Friday, December 13, 2019

A Full Cup

"You can't pour from an empty cup."

I don't remember when I first heard that phrase, but it was some time after the birth of my daughter.  And initially, it seemed like a light bulb going off in my head.  Well... no wonder I feel so bad!  I'm not sleeping, my child needs me 24/7, and I'm not taking any time for myself. I'm trying to pour from an empty cup.  

But eight years into this parenting thing, I think I might be wrong.  It's not that my cup is empty... it's that it's too FULL of things that I can no longer pour out. 

It's a feeling of being stuffed to the brim with something that's scratching and clawing and dying to get out.  Ambitions and ideas and a potential life that I no longer have time for. The dreams of my youth that I replaced with diapers and wipes, sippy cups and parent teacher conferences. 

It's seeing others doing the things I wish I could, seeing them playing out the dreams that I chose to pause in my own life. Sometimes all that fullness burns inside me and leaves me feeling spent.

Spent.  But not empty. 

Empty would be easier.  Empty you could fill up with food or booze.  Empty you could attempt to ignore by becoming an expert on Pokemon or Minecraft or any of your kid's current obsessions. Empty you could cover over with Netflix binges and entirely too much time on Facebook.

It's the fullness that gets me. 

It sits heavy on my heart, my lungs.  On the bad days it flows up behind my eyes and clouds my vision.  The what-ifs and the should-ofs blind me to the beauty of what IS in front of me.  So I force those feelings back down and they leave a slime of guilt in their wake.

Because what I chose SHOULD be enough. 

But I can't swallow it away.  The feeling of untapped potential. The feeling that there should be, there MUST be, more to me than just my children.  My family will always be number one on my list.  But I just don't think they can be the ENTIRE list. 

So I tell myself, maybe in ten years.  Maybe they'll need me less.  Maybe then it can be about me... and those guilty feelings will be less intense.  Maybe then I'll let it out.

Maybe then, I won't feel like I'm so full I'm suffocating. 

"You can't pour from an empty cup."  Yeah.  But lately I've been having a hard time pouring from one that feels so achingly full. 

3 comments:

  1. So beautifully written my friend...and I empathize with you. You are more than a mother. All mothers are more than mothers...and that's what makes us so amazing!

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  2. Dawn is the "unknown" commenter 😀

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for your kind words, Dawn. ♥️

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