Gosh, I know for a fact that I could write a book about why being a woman is hard. I mean, the material available is abundant, but I’m so exhausted right now that a blog post will have to do. Why am I exhausted, you ask? Well, aside from having three kids six and under, and therefore having little to no sleep in seven years, I also found myself up at 3am this morning. My wandering mind found this a very convenient time to worry about finances, my children, and whether I put away the leftovers after dinner.
So there I stand putting taco casserole in the fridge at 3:30 am, and I listen to the household silence all around me. I can hear my own heartbeat in my ears louder than the breathing of my sleeping family, and underneath my own silent exhalations I feel the current of anxiety. I’ve never had an anxiety attack, but this feels like something similar. For days I’ve been under this constant worry over situations that don’t require my extensive concern, and as much as I hate it, I can’t stop it. I can’t even stop it from keeping me awake for the next two hours.
Being a woman is incredibly hard, and I was reminded of that as I cried five times during twenty minutes of SVU the other day. I knew better than to even look at the television when the movie Up was on this morning. I’m currently a hormonal hot mess. Nine months of pregnancy hormones, followed by 20 months of lactation hormones, followed by the eventual return of my menstrual cycle after not having one for almost two years. Now repeat that x3 in seven years. Emotional instability should be my middle name, rage my signature color, and anxiety and unwarranted depression my shadow.
Being a woman is hard. You grow babies inside you, which is absolutely amazing, but even the joy of motherhood can’t change the desire for your pre-pregnancy bod that has trouble returning, if ever. I have zero regret for nourishing three babies totally from my breasts, but I do have to look away from the mirror sometimes when I catch a reflection of the sagging flesh that’s left behind. Just being honest. But for real, I’ve accepted the physical changes of my body. I consider it a fair trade for the amazing family God created within me. After all, I have the control to love myself despite the alterations of fat deposits. Lol. But it’s the stuff I don’t feel like I can control that bothers me the most.
I can remember as a child seeing my mother cry over commercials that were not sad and thinking, what a weirdo. But now I get it. The first time I cried at the cheerleading performance in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade because I was so proud of them, I knew I’d never be the same. It’s actually a good thing they canceled American Idol. I was a regular basket case watching that show.
Yeah, being a woman is hard. Anxiety you can’t make stop, anger you have difficulty subduing, and runaway tears you cannot convince to go away. I can remember when I was around eight years old, and had just begun to go to church, using my new knowledge to make a point to my parents that they found amusing. Kids say the darnedest things, right? Well, I can’t recall exactly what injustice I thought I was having to endure, but in my angst I cried out to my mom, “I wish Eve had never eaten that apple!” Boy, would I have a lot to learn.
I don’t know what life for woman would be like without sin, and I don’t know if I can or even want to fathom the journey of motherhood any different than what it has been. As it stands each moment has been a gift in its own way, bringing me to closer dependence on the Lord, and teaching me lessons about myself and my faith. In my current ocean of hormonal change I am certainly leaning closer to the Lord in all these feelings I cannot seem to understand or control. I know in my heart that being a woman is beautiful, and that we were designed to have the emotions we do for a greater purpose than we can even see, but that doesn’t change the fact that some days it is very, very hard to be one. Today is one of those days.