My husband recently got a new hobby. It takes him away from the house for a few hours one weekend morning almost every week. It’s making him very happy and doesn’t seem to cost too much, so I should be thrilled, but it’s pissing me off. Why? I’m not entirely sure. It could be because it means after an exhausting week of working and dealing with the kids every morning and evening, I’m left alone with them for a few hours when I could really use some back-up. Maybe it’s because I don’t feel like I get to have a hobby of my own right now. Or it’s because I’m so, so, tired and would like to take an undisturbed nap. Or have a lie-in. Or just sit in peace and quiet for 20 minutes.
Everything I do revolves around the kids: their interests, needs, attention spans, and schedules. I don’t really mind this, I even enjoy it most of the time. I’m stuck in this weird place where I’m sad that I don’t really have any friends to hang out with, but if given the choice – I’d choose to go home and hang out with my family over any kind of social event with other women/mums. And none of this is my husband’s fault – I know that he would support me going out to do something on my own. But that’s not what I want. So why am I pissed off? I think it’s because this lack of desire to do anything for myself demonstrates that I have given over my identity to that of simply “mum.” I have a job that I love, but I leave it in a heartbeat if a kid needs me for something (usually another trip to the doctor). I have Mondays off and sometimes I take the kids to daycare to have some time to myself, but as soon as I am alone I very quickly run out of things to do that aren’t housework. Who am I? What do I like to do? I have no idea any more. I don’t know how to fill my time if my kids aren’t in it. I’ve lost myself. I think I would be able to accept this if my husband didn’t present a daily reminder that he is still very much himself. With hobbies and friends and alone time. Which I know I could have but I don’t want but I’m annoyed that I don’t have. So I’m confused and irrationally irritated. Welcome to Motherhood.
Happy Mother’s Day!
I’m finally feeling more like myself and, now that I am, I don’t like thinking about the person I was for the first 2ish months of your life. I’m embarrassed and somewhat horrified. I find it difficult to remember why I was feeling the way I was and I hate that I wasn’t able to be stronger for you. I was confused, overwhelmed, tired, sad, selfish, guilty, angry, and scared. I think I’m still all of those things a little bit, but I’m also feeling joy, hope, excitement, pride, wonder, confidence, and love. Today is our first Mother’s Day and it has me thinking about the type of mum I want to be now that I feel (mostly) capable of being one. I know that all my friends with kids will surely laugh at my foolish optimism and ignorance of what’s to come, but there’s no harm in having goals, right?
- I want your Dad and I to spend less time in front of the television and more time outdoors enjoying the spectacular place in which we live. We moved here for a reason and I don’t want any of us to take it for granted. We also need to be more active in general forgoodnesssake.
- Your Dad and I don’t really fight, but we’re very good at sulking at each other. I don’t want you to be a part of the sulking wars so I hope we can get better at figuring things out in a more grown-up way.
- I have my ideas about who you might become, but I will try not to impose these ideas on you! I promise not to force anything on you or put down your strengths, whatever they may be. However, I will constantly stress the importance of hard work. The world doesn’t owe you anything (no matter how awesome I think you are) and whatever goals you decide to set, I expect you to work very hard to achieve them.
- Most of your family lives very far away, and I’m sorry about that. As a result, a lot of your life will be shared on social media. I promise I will respect your privacy, especially as you get older, but please know that your grandparents, aunts, uncles, great aunts/uncles, cousins-once-removed, and future-cousins love to see updates about your life and I love to share them.
- I plan to embarrass you, often, but I want you to be proud of who I am and what I do and I will always work to live up to your expectations.
- Your Dad will teach you a lot about how the world is. I hope to show you the wonder of what the world can be. I also want to share other worlds with you. Worlds of wizards, dragons, space ships, time travel, monsters, aliens, and magic.
- If you ever have a sibling (a very big “if” at this point), I hope that now I know what to expect, I won’t become the sad, lost version of myself that I was before. But if I do, your Dad and I will work very hard to make sure you feel it as little as possible and that we explain to you what’s happening as best we can.
- I will endeavor to be less selfish and more patient. Less worried about a tidy home and more invested in spending time with you. Less of a nag and more of an inspiration. However, I will sometimes shout and pester and annoy. I will often sing badly and force you to pose for endless photographs. I will periodically be stressed, tired, sad, or angry. But I love you. Completely and utterly and totally and no-matter-what. Even though you just vomited down my sleeve.