Sometimes I feel trapped

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Sometimes I feel trapped.

By my children.

That’s horrible to say.

It is.

But I say it because, maybe, sometimes, you feel it too?

Sometimes I feel trapped just by the fact that they are children and they are mine.
Trapped by their big brown eyes. By her little girl voice and the pitch it can reach when she wants something. Trapped by his impish toddler grin and the speed with which it devolves into tears.

Sometimes their little fingers wrap themselves around my thumb and they hold so tightly. They can hide my entire thumb in their little hands and I miss that thumb. I miss the days when it was mine and mine alone and I could always see it.

Sometimes their little arms wrap around my legs like vines. They hold me in place. Grounding me here. I can’t move. I want to grow and reach towards the sun and gather the clouds in my arms and then soar among the birds. But I can’t. I’m tied down. Here. Solidly on the ground.

Sometimes they throw their little bodies on top of mine. They are slight little bodies but oh so very heavy with the weight of their needs and wants and wishes and dreams. They pin me down and they keep me in one place.

Sometimes I feel trapped all day long.

And when I reach the end of the day and I’ve finally broken the circles of children’s fingers around my thumbs and pinned those little bodies into their own little beds, I sit. And that’s when the cats come. They try to take their place. My lap now empty, my hands now free. They want some of me too.

But I toss them off because this is my time. This precious hour is mine to lay unattached, free to fly and soar and grow. Except that the hour is late. And I am still trapped. I am trapped by exhaustion and emotion and the long list of to dos that just can’t be done when I’m bound by little arms and fingers and bodies.

Sometimes I feel trapped.

Sometimes I want to do things. I want to go to a coffee shop to drink coffee and read a book on a Sunday morning. I want to travel to a far away land on an adventure that doesn’t require lugging those little bodies and all of their snacks and cups and bottles and things. I want to wash, dry, and fold one load of laundry all between one sunrise and one sunset.

These are the things I would do. If I wasn’t trapped.

So I look around for a way out. I want to find an exit. And that’s when it happens. That’s when it always happens. That’s when she uses her little girl voice to tell me she loves me and I want to trap her in my arms and never let her go. That’s when his impish toddler grin emits a series of rolling giggles and I want to ride that wave forever. That’s when I realize I made this trap. I walked in willingly.

That’s when I find that, because of them, I’ve grown so tall and reached so much. Through the fingers and vines I see my hands reaching out, grabbing armfuls of clouds. I look around and see that, with them, I am soaring with the birds.

With them and for them and because of them I’ve grown more in five years than I would have in my entire long life without them. I’ve accomplished things. In spite of myself, sometimes in spite of them, but always because of them, I’ve done things. I’ve dreamed dreams and made things happen. I’ve made them happen. And they’ve made me happen.

Yes, I feel lucky that they are children, and they are mine.

I give thanks, over and over and over again, for the ways in which they have changed me. Made me. I love this me.

And this person. This me I love so much. She is here. In this place. And it’s all because of them.

15 Comments

  1. You’re right. I do feel it sometimes too. Beautiful writing and so heartfelt!

  2. Yup…it happens and that is ok. It is not that we do not love our children or are not thankful for all that they have made us to become…it is just sometimes we have have “those days”.
    Jen@milesandblessings recently posted..What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?My Profile

  3. I have both of those days. The days in which I feel free because of them, and the days I yearn to chase dreams around. I suppose there is a way to do it all, at least a little by little, but I haven’t taken those leaps yet.
    Tamara recently posted..Five & Ten Years Gone, Holding On.My Profile

  4. 1. I love how honest this is. Yes, parenthood helps us to soar and achieve and fly. But it also grounds us, frazzles us, and dulls our edges.

    2. Did the kids take my life away or did they give it to me? Yes. To both. I think if we pretend otherwise, or consider only one or the other, there’s a grave danger to our kids – and to us.

    3. Thing is, those things you imagine yourself doing? The flying, the great writing? You’re doing them anyway. Even rooted down and thumb-tied.
    Eli@coachdaddy recently posted..Guest Post: Sandy of Mother of Imperfection Shares a Few KidiomsMy Profile

  5. Thank you for the raw honesty of this post. Yes, I feel trapped sometimes too. I know I’ve been feeling it a lot when I start to get all nostalgic about the days before having my son. I wouldn’t go back to that life for the world, and yet I also wish I had savored my carefree time more.
    Katie @ Pick Any Two recently posted..3 Ways Becoming a Mom Has Drawn Me Closer to GodMy Profile

  6. great post, truthful and so true. as moms we have to admit that motherhood is also tough and we have moments where we do feel trapped. At the same time, we love the lives our miracle children created. It’s a lifetime job…so worth it though.
    karen recently posted..Getting Stronger and Healthier for my sonMy Profile

  7. Love this post; thanks for sharing. I think if we are to be 100% honest, all moms feel this way at some point in the parenting journey. We give so much of ourselves. I think the key is getting a little space so we don’t lose us. It’s healthy. Does it mean we love our children any less? No. Does it make us horrible moms? No. I agree with everything you wrote; your words are perfect.
    Anne recently posted..Wednesday WishesMy Profile

  8. I recognize every word in this post. Thank you for writing it. You put it into words beautifully.
    Elvira recently posted..Traffic jam. Like in solid jam.My Profile

  9. I too am so very glad that you shared this Tricia. This has been on my mind and in my heart a lot lately and it’s so hard because it’s not necessarily something that I want to admit. But yes, I do feel suffocated sometimes and I daydream about those days of not being mom. But yes, your words are perfect.
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..Friday Round-Up: A Life You LoveMy Profile

  10. I so enjoyed this. I so relate to it.
    Christen recently posted..Your Child’s Vestibular System: The Fidgeting, Zoning Out SystemMy Profile

  11. This couldn’t have been easy to admit. I think it at times. I feel so guilty when I just wonder for a moment what I would be doing right now if I didn’t have my younger children. Our two oldest are adults and we have three young ones at home. I wonder if I would still be working at the job I loved, all the money I would have, the places I could have seen/be seeing, the things I could have done/be doing. That said, I cannot imagine my life without these outstanding human beings in it. So there it is. This was a lovely, honest post. Thank you.
    Sandy Ramsey recently posted..Being HumanMy Profile

  12. I do feel it too. It’s hard to admit, isn’t it? But, yes, they also make me who I am and I can’t imagine my life without them. Motherhood is such a complicated thing.
    another jennifer recently posted..Wordless Wednesday: Mother’s Day FlowersMy Profile

  13. I have those trapped days too, but I have them less and less as my kids get older. Because I know that I wouldn’t trade being trapped for anything in the world, and sooner than I’d like I won’t be anymore.
    Dana recently posted..What do you love about me?My Profile

  14. Oh my love, you nailed this. In every way possible. In most respects, I owe everything I have become and every risk I have been willing to take to my kids. But there are mornings, like this one, where I willingly open my store a half hour late because I needed to steal 30 quiet minutes after the kids got on the school bus, just me and a cup of coffee quietly at my kitchen table. Amazing writing, and something most (honest) parents can identify with.
    Ilene recently posted..No Holding Back for AlexaMy Profile

  15. Wow, it’s like you were in my head! Especially since I have a cat! I know how that dance goes. I get one hour between putting the kids to bed and back into bed and when I go to bed. Then the cat jumps in my face. I have learned to pet him anyway because cats are spiteful and will pee on things :-)
    Tara Newman recently posted..American Zofingen: A Sherpa Wife’s TaleMy Profile

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