Becoming a mother has been scary for me. It’s also been hard, easy, frustrating, fun, overwhelming and underwhelming. It’s been better than I hoped and worse than I ever could have imagined. For me, motherhood has been full of opposites.
*Please bear with me. I want to address this.*
I’m scared of losing the me I used to be as I embrace my new role as mama and homemaker. Can I still be me if I don’t have any funny anecdotes or quotables from my high school students? Can I still be me if I don’t read books for fun or run long distances or if I don’t do little craft projects? That’s the me I remember. The one I’m afraid of losing.
I’ll admit that I was a little bit jealous of Wes when he would come home with stories of the lightbulb moments his students had or the witty one liner he said to a student. I didn’t realize that I was jealous until I got nit-picky with him about other things. I mean, I am very particular about the way I
need want things done around the house. (That’s also my teaching style. My students used to complain comment that I was “such a stickler.”) It’s true. I’d much rather do every single thing myself. Everything around the house (except dishes and laundry). Everything with Laila Grace. I seriously am my own worst enemy. Especially since I’m not really in a position to do everything myself right now. I have to ask for help…which is another thing I abhor. But I was getting on him about literally everything. I’m sure he felt he couldn’t do anything right. I was being harsh to him because of the way I felt inside.
My whole life is different. I would not go back to life before Laila Grace. She is such a light. Such a wonder. Such a lovely girl. My girl. Some days, I get down on myself because I’ve become that girl who has nothing to talk about except her baby. I literally don’t have anything else to talk about. That’s kinda lame… in a way. Lame because I don’t have anything else to talk about only because I don’t do anything else. I don’t do anything else because I don’t feel like doing anything else. I also don’t feel like I have the option of doing anything else.
I get nit-picky with my husband because while I feel that my whole entire life is different, his is still the same. Yeah, there’s that added pressure that he can’t get fired from his job since he’s the sole breadwinner but he can leave the house when he wants to, go to bed and wake up when he wants to. He can get engrossed in whatever project he happens to be working on without any consequences besides an unhappy wife. That’s a pretty good deal if you ask me. All the fun of children with none (or at least very little) of the work. I’ve made that situation hard for me, too. Remember when I said I like to do every single thing myself??? Well, I also want him to be able to magically read my mind and know when I want him to do something. I don’t want to nag. I don’t want to be super bossy. I don’t want to seem ungrateful for the ways that he does help like washing the dishes and doing the laundry and working outside of the house so that I can be home with our girl. I am grateful. But, I want more. And I don’t want to have to ask because I hate asking. That frickin’ pride has been kicking my butt lately.
Remember when I said I was a stickler? Well, I’m that way when it comes to my girl, too. I want things done a certain way. If a person can’t treat my baby the way I do then I don’t want them dealing with her without me around… I hover like a freaking helicopter. I’m not ashamed to admit it. Which means that I ALWAYS have to be around. See… I am my own worst enemy. I’ve basically made it so that no one can watch my daughter except me…but I, sometimes, want an hour or two to myself you know, so I can do some of the things I loved to do before I became a mama. That’s where the problem comes in.
People ask me how I’m doing and all I can do is tell them about the newest cute thing the baby is doing. I mean, the question ‘how are you doing?’ is a pretty loaded one. Can I really respond that I’m tired or I’m lonely or that I miss some aspects of the me I used to be? Can I honestly say what’s on my heart without sounding like I’m complaining? I don’t want to complain but I also don’t want to deny myself the right to feel what I feel. And, yes, I do feel lonely sometimes what with technology encroaching in every facet of my life it doesn’t seem like I can have a face-to-face conversation with the ones I love most without hearing the tv in the background and seeing them scroll through their cell phone. Am I boring? I’m probably boring. And, I’m just as guilty of doing these things, too. It’s sad. And, I don’t really want to leave the house but I don’t want to invite anyone over, either. Like I said before, I am my own worst enemy.
With all of my heart I want to be good at this mothering thing but it’s hard! I always feel like I could’ve done something better or responded to Elle’s cry sooner or that I could’ve anticipated (and therefore prevented) that meltdown. I always want to improve. I don’t want to say how I’m feeling because I don’t want to contradict my heart that says that I am content. I am content. I amhappy. But I’m also scared that when Laila Grace is all grown up and living her life that I will not know what to do with myself because while I was out trying to be the perfect mama, I lost myself.
Do I regret resigning from my dream job? Not at all. Do I miss it just the same. Certainly. I really loved my job. It was the best job at the best place with the best students and the best coworkers in the best school district in the state. That’s a whole lot of bests.
But I want to be available for my baby. I want to be available to my husband. I need to be available to myself. Does that make me selfish? How else will I ever be able to remember who I am if I don’t “have time” to do the things that make me feel the most like myself?
So? I don’t know how I will accomplish it. I don’t know how I’ll get there. I have no plan for how I’ll manage to save some piece of myself amongst the ebbs and flows of motherhood. What I do know is while I’m here mothering baby girl, God is allowing my love for her to grow more and more and more. Just when I think I can’t love her more than I do, He goes and amplifies it. He’s a cool Dude. And, maybe just maybe instead of holding on to the idea of the person I once was, I can ask Him to keep those good pieces of me and add to the new pieces of me to make me even better than the me I used to be.