Tuesday, June 19, 2012
The Mom Thing
I love being a mom. It's the one thing in the world that I know I do better than most. It's why God put me on the earth. I nurture. I rock The Mom Thing.
Part of me rocking the mom thing, means that my children are first no matter what. Sometimes I like that and sometimes I'm resentful (and, I'm embarrassed to say, they know it because I wear my emotions like I wear makeup...all the time and all over my face); but it's always them first. Their needs are paramount and I will set mine aside in a minute for them. Not in the spoiling sense but in the you need this more than I do or I'm the grownup and that's my job kind of way.
For example, I didn't watch anything that wasn't animated until the kids were in bed when they were little. We watch a lot of TV but it was always their shows and not ours. I remember watching re-runs of Friends once they got a little older and thinking, "Dang...has this show always been this risque?" I hadn't seen the show in years and I was amazed at how your perception changes after kids.
We never took a vacation without our children. We went for weekends away from time to time but never a vacation. We did all that before they were born. I wanted to see things through their eyes.
I didn't read a book until they were about 10 or 12 years old. There was no time! Occasionally I would squeeze in a book or two during bathroom time. It took me years to finish Harry Potter when my son was reading it because I had to read it in such small doses. (And yes...I am guilty of hiding in the bathroom from time to time...who isn't?)
I also didn't see a live action movie until they were old enough to go with me. Why waste the money on a grown-up movie for two, when you can spend the same amount on a matinee for 5? Plus, I love Disney and Pixar.
So it's established - I'm a mom and I love it.
Except when the phenomena happens.
Why is it that I can be gone all day working, leaving the house at the crack of dawn and not getting home until after 7, but when I walk through the door I am instantly "on duty"? It's truly insane. What is it about a mom that dictates two, completely full-time and all consuming jobs, is your destiny? Why is there a double standard that let men "get off work" and women simply transition to their second job?
Now that the kids are older I don't really notice it as much. Yes, I wonder why they wait until I walk through the door to ask a question when their father has been home the entire day. Yes, I wonder why they wait until just before I'm about to go to bed to announce that they need something for the next day. But overall, things have lightened up quite a bit.
But boy that Mom Thing has a long memory. We are watching my friend's 6 year old while she's away on business. This kid is wonderful. He's quiet and obedient and a joy to have in our home. Plus I just love the hell out of him. However, I come rolling through the door last night about 7:30 pm and all eyes turn to me! I'm expected to get his teeth brushed and get him to bed. No one said anything and all I had to do was ask for help but I was really taken aback at the feeling in the room. Mom's home! She'll take care of EVERYTHING.
So I went on strike. I let go of all control and went into my room and did 40 minutes of yoga (it wasn't completely guilt free but it was good). By the time I came out, my minature houseguest had his pj's on and was almost in bed. I kissed him goodnight and tucked him in and off he went to dreamland.
Letting go is good...even if it's letting go of The Mom Thing.