Thursday, February 9, 2006

Achin' To Be

I'm not sure how obviously my dark mood of gloom and doom has shone through my posts lately. Maybe not much. I'm used to being a sunny, happy person and that is the demeanor I try to project. But lately, motherhood has worn me down.

Sad that the job I thought I'd be the best at has proven the hardest and the one I seem to be the least good at. I used to be a pretty good wife, and a cute one, too. Seems I'm no longer very good at that one either.

Despite my best efforts, the woman I used to be has been subsumed, eaten away in my efforts to be a really great mom. I've given too much of myself away, coddled without being cuddled myself. I've given one too many Matchbox cars and stayed up until 3 a.m. one too many mornings without giving anything to myself.

I know I sound selfish. I admire those moms who can go for days without a shower, wearing nothing but crusty sweatpants, and those who don't crave meaningful conversations with other adults. And I admire the moms who parent on auto-pilot, making snap decisions without anguishing over whether or not they're permanently damaging the little one's psyche. I marvel at the mothers who are happy to listen to nothing but Elmo or Barney.

Despite my best efforts to avoid it, I still have Laurie Berkner, some Harry Belafonte favorites, and a few of my nostalgic favorite tunes from the Muppet Show sandwiched into my iPod between The Replacements and Van Morrison. Most days it's okay. But when I realize I've heard Day-Oh or The Dinosaur Song three times in a row without a break, that's when I start to forget who I am, much less who I once was.

I have to recover at least some portion of that woman I used to be. I've realized I don't laugh as much as I used to and I don't get to enjoy music the way I once did. To that end, I've decided there are going to be some changes around here.

I'm working on saying no a little more, on encouraging independence and "big-boyness." I'm also thinking about little things I can do for myself so that I can feel human again, and less like the mommy-robot. I bought myself some flowers at the market today for the first time in over a year, something I used to do weekly. I've decided the TV can stay off while we listen to music of my choosing. I accept that I'm not a monster if I say I can't lie down and "cuddle a minute" when I put the little guy to bed.

I'm even going to try and find a sitter for the weekend so I can have a date with my husband. I miss him. And I know he misses me.

I imagine there are some who might read this and think I'm a horrible selfish bitch. But, I want my son to grow up to respect all women as individuals with their own wants, and thoughts, and needs, and desires, and means of expressing themselves. Not as his caretakers. And I want my son to realize that his parents love for one another is as important than their love for him...if it weren't for that love, he wouldn't exist. And if that love should be neglected, his life would take an entirely different path.

It's time I stop feeling guilty for being a person and start being the person I want to be. The woman I was always meant to be.

1 comment:

Karen said...

Oh please, DON'T FEEL GUILTY! You're absolutely right, YOU need some time. If you constantly deprive yourself of some "me" time, your mothering role will suffer. You'll become resentful, short-tempered, etc.

I know, I've been there.

And YES. Spend some time with your hubby. He deserves some of your attention, too. And it'll be good for your son to be away from the two of you as well.

Trust me, it gets easier. These are the hard years but as he gets older and starts to become more independent, it really does get easier.

Hang in there. *smile*