The 60 degree day that we had last week set me off. I opened windows, organized garage and outdoor things, raked and weeded, scrubbed and scoured. There is still much to be done, but the fuse has been lit.
Apart from normal spring cleaning musts I am finding an urge to change and restart myself.
This winter was long. The longest of my life. It was cold and snowy and dark and claustrophobic and LONG.
But it was also wonderful. It was my first winter as a mother of two. The first winter with Ainsley as an emerging little lady. My first winter with my sweet Louise. The winter when I was challenged the most and learned a whole lot about myself, who I am, who I don't want to be, who I am turning into.
Looking back on my almost 4 years since college I have changed so much. Not just the marriage and the mom but me.
It's kind of bizarre. The transformation from kid to adult doesn't happen overnight like I thought. In many ways I was still part child through college, perhaps even when we first got married. I hope I've retained a bit of that child-ness even now and forever. But mostly now I am an adult. I worry about things like medical bills and insurance. I have nightmares about the roof caving in and Ainsley not getting into the perfect preschool program. I spend my free time making grocery lists from sale fliers, looking up new recipes, cleaning and organizing our home.
But I'm leaning that I can't let those adult tasks and worries overtake who I am. It is exhausting to be worried and anxious and overloaded all the time.
These past few weeks, being able to exercise regularly, and get some alone time for reflection has done wonders.
I think I was fighting with myself for so long trying to be too many people at once, instead of just who I am. I am a mom and I love that. I am a wife and I love that too. But I am also an artist and I need to create things to feel whole. I am a cook who needs to make things from scratch to feel accomplished in the kitchen. I am increasingly anal retentive about buying good quality food and natural products for our home and as long as that doesn't get out of control with our budget it's a good thing for me.
I used to have such negative reactions to these new moms who would proclaim "I am not going to lose who I am when I have children". I guffawed at their attempts to maintain their prior selves and be a superior parent. I didn't think it could be done.
I have learned. I have learned that in order to be a good parent I have to be more than a parent. I do have to keep my own interests and quirks alive so that I can be more than a milk truck, soother, disciplinarian, entertainment source.
Now fitting this much needed "me time" into a busy day is another story. I have found that sometimes it's enough just to sit down with Ainsley for 10 minutes and draw. We turn off the music, give Louise a few toys and just melt into the silence and the freedom of a blank page. Sometimes it's enough to occupy my girls in the backyard while I dig in the cold dirt with the sun on my back. Sometimes it's enough to forgo cleaning the house and doing laundry during nap time to write a bit or delve into a good book that's NOT about parenting or toddler crafts.
Sometimes it's enough.
And when it's not I am lucky to have a husband who understands, takes the girls, and lets me be me, all by myself for as long as I need.
Here's to some pretty serious spring cleaning ahead.