I am writing to you from an unfamiliar, hazy place that they call "Working Motherhood." I don't know exactly how I got here, where I'm heading or how many hours of sleep I'll get tonight but here I am.
I started work full-time in January while your daddy went down to part-time and will be going back to school this fall. As much as I feel like Future Ophelia would be interested in hearing the particulars of my day-to-day (ok maybe not) I just can't go there. I feel as if I have been dragged through everyday, like those kids have wiped the floor with me. There's a strange new pounding in my right ear, something heavy yet invisible sits on my chest and I haven't pooped normally for months. You're welcome for the TMI. I look at my face in the morning and I wonder who the hell I'm looking at. I've never looked so tired.
I don't know what to say to you that is encouraging of someday being a working mother yourself. This feels like hell; the stress, of course, but seeing so little of you too. It feels so unfair to have this astounding and luminous little person in my life that I am only allowed to see for a few short hours at night and on weekends. I thought I'd feel fulfilled, connected to the world, excited for each new day but none of that seems to be true so far. I've never felt more isolated and unsure of my path.
The bright spot in all of this is that somehow you are thriving despite all of the tumultuous change in our lives. Your sunny disposition shines bright as ever. Remember those stones I told you that the midwife gave us when you were born? Joy. Serenity. Flexibility. Your blessings continue to follow you. You say the sweetest things I've ever heard. You like to add "little bit" to just about everything you say. For instance " Daddy is a little bit funny" or "I'm a little bit tired". You have definite opinions on the music we listen to saying to one song "I wuv it!" or another "I don't like this song" and demanding I change the station. You still think farting is the funniest thing on the face of the earth. You are clearly a Watts. No doubt about things there. The way you say "Hi Mama" can bring me to tears even when I just hear it in my head.
I love you beyond measure, Ophelia. If this time is difficult you don't show it at all. Thank you for making it easy to do the hardest things I've ever done. All I have to do is remind myself that I wake up everyday and go to work for you and suddenly there are no more questions. I just know that I have to strive to be the person my daughter already sees me as.
Love love love,