"I used to believe my father about everything but then I had children myself & now I see how much stuff you make up just to keep yourself from going crazy."
~Brian Andreas, Story People: Selected Stories and Drawing from Brian Andreas
Recently a friend and I did the unthinkable. We went to a movie in the middle of the week in the middle of the day. What??? I shit you not. And the perfect movie for two mom's was obviously Bad Moms. It won't get an Oscar but it did get a lot of laughs from the only two people in the theater at 11:45 a.m.
The premise I could completely relate to. A woman's life literally falls apart for awhile and she can no longer be Wonder-Mom so she becomes Barely-Adequate-Mom instead. She gives herself permission to be a bad mom. I did the same while going through my divorce. I stopped volunteering at school and saying yes to every little request from bake sales to chaperoning. I did the dump and run errands during soccer practices or gymnastics practice rather than sit and watch every move my child made. I needed balance. It was no longer life revolving around them but around my needs as well. And at times, I was selfish.
I slowly got back to the occasional volunteer school activity but it had to mean something to that kid. And in not always being there for every minute of their lives, I worked multiple part-time jobs, they learned to be more self-sufficient. My daughter has been packing her lunch since fifth grade. All of my kids do their own laundry and know how to cook. And when we do get quality time together we make it fun and often an adventure because that's what they remember. Not that I missed a few soccer games to maybe catch up with my friends
I know many Wonder-Moms. Those women who never miss a sporting event, recital, or back to school night. Those mom's that rarely do anything not family oriented or even for themselves and I'm in honest awe of them while simultaneously wanting to smack them around a bit. Mainly because when I speak with older mom's they all tend to say the same thing, "I lost myself for awhile."
I know childhood is fleeting and one day Bobby or Julie won't need you for everything. I also know that when that time comes you want to still have your friends and own personal activities. You have to nurture and grow your own life or you will look around your empty house and wonder who you are. Don't lose yourself. There is no Amber Alert system for that.
"If you want a baby, have a new one. Don't baby the old one."