Two Days

My birthday is coming up in a week. I’ll be a year older, a year wiser(or so my husband,Raghav hopes)
So this year, I’m doing something different for my birthday.

Now we’ve had a rather bouncy year. 2 surgeries(Nirav and me), amazing events (new house/new pet/new job) along with all the other little bumps and bruises that make our lives more interesting. There’s been lots of laughter and major fun. Many beach trips and fingers sticky from too much ice cream. Sun-kissed perfection and memories to be thankful for.

We’ve had plenty of euphoric moments where I look around and think I’m just winning at this whole motherhood business.

And then something happens. Someone has an hour long tantrum or I step over the hundredth toy left on the floor. Self doubt creeps in. Drop by drop, thought by thought, like a little leak on the ceiling. Before soon, I’m wrecked with guilt and fear that I’m not raising my children well.

There’ve been mornings when I haven’t wanted to get up and nights when sleep doesn’t come for a few hours. And I’m mostly ok with that. I’ve made my peace with being a worrier and the general unpredictability of parenting two young children.
But if your internal thermometer is always swinging wildly between hot and cold, it can get exhausting after a while.

Every time I start panicking, I sit down and hug myself. I imagine a dear friend is going through the same thing, and how I would help her feel better. Then I do exactly that. Make time for myself. Squeeze in a few minutes when I can lay down, write, breathe. My husband is very nurturing and involved, so I rely on him. When it gets too much, I vent and debrief with my besties and go for the occasional manicure/movie/long drive. I practice decent self care and I’m not ashamed to ask for help.

Yet, despite everything I struggle every so often.

This is the face of unfiltered motherhood. Even when we’re happy, we’re waiting for the other shoe to drop. We jump at small noises, because we’ve been scarred before. We’re afraid to brag and boast, because what if it all goes away and we’re left weeping? We build our homes and guard our families with the fiercest of loves, and the biggest of hopes.

And we cry inside, because we have so much to give.
All this… all this intensity? Comes at a price.

So this year, I’m doing something different for my birthday.

I am going to practice accepting that I am not everything. I am not the smartest parent or the most organized one. My cooking skills are above average at best, and I am definitely not cool. I am not the best mother my children could have gotten.

But I am the only one they have. So for their sakes and mine, I need to invest in myself. Do a little of what makes me happy, what keeps me going. There’s no point in me blazing bright for an hour, if I am not functional for the next 5.

See in the madness of guilt and societal pressure, sometimes we forget to invest in ourselves. This journey does not have to be a lonely or painful one, yet we make it so. I know, I do.

So this year, I’m doing something different for my birthday.

This year I am asking for a gift.
Two days.All by myself in our house near the beach. Nobody around me.No responsibilities or cooking or pretend play.

Two days of solitude, so I can recalibrate.
48 hours of waking up and going right back to bed, if I feel like it.
2880 minutes of silence and the sound of my fingers tapping away as I write a story.

I cornered Raghav the other day and put up this idea to him. He stared at me, then chewed on his lip.
“Are you sure? You won’t worry, the whole time, wondering if we’re ok?”, he asked.
“I’ll be fine.”
“Are you sure?”, he asked again. “Are you sure 2 days is enough? Why not a week?”

I smiled and kissed his nose.

“That is sweet of you to offer. But a quiet weekend is all I need.”

I don’t expect to be perfect and shiny after my little break. Real life doesn’t work that way.
But I plan to come back energized, rested and clearheaded, so I can be a better parent and a happier one.

Sometimes it’s ok to be selfish. Sometimes it’s ok to put myself first.

Two days. 48 hours. 2880 minutes. Because I am worth it.

Edit: I don’t mean to come across as all suffering. I enjoy my life very much. And it also isn’t easy to leave the kids in my husband’s care either. Especially since Nirav has extra needs and the younger one is a drama queen. But, hey that’s what pizza and Youtube kids is for. Raghav will be fine.

(Or not) It’s only 2 days. 😁😁

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