I have been working on a piece about marriage; specifically, how marriage evolves over the years, especially once you begin to have children. It has been my most difficult piece to write.
I assumed the difficulty was in the interjections that keep occuring; the mud, the crying, the meltdowns, the diapers upon diapers needing to be changed.
I have blamed my inability to write on things such as this:
And many, many moments like this:
Today, I hit a breaking point. I absolutely crumbled. Instinctively, I turned to purging my emotions by scrawling out words.
Can I take a midday break and get real for a minute? I live in crazytown.
It’s noon and my shirt is on backwards & inside out and I haven’t even brushed my teeth (seriously).
No one wanted to do the St. Patrick’s day rainbow craft I haphazardly planned out this morning, (out of Insta guilt for not making a shamrock themed breakfast). Instead, they’ve mostly been running around in circles.
I’ve been folding the same pile of laundry for three hours, and every where I turn, I discover a new mess to clean.
I stopped to rock my babe and have a pity party because I’m never going to learn how to manage all of this. I’m never going to make it to the top (or the bottom, if we are talking about the laundry basket.)
And right in the middle of deciding I just needed to cry for three minutes, my big boys bounded in and dogpiled baby girl and I with giant, sticky-boy-hugs.
And I realized, all three of them are smiling. Laughing, even. They are fed; they are clothed (maybe not with brushed hair); they are safe; they are loved.
Their joy is infectious. My son turned to me and said, “Do you know that your smile is beautiful, and I love it?”
They don’t care about my dark eyes, my messy home, my self-doubt. They care about being right here, laughing together on the floor.
Even on my worst days, I am managing to pull this off and give them my best.
And, for now that’s really all that matters.
I have thought that my writing has not come to me this week because of all of this mothering, and the manner in which it completely exhausts my resources; depletes them, at times.
But this isn’t the truth. The truth is, I am having trouble writing my piece about marriage because I am struggling in my marriage.
It isn’t my husband. He is the most wonderfully giving man in the world.
And absolutely THE MOST loving father.
It isn’t my adoration for him; this, I am certain, will withstand anything.
It isn’t a breaking point or a falling apart or a fork in the road or a cause for alarm.
I am struggling with my marriage because I am struggling with everything.
Because having a third child has been incredibly challenging. My heart is so full; I am anxiously awaiting the moment I hit capacity and heart-implosion. My mind and my arms are so wrapped up with trying to learn to hold all three of them, and somehow hold it all together, that my husband has lately been relegated to the afterthought.
He is much like the lamplight that fills a home with warmth; the light you’ve come to rely upon when the dusk settles in, only, you don’t appreciate the importance of its glow until, suddenly, the light goes out, leaving you fumbling in the darkness.
I don’t want to wait for the burnout. I don’t want to struggle with lighting a match in a storm when the flame has been extinguished by the howling of the winds. Or worse, smothered away by the lack of oxygen to fan the flame.
This I know.
And I will do anything to keep it shining.
Part 2 of this series to follow next week.