my inner voice had become mumbled amid the chaos of becoming a mother for the third time. i was already restless, becoming increasingly impatient living in Tupelo, feeling so far from family and friends and constantly waiting for any opportunity to leave, even if only for a long weekend away. our new little Sagittarius proving to be true to his signs characteristics; a fierce explorer full of independence, was pushing me to my limits. limits that appeared as a lesson in patience. i stepped away from everything that was not a necessity. i turned 40 a few months after his birth, then moved to the suburbs of atlanta, georgia, and was literally waiting for contentment to show up. living my day-to-day in what seemed like survival mode, waiting for this tiny human to be more independent as well as being mother to two older girls with completely new needs as a pre-teen and teenager moving to a new city and changing schools again, took over my existence. i would literally cry myself to sleep wondering why it seemed so terribly hard. i did have great days full of exploring, laughter, hope and excitement. days where the girls amazed me and the baby was a joy, keeping us all in laughter and amazement. then one day i realized while waiting for contentment to show up, age had set in and that contentment was mine for the taking all along. and now intense regret that i have wasted so much time, energy and days of the kids childhood that i will never get back has me scrambling and chasing the regret away. the one consistent is that even if perfect balance of raising kids and maintaining an individual existence doesn’t exist; i must try.