later, I’ve become grateful.
It’s dawned on me most in the middle of the night when I’m in the silent living room, pumping in the dark. I’m usually joined only by my cats and even then, they’re doing their own thing. I find myself WIDE awake, reading, writing, and just breathing. It’s the most relaxing part of my day because my baby is fed and is sleeping soundly, my husband is knocked the hell out, the dog is too lazy to move let alone play, and I am by my damn self.
I used to be so perplexed at my momma watching nonsense at midnight, in the dark, alone. Now? Now, I totally understand exactly why she’s forgoing sleep at midnight to watch some silly show even though she has to get up and crush the day at 6am. It’s incredible being a momma. Truly, it is, but holy sh*t. I’m never alone anymore. There is this tiny, needy human attached to my breast 24/7/375. The dog lays on my feet while I pee. One cat is on my shoulder while I brush my teeth. The other is dropping a ball on me to play fetch with even as I sleep. Yes, my cat plays fetch. And my husband waits patiently as I try to navigate this balance between mother, wife, and self.
At almost three moths postpartum, I’m mostly mother, somewhat wife, and as I sit alone in the dark at midnight, I am myself. When I’m done, I’ll crawl into my king-sized bed full of human and fur babies, a husband, and love and remember how lucky I am. I continually work on balance every day and I’ll carve out some more “me time” in the morning. Maybe I’ll get my weekly shower, but I’ll probably call my momma, my tree, and tell her thank you for showing me it’s okay to take whatever time you can get for yourself.