Finding My Else

Mom and Twins

Earlier this year, I shared a bit about my discernment process regarding my boys and preschool - sort of a brief pros and cons list as I sorted through our options.  Now we are fast approaching back-to-school season, and the decision has been made.

Even though they are not yet three, my two will soon be going to preschool.

Technically, it's a "Parent's Day Out" and only three mornings a week, but we are fired up and calling it "school" around here.  Which, yes, if you do the math, means that they will be starting their first of three years of preschool.  Gulp.

As you may have guessed, preschool tuition x2 (the twin factor) is definitely on the list of "cons."

But, there are many "pros" on this list.  For the boys, there will be more socialization, different approaches to learning, new friends, increased independence, another caring adult in their lives, and much, much more.

And there are also pros for me.  To be honest, at the top of that list is this: I need a break.

I need some time away from the constant demands of, "Mommy. Mommy?... Mommy!"

I feel guilty admitting this.  I especially feel guilty admitting this as an {infertile} woman who for so long yearned for the day when I would hear that word, that name, assigned to me.

Mommy.

It's a blessing.  A gift.  And {often} it is music to my ears.  But I'm exhausted.

Exhausted from the constant need.  Exhausted from the guiding, the teaching, the correcting, the praising, the referee-ing, the yelling counting, the time-outing, the crying, and the general juggling act of motherhood.

I am emotionally, physically, and mentally just...exhausted.

And then one of them breaks into a verse of Jesus Loves Me or the other snuggles his irresistible bed head on my lap, and I count my blessings that I am home with them at 9:28 in the morning.

And then I remember how, not twenty minutes earlier, I contemplated locking myself in the laundry room as I could not handle the whine fest taking place over oatmeal and banana plating options at the kitchen table.

And then I celebrate with them as they accomplish a new milestone - conquering the potty, counting to 10, learning to ride a tricycle, recognizing a new letter, or putting on shoes all by themselves - and I am reminded how fortunate I am to bear witness these big, fleeting moments.

And then I snap when they cannot get their shoes on quickly enough and we are late yet again.

I'm caught in a mental Jekyll and Hyde drama and there is no intermission.

No intermission.

So, before my Hyde gets the best of me - of us, I'm interceding.  I'm taking a break.  I'm lovingly shoving guiding my children outside our own doors and into the wide world of preschool.

And in doing so, I'm going to walk through an open door of my own.

I'm opening some windows in this place that's becoming too dark and stuffy.  I'm getting some air.  I'm feeling the breeze and hearing the chimes and listening for where the quiet voice might lead me.

Mommy.  Wife.  Student.  

Yes.  Student.

When I say "break," I don't mean I need to kick up my feet and drink some tea.  Although, that sounds lovely, and I won't pass up the opportunity should it present itself.  No.  When I say "break," I mean I need more.  I need balance.  I need to find a way to stabilize the highs and lows, the extremes of motherhood.  I need to take a moment to be something else.

Not something instead.  Not something greater.  But something in addition.

So that I might step outside "Mommy" just enough to look back upon it and see how wonderful, how beautiful, it is.  For if I don't, I fear I'll wander so deep in the forest that I'll lose sight of the trees.

And that, in part, is why they are going to preschool and I am going to seminary.

I hope I just might find it there.  The trees.  The beauty.  The balance.  The "else."  The me.

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