Let's face it: Once you have a baby, your entire life changes and things will never be the same again. One of the changes that I experience regularly is what I'll call the Pull of Motherhood. Once I became a parent, have never been able to leave the house without thinking about my children. Ever.
Hopefully, you will get to the point where you can enjoy yourself a bit sans kids, whether on a date while your children are with a babysitter or (lucky you) a family member, or out to lunch with a friend while your spouse takes care of the kids.
But I have yet to meet someone who can ultimately escape the Pull of Motherhood. Here's how it works: You have been home with the kids all week. They have been sick; you have been sick. No one has been sleeping. A snow day was thrown in the mix, and come Saturday morning you could not be any more ready to get the Hell out of the house. It doesn't matter where you go: aimlessly wandering the aisles of Target, window shopping at the mall, staring into space at the coffee shop. You finally manage to get out of the house. It feels strange. Deep breath. You check your phone and start to relax. You wander the clothing section, get yourself a latte, and then, inexplicably, you find yourself touching the tiny clothes in the children's section or strolling through the toy aisle where they sell your son's favorite Hot Wheels. Or, you leave the mall, and notice that your only bag is from Gymboree.
(Oh, the literal and figurative Pull of Motherhood)
There it is. The pull. It starts with gentle reminders of your kids-- clothing, toys, other small children milling about. Then, after being out for about an hour, you start feeling anxious. The unexplained need to get home creeps up on you.
It is a complicated feeling because at my best, I know I deserve some time to myself. I'm a better mom when I've been able to get some breathing space, some adult time without wiping a little nose or changing another diaper. We all need a break from taking care of anyone else's needs but our own.
Yet it's there. The pull back to wherever my children are. The feeling that they need me. And the surprising feeling that perhaps I need them too, more than I might think.
Even when your dark circles resemble smudges of purple paint and you haven't had a pedicure in two years, the Pull Of Motherhood means that home quickly becomes more appealing than the crowded mall or the fancy restaurant.
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