The house is a mess, fruit snack wrappers and apples cores smear my once beautifully manicured home. The kids currently occupy my writing time with yelps of wanted attention and I am frantically trying to figure out what to make for dinner.
The vehicles registration has to be renewed, the bills are needing payment and I am sorting through them to see which ones can wait until payday.
I realize I have gained way too much weight over these winter months when I try to tug on a pair of jeans that quite some time ago had been replaced by stretchy yoga pants and an over-sized sweatshirt, and I am nowhere close to being able to fasten them up. My hair is greasy from lack of washing but I figure I can still get another day out of it, if I backcomb the shit out of ‘er.
I need to begin looking into school enrollment for Sophie, and Lars’ special day at school is coming up which I will need to bake some peanut free cookies for.
I sit down at the computer to write, I need to get some columns finished. Recently I have upped my workload by applying to online magazines and with surprised reaction have got several callback’s. Just one more added stress to this hectic schedule.
I momentarily get up to use the bathroom and upon returning I realize my angelic children have raided the pantry in my 2 minute absence and took more fruit snacks without my authorization.
I begin to yell. I’m not proud of my screaming fit, and as I bellow my disappointment over small packets of sugar filled gelatin I realize I have finally fallen over the edge. I stop in mid-sentence, tell them to think what they’ve done and walk briskly towards my bedrooms on-suite bathroom.
There, I cry. That silent cry of disparagement. I know it will only be a matter of minutes before they come to find me, so I need to get it out now. I cry for all of the days like this. These days when I fall short as Mama. For the days when I know my husband is overworked and under-happy and upon returning home I am in no state to cheer him up. I cry for what used to be. The days when I could pick up and leave, without a trace. When I only had me to be accountable for.
It is after this last thought that I wonder what could have been.
What if I had never happened upon the man I now call my husband? What if we simply passed each other by, and decided never to speak and instead I carried on in life with my original idea of being childless forevermore.
As I sit on this toilet, forehead slammed against a clustered counter top I think about what this life may have held for me.
Maybe I would have fulfilled dreams that now seem impossible, dreams that now seem too far away to even fathom. Maybe, I would have placed all of my love and fervour into a career life, instead of changing diapers and wiping snotty noses. Maybe I could have carried on with schooling and become that individual that I now look at with envy. Maybe, in this alternate reality I could have been selfish and not feel so damn guilty about it.
As this last notion crosses my mind, I look towards the locked bathroom door and see tiny fingers reaching into my sanctuary from underneath. I hear my daughter’s voice, calling for me. It is then that I begin to flashback to the realities of my life.
The first moments of holding my son. The tears that escaped me when my daughter took her first steps. The uncontrollable joy when I discovered my husband on his knee in our kitchens home ready to propose his love to me.
I think about what life would have been like to miss all of these grand wonders. These moments that in someone else’s reality would have seemed ordinary and unexciting. And the thought suddenly is unbearable.
At this time, as my daughter calls for me and my son knocks lightly on the barricade separating us. I decide to be selfish and not feel guilty about it. And again, I think about the maybes of life.
Maybe, it is not too late for school. Maybe I can continue to be Mom and still look for further opportunities professionally. Maybe I can be the role model to my children that I so yearn to be. And maybe, by reaching for the dreams I have been envisioning for so long, I can teach my children a valuable lesson about never giving up on the things that matter. Maybe my priorities in life have changed since that lifetime ago when I was deemed as ‘just me’, but the original goal of success and happiness still remains. Only now, it means so much more because I have my family to share it with.
And from time to time, to be the best Mom that we can be to our special people, maybe, we just have to be a bit selfish; if only for a few minutes to take a time out in the on-suite to think about the maybes of life.