The Trenches

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It’s dark. I look around for someone to grab onto but I’m alone. I try to move through but the quicksand around my ankles holds me in place. I close my eyes and steady my breathing.

This won’t last forever.

I repeat this as a mantra, over and over, until I can see the light again.

I open my eyes. I’m back.

——-

There are days - whole days sometimes, moments others - that motherhood feels suffocating. Like I’m caught in the quicksand and when I look to the horizon, I see nothing but darkness.

It’s in these moments I’m furiously googling a solution, a remedy, a cure - even though I know there isn’t one and I just have to wait. As with nearly everything in parenthood, this too shall pass.

The long nights, the incessant whining, the constant neediness and being held. None of it will last forever.

But that’s the devastating beauty of parenthood, right? None of it will last forever. Pretty soon you are no longer the whole world to two perfect little boys. Pretty soon what once felt too hard, like too much, is gone and in its place are empty arms.

——-

I look down at my feet.

Come on, we can do this. It won’t last forever.

The darkness feels less heavy now. I can feel my shoulders begin to relax and the air around me is less oppressive. If I squint, if I clear the chaos around me and really concentrate, I can see the light. It’s there in the distance and I’ll be there before I know it.

——-

When I come out of the fog, it’s loud. These two little boys that I helped to create are each crying about two different things. And then, just when I consider covering my ears and crawling back into the trenches where it feels safer, the crying stops. They seem to have found one another and want to comfort each other. The next thing I know, they’re chasing each other around the house, shrieking and laughing. It’s loud again, but in a completely different way.

And it’s at this that I think this won’t last forever, but I really wish it would.