Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Boxed into parenting

Sometimes, as a mom, I feel trapped.

That sounds ungrateful.  But it's honest.  

As a new mom, the first thing I missed was the ability to just go somewhere without thinking about it.  Just to jog right out to the car, hop in, and drive.  Now it's always a process: "Is everyone wearing matching shoes?  Do you have your ballet bag / bagged lunch / lunch money / money for the fundraiser / fundraiser raffle tickets / tickets for wherever we are going?  Has everyone gone potty?  COULD EVERYONE PLEASE PLEASE HURRY?!?!"  And then the last minute jog back up the steps to the house to get whatever they forgot. I miss simplicity.  

I miss silence.  I miss being able to stop in the cool and quiet of a church and lose myself in prayer, without a thought of who needs me somewhere else.  

I miss sleep.  Dude, do I miss sleep.  Uninterrupted slumber and actual unconsciousness for hours strung together. 

I miss not needing babysitting.  (Perhaps that's a double negative, and I don't not care but we'll let it go... ;) 

Hubby:  "Wanna go to a movie tonight, sugah plum?" 
Me: "Sure, handsome hunk!" has become:

Hubby: "Wanna go to a movie 32 days from now?  The Hobbit will have been in the cheap theater for a week then so there shouldn't be a line... Who can we call?"
Me: "Well, you know mom and dad don't do nights, and that's dress rehearsal weekend for the girls, so it has to be a night.  Maria's on vacation, and Julie charges $15 an hour now... We already asked those friends like three times last month.  Eh, I'm liking Red Box right now.  Hey, how about I meet you for your 45 minute lunch break in the car... hopefully the little ones will be napping?"
Hubby: "Sounds like a plan!"  Except, they don't nap, and demand your sandwiches from their car seats while you try to talk over the din.  

That's probably the thing I miss the most: not being interrupted.  Being able to finish a thought.  A project.  A sentence.  Or just to get this book upstairs without bringing two preschoolers with me.  That was probably the hardest transition to being a mom: the first time I was trying to discuss something important and life-changing with my husband--like where to buy a house--and seemingly getting somewhere while realizing that the conversation was going to have to be finished at another time because we had two tiny kids clamouring for our attention.  The seeming sacrifice of sanity was what kinda blew my mind.

Like just there, between this sentence and the last, I stopped to play a "roar" game with my toddler.  This consists of her piping out her tiny tiger sound, and me acting terrified.  It's absolutely adorable.  And terribly monotonous.  Over and over again.  

That's what I find hard about parenthood.  On a personal level... well, after I danced in dismay to "If you're sexy and you know it," I realized a fellow Zumbite was actually an old friend of mine. We hugged, exchanged pleasantries, the usual: where do you work; oh I'm at home with four kids; FOUR kids! Yep four kids; How do you do it? Ha ha, I have no idea; so what do you do?"

"Oh, I'm a neurosurgeon at RI Hospital."  (Gulp.) 

"Wow.  Good for you."  I'm not envious.  Not one itsy bitsy little bit... Really!  No, really.  My super-competitive nature retired when I graduated from college, right?  Sigh...

I just thought I would have done more by now.  I was at the top of most of my classes throughout school.  I was always told I had so much "potential."  I'd planned to get a doctorate.  And dear Lord!  I really would have thought I would have made some money by now.  But that doesn't often happen when you get married at 23 and become (unplanned :) a mom at 24 AND want to stay home with your kids.  A couple years of teaching here and there, and freelancing assignments don't add up to a fraction of the career I would have thought I'd had by now.

But, I also would not have thought I'd know such wonderful beings as THESE:

And for them to call me "mom."  And for me to call them "mine."  The person for whom they save the best smiles and worst behavior.  There is no job I'm more proud of.  Even though I sometimes feel like I'm boxed into it, waiting to be rescued, like my daughter on the right there. 

Incidentally, she put her own sweet self on the shelf, and is merely caterwauling because her shoe was incorrectly put on.  Here, Cecilia plays me, the occasionally discontent domestic housewife, and little Felicity will portray "Super Mom."  I know a few.  As in, "I love to clean, I adore being pregnant, I thrive on crafts, I live to cook!"

On right below, me: "It's mealtime AGAIN!?!  Are you SURE there's no leftovers around?  Cereal, anyone?"

On left below, Domestic Goddess:  "Oh I froze my pre-made dinners for this week a month ago.  I'm off to make an cake from super scratch!!"

I do have other, non-maternal dreams I hope will be met someday.  Yet, I do feel--despite the sometimes outrageous sacrifices--that I'm doing the "big stuff" now.  

You know, this box kinda rocks, when I think about it...

"Brethren, let every man, wherein he was called, therein abide with God."
1 Corinthians 7:24


  1. Christine (Marcotte)June 7, 2013 at 9:31 PM

    Do you have a surveillance camera in my house? You are describing my life. Down to the scattered teaching- I thought I would have done more with my life by now- and the thing you miss most. Except I do like crafts and cooking.

  2. You're so not alone. Every mom (even the self-proclaimed super moms) must feel like this at times. I had my career (make that careers) and did well for myself, and I still think I fell short on a professional and personal level at times. I think we have to keep reminding ourselves that it's okay to plan for the future, but we have to be content with this season of our lives (as monotonous as it can be at times). When I think about all the wonderful things I could be missing out on by not being a SAHM, I wouldn't wish for anything else than right where I am.

  3. The best line I have read EVER to describe motherhood: The person for whom they save the best smiles and worst behavior.
    What a beautifully honest assessment of life as a mother.

  4. Not being interrupted! Boy do I miss those days. Then my son will do or say something funny and I can't help but smile.