Honestly, when my mother told me that I should go enjoy my young years before getting married and having children, I didn’t understand what she meant and why she was so insistent on drilling it in my head. But of course, little-miss-stubborn that I was, I didn’t listen. I thought to myself, “Why does life have to change once I get married? Can’t I continue enjoying my life with my husband? Can’t I enjoy life with my kids?”
You could. Just not the same way you used to. Not on your schedule. And certainly not when you want to.
I’m pretty content with my life. I did everything any young kid did: I played, I met people, I travelled, I explored. And then I met my husband and fell in love. Got married at 22. I started sharing all my adventures with him. Of course it was different now because I had to accomodate his wants and needs into my schedule. No biggie. That’s life. What is life if you can’t share it with anyone? Except, I had never shared it with anyone. I never committed to anything because I couldn’t grasp the thought of ever adding anything else into my schedule. I was a happy young person ready to see the world! But it also got lonely and my husband reassured me that the adventures would continue.
The adventures did continue. But not in the same reckless way that I was having them. Now we had to go with his schedule because that’s the type of person that I am. If there was anyone to share anything with, their needs came first, mine last. And since he had a pretty demanding job with long hours, I would never ask him to do anything if he looked tired or complained about being tired. Which seemed like all the time. The longer we were together, the less adventures I had.
But that was okay, I thought. Because eventually it will return again. Because I love him more than the adventures. I love him more than living my younger years.
And now, here we are, four years later, and he has given me one of the best gifts I could ever ask for; a son. I never even dreamed of being a mother for the same reason I never saw myself settling down and becoming a wife.
First and foremost, let me just get this out there before I continue… I absolutely love my husband and son. Nothing on earth could ever compare to the love that I have for them. Nor could I even bear the thought of ever replacing my life now for anything else.
The problem that I’m having with all of these new things? Everyday, I sacrifice. Everyday, I put my needs far to the bottom of the list; if it even makes it on the list. You see, when I gave birth to my amazing son, I took time off of work to get the hang of things and to take care of him and to be a 24 hour wife and mom. I’m still on maternity leave. Three months in, three months to go. And with only one income to support the three of us, that means my husband has to work even longer hours, 6 times a week. Which means that for that one day he’s not working, he’s resting.
I’m the type that knows and realizes just how tired he is and that since he’s the only one supporting us financially, I have no right to even ask him for help at night. I let him sleep through all the chaos I experience with our son when he’s not feeling well, when he’s going through a growth spurt and just wants to cuddle with mommy, when he wants to play in the middle of the night. I honestly get no sleep. Because even when my son does finally fall asleep, I stay up getting the only time to catch up on all the chores around the house and to have some thinking time for myself.
And even when I’m sick, I’m still the one staying up around the clock because I feel like I just have no right to ask for help. I feel like this is my duty. My sacrifice. As long as my husband and son are happy and well taken care of, whatever I’m feeling doesn’t matter.
So when I’m sitting here, 5 o’clock in the morning, sniffling away from a cold, my son on my chest as he sleeps, and my husband on the other side of the bed snoring life away, I can’t help but think, how much more can I sacrifice of myself?
I don’t get to do what normal people do anymore. I don’t get to speak to adults. I don’t get to see my friends anymore. No one really likes to invite the “parents” anywhere. And if they ever do, we can never make it because my husband is too tired and I would just feel guilty going by myself.
The adventures became less frequent when I got married. And now, with child, what adventures?
I love being a mom. I love knowing that my sacrifice isn’t for nothing. I know that one day my son won’t be so demanding anymore and life can ease back into normalcy. One day, my son will be all grown up and I can tell him stories about mommy’s adventures. And that one day, I’ll have mommy-daddy-and-son version of those adventures.
When my mom told me to enjoy my young years, I wish she had shared with me the sacrifices she made being a mom of 4. Maybe I would have taken a longer time before settling down. But then again, if I had done that, my family won’t be the family.
So I guess, in a sense, this sacrifice is the sacrifice. No other sacrifices can compare. I’ll just wait for the day that I can have myself back… no matter how long that might take and how less of me that might be.
‘Till next time,