My Anxiety Caused by Tunnels

After you get over the initial shock that I am 33 years old and I have a 16 year old and a 13 year old you laugh and tell me about how smart i was to start so young. I will then in turn chuckle and reply with some trite cliche that I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Let me set something straight. I hate that stupid tunnel, with its light shining bright. Who said that I wanted to go anywhere near that god forsaken tunnel, isn’t there a door or a fence or a big rock to put up so that I can’t see it anymore?

That tunnel gives me more anxiety than I care to admit. It makes me wallow in self pity wondering where all the time went and just like that more time is gone.

I need more time.

Before I was even an adult I became a mother and then a wife. I have two beautiful daughters, a loss that haunts me more than I care to admit and a wonderful & supportive husband. Most days I think my family is complete, but there are days when I beg, plead, and make deals with God for just one more babe to carry in my womb, to suckle at my breast, to cradle in my arms.

Being a mother has defined me. I have been a mother for nearly half of my life and even through the trying days I never once regret being a mother to my girls. Sure, it’s hard work, but it is something that I know I was made for. It just flies by so damn fast.

I’m not scared for my girls going out into the world. I have raised two beautiful, smart and confident young ladies. I have no doubt that when they get into the world it won’t swallow them up but will be conquered in ways that only they can imagine. My biggest fear, my greatest source of anxiety is myself.

Who are you Heather and exactly what are you going to do with yourself once these girls fly from the nest? It scares me because I don’t know who am I without them. Becoming a mother before you even know what you are becoming yourself makes these last few years scary. Sure I had fleeting thoughts of who I was or what I wanted to do, but they never came to fruition and to be honest I can’t even remember what those thoughts were about anyways.

I am a photographer and writer and I love what I do, but they are my muses and without them I just don’t know if I will see the world the same way.

I know, I know when they leave the nest they aren’t going to disappear and never be heard from again, but they won’t be here consuming my every moment with their bad TV, crazy YouTube videos, and fights over whose turn it is to wear the blue sweater or the salt stains on some one’s boots that someone else put there.

I can’t imagine a life in which I don’t have to make lunches, drive them here or there, do massive amounts of laundry that I complain about, or wonder which girl took my tweezers no matter how many times I tell them not to take them out of the bathroom.

So many people are scared to become parents. They don’t know what to expect, how will their lives change, will they lose all of their friends? I have those same fears for myself and I don’t know how to squelch those fears, to reassure myself that everything will be alright, that I will survive.

But while I am figuring it all out, if you are on the other side of that tunnel will you please turn off that light?