I have not posted here in a while. Life, as they say, gets in the way sometimes, even in the way of things that we love. But, I’ve come to the realization that I want to do more writing. I’d love to even monetize it somehow. And I won’t get that opportunity by ignoring the blog or the readers, will I?
So, I came back.
It took a few tries. I had forgotten my password. (Am I the only one who hates everything having a password these days? Sheesh!) But, I figured it out and took a peek at the blog and found a draft from ages ago. I read it and, of course, it still resonated with me. So, upon giving it a little thought, I’ve expounded on it and posted it here. The newer writing picks up with ‘Am I complaining?…’
I am shocked that the passage of time has allowed me to think through this issue and come to a more positive outlook. I’m certainly glad of that, though.
I’d love to know your thoughts on this. Please leave a comment in the comment section or on Facebook.
For 35 years, it was all about me.
I lived where I wanted, ate what I wanted, did what I wanted. Heck, if I suddenly got the urge to go buy a half-gallon of Starbucks Low-Fat Latte ice cream and eat the whole dang thing right out of the container… I could. And I did. (At least once, that I care to confess.)
Marriage at 29 shifted things… a little. Not much. But after that I had to consult someone else before most major decisions.
But when our first child was born in September of 2004, my world as I knew it simply vanished. Now, I know this is a universal law here. It happens to every, single, solitary parent on the planet. However, no one prepared me for it. Even my mom. (Sorry, but if you did, I wasn’t listening, as usual.)
Now hold on a minute.
I just wrote and wrote and wrote, re-read, then deleted a whole segment about my shocking difficulty with breast-feeding and the horror of postpartum depression. This is not the ME I am referring to here. No, that was some major crap, don’t get me wrong and probably has a lot to do with what I’m going through, but the selfish thing I miss the most is FREEDOM.
This isn’t about how hard it is to be a mother. It’s about loss of FREEDOM. Plain and simple.
I can not simply jump into the car and drive somewhere. Not to Walgreen’s, not to Starbucks, not on a crazy spur-of-the-moment road trip to see some band in another town. Now, I never did much of the latter when I was single, but I love the idea of it now. Because I can’t.
Am I complaining? Kinda. But not really. I love being a mother. I love having created a family. But I do, honestly, miss the freedom.
So, what’s a mama to do?
The answer is quite painfully simple: NOTHING.
Until the kids are out of the nest, until they have been properly emancipated, there’s no freedom for either of us.
Whoa. Think about that.
Putting it into perspective, I’m not the only one suffering from a lack of freedom. Would my first grader rather NOT have to get up, dress and go to school five days a week? Certainly. Does my fourth grader really lavish the idea of sitting in her desk for 80 minutes and have her fledgling writing skills assessed by the state? Nope. Certainly not. They have ZERO freedom as well. Hmmmmmm. My husband has to work to pay our living expenses and keep us insured and fed and protected. Would he rather go golfing or lounge in his boxers in front of ESPN all day? Sadly, yes.
So, I am gonna make an effort to stop this woe-is-me mentality and, although I may occasionally long for the freedoms of my young adult lifestyle, I will try to truly relish the moments of motherhood. These years are fleeting after all, right? Soon, the kids will move away and I’ll be able to have that freedom back. Okay, not exactly the same kind of freedom. Then it will be the freedom to shop for adult undergarments or pick the restaurant where we’ll use our senior discount any day we want to (assuming it’s before 4pm). But, that’s how life is, isn’t it? We will be totally blessed to have lived so long to enjoy it.
Life is like a really good book. The more chapters the better, huh? I’ve been told on more than one occasion that these parenting years are the ones we will look back on the most fondly. I hereby promise to make the most of them. No more belly-aching about loss of freedom. Nobody needs to eat a whole half-gallon of ice cream anyway, right?
March 3, 2015 at 7:45 pm
I can so relate to this – the gripping pull of lost freedom, the goal of carving out some space for myself (writing for me, too), the decision to not mourn what cannot be changed… and, for me, the gripping pull of lost freedom again.
At least we mamas are in this together!
March 3, 2015 at 8:30 pm
Oh Andrea! Yes. We are in this together. Thank goodness! xoxo
March 17, 2015 at 2:58 pm
I have a friend who says, “Remember the AT LEASTS”. There is always an AT LEAST to cheer us. And I especially find solace in the notion that mamas are UNITED! xoxo
March 3, 2015 at 9:21 pm
This probably explains why I still have a Christmas tree up in March. Not because I’m trying to express my freedom, rather because I lack freedom to take it down. And when I do have freedom, my desire is to either enjoy the moments with my kids and husband or actually have some freedom all to myself to read, check in on Facebook, or even read someone’s blog. :-)
March 17, 2015 at 2:56 pm
You go, Bethany! And look at it this way… Your tree isn’t up late, you are EARLY for this next Christmas. And there’s nothing at all wrong with that!
I once worked with a gal who would sing: “We need a little Christmas, right this very minute…” when she was stressed. Perhaps, leaving some Christmas up all year, is a good reminder of the joy the season brings… especially when we need it most, which is often. xoxo