I've started and stopped this letter more times than I care to count.
Sometimes I miss the old me. I'm still obviously me, but I miss aspects of the old me. I know I've changed. People change. People grow up and mature, at least, they should mature. But that's another topic.
If I'm being honest, then I must say that I miss the carefree version of me before I had children. I miss not having to worry so much. Having kids changes you. That's hardly a new revelation. Everyone knows that. It changes everything: your body, your mind, your emotions, everything.
As a mama, it's all too easy for my mind to go to a dark place. When I listen to the news or read a story in the paper, I think in terms of "someone's baby." "Someone's baby" got in an accident or "someone's baby" did this or did that. People are not just people anymore. People from here on out are just someone's baby. That's it. At some point everyone on the planet was a just a crying baby in need of some lovin'. And for me... that was the end of a carefree existence. Which is not necessarily a bad thing. It just is the way it is now. It does open up new ways of thinking: empathy. Motherhood (and fatherhood) rips open your heart and makes you vulnerable in a way that cannot really be described. It's more than wearing your heart on your sleeve... it is ripping open your heart itself. What is love if not to be made vulnerable to pain or to sadness. Exposure and allowing yourself to be vulnerable is a true sign of love. If you're not willing to be open to being hurt, it's not love. (I do not imply physical abuse, if you or someone you know need help, go here.) Think about it... a baby cannot be born without pain. Even growing old with someone has the risk of pain of losing the other through death, even at the end of a long happy life. Love cannot happen without the openness to being hurt, because if we really love something, we are putting ourselves in the way to be hurt. But life without love, is sad and lonely. Love is worth the pain and sorrow that it's absence may cause us. Yes, that is it. Love does not hurt us. It is the threat of losing love that will hurt us.
But sometimes I miss being carefree. Having the weight of (someone's) world on your shoulders is a responsibility indeed, and it shouldn't be done lightly.
This was deep and real and raw. This is the reason I've started and stopped this letter so many times.
I cannot go back. I have opened myself up to unconditional love. It's scary. But I'd do it all over again.
Wife & Mama with a passion for peaceful parenting, natural living, homeschooling... and my daily café au lait.