She woke up this morning with her head thumping like drums.
It’s another day.
Four hours of sleep has been the norm since she gave birth. In between feedings, diaper changes, and phantom cries, four hours is already a blessing.
She got up, trodding on her way to the bathroom sink. It’s been so long since she looked at herself in the mirror. And now she stood there looking at her matted hair and the dried milk stains on her shirt.
It’s been a while, and she couldn’t recognize her face. It’s like she has aged a thousand years.
She frowned. It’s gonna be one of those days, she muttered.
One of those days. Yes, one of those days.
It’s those days that she imagined how it would be like if she changed her mind and took that job in Singapore. Or that internship in Paris. Or that offer to go on a cruise ship bound to Barbados as a singer.
She wondered how it would be like if she went to graduate school and finished her Masters in Linguistics or her PhD in Physics.
She could have been drinking tea with some random guy in Morocco. Or sliding down the dunes in the Sahara with a bunch of digital nomads like her.
Or finishing her third novel about a love story that doesn’t involve elevators whisking you away.
Here she was, standing in front of her bathroom mirror. Preparing herself for the long day ahead.
It’s gonna be one of those days where you need to go to the market to buy your food for the week. It’s one of those days where heaps of clothes need some folding.
And don’t get started on the tons of toys scattered all over the house. And the unpaid bills sitting on the countertop.
It’s one of those days when all your deadlines are due. When the baby cries her lungs out and her husband can’t find those goddamn keys again.
She stops and takes a closer look at herself. She breathes in deeply as she stares at the woman in front of her.
And then she sees it.
Her beautiful five-year-old with bouncy curls breathing softly as she lay on the bed. Her precious baby sleeping on his cot, smiling softly as he dreams his baby dreams.
And her man snoring loudly. The same man she’s been with for the last ten years who has comforted her pain and made her cry in laughter.
In a few hours, chaos will start again. She takes one last look at her face in the mirror, and she smiles.
Yes, it’s good to travel the world and pursue your passions. And there might be times she felt regret over opportunities she let pass.
But it’s the few minutes of silence before the chaos that reminds her that she’s right where she’s supposed to be.
Raising a family may not be everyone’s cup of tea. But it is hers.
Her heart is full of love and her belly is full of laughter. Her breasts, arms, legs, and thighs have stripes. And some parts of her may not be as tight.
But her body has become a temple in which she bore lives.
And that, she thought, is more than enough.
Sure, there may be huge sacrifices along the way. But it is worth every step.
It’s gonna be one of those days. Yes, it’s gonna be one of those days.
But she knew she was more than enough.
So she smiled and said to herself, “You ready? Because I am.”