“Is this it, is this really it?”, I thought to myself, as I caught a glimpse of my strange misshapen naked body one morning after a shower. Here I was, mid thirties, supposedly in my prime and Bonds Cottontails had become a permanent fixture in my drawers. I remember a time when all my bras and knickers were bought in designer stores and simply had to match! Now I am just happy to find something comfortable; how times change.
I sat and looked at myself just a moment longer; chaos was reigning in the toy room; I could hear the children fighting over the same toy yet again. As I sat glued to this image in the mirror, my mind wandered: what had happened to my life, when did I become the frumpy housewife that was staring back at me? Was this all that my life had become, pondering ways in which to best hide my muffin top or refereeing yet another fight over the same toy (by the way, we have at least two of that same toy, but they always want the one she has!)?
Then there were the endless negotiations about food: please, I would plead, just one more bite of the apple and yes, then you can have a biscuit. I convince myself the three tiny bites of fruit will counteract the sugar in the biscuit. I only have three small children; how will I ever bribe teenagers with biscuits? Maybe I will need to upgrade to Tim Tams.
Thinking back over my short life, I just never imagined things would be quite like this. Motherhood was always in my plans, in fact it was the only career I wanted as a child. Things didn’t quite go as planned: after a bout of cancer and other complications, I was advised to reassess my career plans. I became the epitome of a career woman, working in advertising couldn’t have been much further from my dream job of Motherhood, and that was it for the time being.
Now here I find myself, in my dream job, a loving husband and gorgeous healthy children. So why am I so unhappy? I look at myself again and pull on my ‘uniform’ of a t-shirt and jeans; again I wonder whatever became of that smart, savvy, well-dressed businesswoman. My once beautiful designer handbag that used to be filled with treasures such as my favourite red lippy and expensive perfumes has long been replaced with my Big W nappy bag filled with bottles, dummies, nappies and all manner of baby things. Even now, on the occasion I do get to use a handbag, it is still filled with spare knickers and clothes, just in case! That favourite lippy is still obsolete!
As I think about my hopes for my life, did I expect too much? I am just not sure when society decided that having a corporate highflying career was more important than Motherhood.
The noise from the toy room has risen above a dull roar and, as I leave the safety of my room, a chocolate-covered face and a kiss greet me; then I remember why I wanted to be a Mother. The smile, the innocent kiss or the unprompted “I love you”, those are the moments that make everything worthwhile. So, the next time you are wondering why, remember that it is the little things. Enjoy the little things and don’t sweat over the big stuff. Enjoy life, the same simple way a child does.