A Mommy's Discontentment

The most magical things in the world to my daughter are her hands. She can study her ten chubby digits for moments that spread into several minutes at a time. She flexes each finger ever so gracefully and then, bunches them all together in tight little fists.

She is delighted by her hands. She is content. She is 4 and a half months old.

I am 29 years old and searching for the contentment that my daughter experiences each time she discovers her hands. I am restless, carrying around a working mother’s guilt like Pilgrim’s Progress. Am I a bad mother for wanting a career and working full time? Do I spend enough time with my daughter? Does she miss me when I am away from her for 8 hours a day? Is it selfish to want to put her in front of Sesame Street for 20 minutes so I can just breathe?

These and many other questions fill my head as I sit on the train on my daily commute to work. At least once a day, I feel as if I have failed in some aspect of my life. Balance has escaped me for awhile now which leads to my current state of discontent. Which makes me hungry. I need a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. Right. Now.

Diet. Schmiet. At least 2 days a week, I binge on whatever food in my house that’s not expired. I have not gained weight, but I have only lost 6lbs since I came back to work from maternity leave 2 months ago-not bad, but certainly not good. My favorite guilty pleasure is to watch re-runs of The Biggest Loser with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. There’s something about watching obese people on television that makes me famished!

I know that my restlessness will not go away overnight, but with each pound I have lost, I have felt more in control. And, for a classic Type-A personality like me, control is a large part of contentment. One would think that that would be a big enough motivation to concentrate harder on dieting, but with Christmas fast approaching, I just want to eat. And eat. And eat. A lot of my happiest memories involve food and thus, I am hardwired to associate food with joy. Really, what is more joyful than Christmas tree shaped Little Debbie’s?!?!

So, I think I will pass on contentment like Sophie’s for now and just accept that being restless is ok. For now.

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