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Sometimes, for no reason at all, or for several reasons that have piled up over the course of a day, a week or a month or months, I just don’t want to be a mother anymore. Or rather, I don’t want kids because being a mother is not as painfully exhausting as having kids. Sure, I know that you can’t really have one without being/having the other but, rationale does not always make the best approach.

I wouldn’t mind being the mother of self-sufficient, tidy little people but, that would mean that I am not the mother of anything I gave birth to. It is great to be needed/appreciated but when even the grown one expects that I am to make dinner despite the fact that he is not only a good cook but, he has been home all day and he is grown by all legal measures, I wonder what I was thinking way back in ponytails playing with my dolls and planning for parenthood. Exactly what did I expect this life to entail?

I cerainly did not expect to be a single parent. I did not expect to be the sole decision maker, bread winner, disciplinarian, trusted confidant or protector. I did not expect to go this alone. This is not the life that I ordered. But, I can’t go back to the drive thru with the bag that was clearly not mine after I have already made the long drive home. There are no returns. No exchanges.

Don’t get me wrong, I am definitely not complaining. Okay, I am.

I am tired. I am physically and mentally tired. I want a do over. The only problem is that I am not sure which part I would do over. Definitely not the part that brought me The Man and The Girl in the Middle. We have been through a lot together and doing that part over would bring me to a different place, a place where I don’t meet the one that helped me bring The Boy into my life. As tired as I am of the work, the stress and the fear of parenting, I don’t want to not be a mother. I sometimes just don’t want kids.

This weekend, as I was cleaning out my head by cleaning out my home I told my two oldest, “I don’t want any kids. I don’t want to be mom anymore.” And, spoken like they truly belong to me they both replied, “Too bad.”

I smiled because those are mine.

This is not the life I ordered but there is no denying that I am blessed to have it.