No, no, there is no going back. Less and less you are that possibility you were. More and more you have become those lives and deaths that belong to you. — Wendell Berry
It has been one year almost to the day since I stopped working and became a stay at home mother. Up until now, I always thought I was in some temporary state, a limbo I was living in until I could reclaim what was rightfully mine — my life. I have two small children under 5. My husband is gone upwards of 70 hours per week. I relocated a year ago and live in a city where I have only a couple of friends. I am alone 90% of the time with my kids. Sometimes surrender isn’t enough of a description.
Then it hit me like a TON of bricks. What was I thinking? What was I trying to reclaim?
I am not going ‘back’ to work. I DO work. I cook, I clean, I teach, I parent, I break up fights, I stay up all night, I do art, I build castles, train sets, cars, drive to activities, drink a shit load of coffee, I wipe tears, I wipe noses, I hug, I kiss, I cuddle, I love. Deeply, I love.
I am not going to get my body ‘back’ It has changed with time, pregnancy, breastfeeding and most importantly my attitude towards it has changed. You know, I love it as opposed to seeing it as something I have to control or manipulate or make better because its not enough. Do I want to be ‘thin’? Sure! I’m not going to pretend I don’t but in order to be healthy I have to eat what I want when I want to and spend an hour outside everyday. The body I have is the body I get. I have made peace with it. It has to be enough because there’s no time, energy or space for more.
There are friends I miss dearly that are never coming back.
The relationship I had with my husband before kids, is not coming back. It has deepened, been enriched, been neglected, been rekindled, been fought for, been taken advantage of. Where we are today is stronger and connected because we’ve had to work hard for it, had to have awkward conversations, fights about differing beliefs and then we have to come together because we are in love and we are committed.
My life before marriage, before kids….IT’S NOT COMING BACK!!
And then I felt SO HAPPY! I realized that I had missed the whole point. I am living in an extremely privileged situation and I get to stay home and raise my own kids. Even though I drew a huge sense of satisfaction from working and my identity as a yoga teacher, studio manager etc., it is just that, an identity and its not the life I’m in today. It’s not even the life I have to get back to. I realized that my life is right here in this moment with these incredible beings that I call my family is enough.
I have fully accepted the now moment. So fascinating for me because I can’t even tell you how many times I have read and taught about this very teaching. To feel it in your bones is another thing. To know I can take the gold of my past and weave it into my vision of the future is another thing. I now understand there is nothing to resurrect. Motherhood is walking through a door that you can’t walk back through. There is no going back. It is a transformation, a rebirth, at the cellular level, at the molecules of your very being, and the only direction to move is forward.