There was a fleeting moment today during which I second guessed God’s decision to give me four children. It came to pass as I scrubbed a toilet. My nine-year-old special needs daughter soaked nearby in the bathtub after a very messy accident left her, and the entire bathroom, in desperate need of my prompt and undivided attention.
Equipped with my tired old rubber gloves and a scant roll of paper towels I went to work. Hunched over the lifted lid of a toilet I’d scrubbed only days before, I couldn’t help but envision a lifetime, both already spent and yet to come, taking care of someone else. It was in that instant that I felt my spirit bow from the weight of momentary despair. I fell apart not outwardly, but within, sure that one more soiled diaper or overturned plate of spaghetti, or smeared hand print would surely send me over the edge.
Thankfully these moments are few and far between. Regrettably though, when they do occur I feel as if I’m teetering on the edge on insanity.
I knew going in that motherhood would not be glamorous. Everyone knows, after all, that minivans and diaper bags don’t exactly scream sexy. What I didn’t know was that it in spite of the constant companionship of my children, it would get lonely up here on the front lines. The keeping up and keeping on is a necessary, but completely exhausting reality. And in the height of the chaos–in the tangle of it all–I tend to lose bits and pieces of me.
Sacrifice and motherhood go hand in hand. Play dates rank above happy hour, parent teacher conferences come before pedicures. I can deal with that. Much more difficult to accept, though, was the loss of a social life, the giving up of all things girlfriend. In spite of the teachers and neighbors and random other people in my life, I sometimes felt like a mom without a country.
Today’s encounter in the bathroom left me itching to get to my computer, not to post the gory details (and believe me they were!), but to commiserate. To hear words of reassurance from a blog friend who, like me, has cleaned one too many toilets this week. To be lifted up by a funny story. To gain perspective from an inspirational post.
The blogosphere, it seems, has become my community.
Blogging is my constant. My go-to for a split-second of sanity amid the commotion. I turn to blogging friends when my toddler does something completely worthy of a laugh. Or when I’m wondering what brand of washing machine to buy. Or when I’m at my wit’s end with my mother-in-law. I blog a gamut of emotions without fear, without restraint, and without regret.
Because time after time, comment after comment, I find acceptance. I find understanding. I find friendship.
Within the tangible parameters of my daily life there are but a handful of people with whom I connect. My virtual life, though, delivers a daily dose of me time. It opens up a world of women, not bound by geographical location, whose struggles and triumphs echo my own. Our stories resonate; our lives intersect.
On the familiar blogs of friends I’ve come to know, I’m met with that which I, as a mom, as a wife, as an individual, long for: a compassionate group of like-minded women who share in this blissfully chaotic journey.
So what rewards have I found in the blogging community? I’ve regained myself. And, quite honestly, I missed me.