My Heart, Your Home: Passing ships in the night   

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Passing ships in the night

The thing about having a child who doesn't go to sleep until after you wish to be in bed yourself is that it means you do not get even a moment to yourself. Not a moment without a child chatting in the background or asking for something or going to the bathroom. You do not get the time to spend with your partner, or eat a meal in peace. You are forever fending off questions, nurturing their souls, losing your temper. The thing about going from waking moment, to slumber (and multiple times in between) is that you forget to nurture your own soul, feed your own heart and care for your own self. 

I knew when I started having children that my life would change dramatically, I knew that I would sacrifice my time, to have shared time. I knew that my hobbies and interests would take a back seat for a short while. Having children, a family, was so much more important to me than all of those "sacrifices". However, what I was not aware of is that I wouldn't know myself outside of my connection to my children. I wasn't aware that my body would not exist without the attachment of a child, from the moment I rolled out of bed, until I rolled back in. 

I have found myself in a situation where I am unable to decipher where I, and the things I love to do, begin. Where my children and their demands end. I spend my days living on another planet, giving my every ounce of energy to my children, yet waiting for the moment I can go to sleep. I miss being able to recharge by writing, or drawing, or being with Anthony. I miss being able to reenergise by being me.

Anthony and I built our relationship on the foundation of bottles of wine and late night talking. I was seduced by our conversations. We fell in love over a glass of red wine. We danced to common music. We would watch the sun set and the moon rise. We would connect over beautiful food. Our love thrived with each others silences and it grew with our exchange of words. Oh how I miss being able to have an uninterrupted meal, a glass of good wine and hours of conversation with the man who taught me how to be. I miss being able to sit in his company and feel the strength of our love forming, growing, developing. There is something to be said for just being with each other, to feel each other. 

Life with three extremely young children has robbed us of being with each other. We are like passing ships in the night, giving each other the occasional nod of support as we swap to settle another child. A groan of sympathy when another child wakes at the darkest hours of the night. A sigh of acknowledgement when we both collapse on the lounge in a heap to attempt to eat dinner. Conversation revolves around our plan to survive the next 24 hours and then it comes to a halt and we merely survive, side by side. There is no romance, there is limited connection, there is zero to none conversation and there is just no time. 

We are surviving these early years of parenthood, the very best we know how. We are stronger than ever before, even if we are not connected like before, because we know that at the end, one random night, our children will all sleep. They will sleep and then we will sleep and we will have our very own family. A family that we created, we raised, we nurtured and we grew, all on our very own.

On that day, we will high five each and we will know that those nods of encouragement, the sighs, the nights of passing ships, were all worth while

as we will have the rest of our lives to be, to converse and connect, to fall in love over the sounds of our children laughing, and sleeping.

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