Posted on | March 21, 2011 | 6 Comments
I started this whole “Project” as a way to get back in touch with me. I wanted to find out if I even am the person I used to be… anywhere. In any way. And it’s been a real struggle.
But along the way, I’ve learned something pretty interesting. A lot of the things I wasn’t doing… listening to music, having fun, being silly… a lot of those things were pushed aside because I believed that mothers didn’t act like that. I believed that mothers needed to be seen as reasonable. Mothers needed to be calm and rational. Mothers were only fun when they were playing with their children.
Mothers were… boring.
But that’s so not true. Mothers can be fun without being careless. I may be a mom but that doesn’t mean I have to put away my dancing shoes and hide the booze. I may be a mom, but who says that means I can’t stay up late on occasion? Who says that means that I have to be all careful and cautious all the time? I mean, yeah… when J is with me, I need to be sensible. But you know what? I do him a disservice if I stop being real just to try to be a mom.
I don’t want to create some unobtainable perfection model for my children. I don’t want them to grow up thinking that being a mom means not having any fun. I don’t want them to remember that I was always there for them and have that memory scarred by the fact that I was never anywhere else. I want my kids to know that being a mom is an amazing gift … but it doesn’t mean you lose your life to your kids.
Things change, sure. There are things you won’t be able to do as much. There are activities you used to do that you don’t want to do quite so often. But to say that being a mother means EVERYTHING changes is just… so wrong. Because the only thing that should change is the fact that there is a little person who believes in you. There is a little person who looks at you and thinks “I want to be like that when I grow up.” And because of those thoughts, because of that person, you should strive to be better. You should aim higher. You should shoot for the freaking moon just to show them that there are people out there who are crazy enough to believe they can actually REACH the moon.
When I became a mom, I thought that meant I had to stop being so … me. I had to listen to kid-friendly music or nothing at all. I had to be calm under pressure. I had to look down my nose at “silly people.” I had to be … an adult.
But here’s the thing: I AM an adult. And I am silly. I am a Snoop Dogg fan because his voice makes me giggle. I like to sing really loudly to inappropriate songs by “artists” with names that can’t even be said aloud. I want to be a writer. I like to spend Saturdays in my pajamas and I like to have a beer in the middle of the day when it’s basketball season. I lose my temper a lot at stupid things… like basketball, or Husband saying my fake bacon smells bad. I lose my patience with my son even though I love him.
I am flawed. I embrace my flaws. I think that by shielding our children from our flaws, we give them the impression that being an adult is, well, BORING. And although there are times where I’d love nothing more than to throw off the shackles of the corporate world and spend my days finger painting and blowing bubbles, I have responsibilities. But those responsibilities shouldn’t make me boring. If anything, I should be MORE fun when I’m not at work, right?
I’m still a work in progress, that’s for sure. But aren’t we all? I’m aiming high these days, though, and that’s something I haven’t been able to say for a while. This weekend, I got my very first rejection letter from an honest to goodness publisher… and it felt AMAZING. Know why? Because I’m out there. I’m putting it all on the line. I’m throwing this boring old “Mom” card into the wind and in it’s place, I’m rocking the “Me” card. Because “Me” now includes being a mom, even if it didn’t before. It’s just an addition, now, not an overhaul.
I’m me. And I’m a mom. In that order.