I have a 3-year-old and a 4.5-year-old and the transition into mama-dom has been less than pleasant. At times I’d call it horrendous.
It’s one of those life transitions that if you “really knew” what would happen to you- I firmly believe that the world would not have overpopulation problems.
But once the deed is done- and we are stuck – with kids- the excuses roll out to make it palatable.
This role of a parent is a spiritual practice.
I appreciate being able to learn to put someone else before me.
They teach me more than I’d ever learn without them.
And the one I use most often…
How many fancy restaurants do you want to eat at really?
And I believe all these tropes, because I have to.
But I still struggle in joining the town of parentville.
I’ve never made anything for a bake sale
I’ve never made a Halloween costume
I’ve never made a birthday cake.
I look forward to Mondays.
And I know this doesn’t make me a bad parent. They are fed, deeply loved and nourished. But a lot of the times I feel like one.
Because I cannot let go of me.
I cannot let go of my drive and dreams and desires and focus on my life and my goals.
I cannot. do. it.
I don’t need to write the sentence (but I will anyway) that men are culturally allowed to keep their track on track and there is nothing wrong societally with a husband coming home late and working late and going on business trips and not being part of the family system. He has a job. His job matters. This is a given.
But when I demand to do my job (albeit for little to no pay- that’s another essay) I feel immediate responsibility for my child’s mental stability, my hormone levels and my abnormal lack of “instincts.”
That said. I have no choice. Mama does her work or she ups her meds.
Do you want a partner and parent who’s glazed over with dead eyes or do you want a firecracker who’s killing it with the fart jokes and feeling alive as fuck?
So my son is turning five. And I just started noticing my excitement about picking him up from daycare. And when we sleep at night and his body curls into mine I instinctually pull him as close as I can, like a bear. And when the weekend comes, the “what the eff am I going to do” shortness of breath doesn’t descend anymore. Instead, I revel in the opportunity for skating, swimming, baking, cuddle time. I wish it were a 3-day weekend!
Why the change?
Why from terror of loss of freedom and hiding in the car to get more writing done and isolating myself while their dad reads them books, and fits of rage that I’m losing my soul and marriage and body to these “little grabbers” and the just holding on…why now am I feeling the “mothering blanket” roll over me like a warm wave.
Because I’m done.
I just completed my greatest and hardest and proudest work to date.
I did it.
I didn’t set it aside. I didn’t let it fall into the background. I didn’t ignore its import.
I pushed through the shame and guilt.
I fought the self-hate.
I ignored every message that said, “you are a bad mom” for putting yourself first.
I completed my task; the job that Goddess gave me to do that had nothing to do with being a mom.
And it meant I had to write late at night, and in the car, and on the toilet, and hide from my kids, and sneak away from my family, and demand my husband support me and deal with his frustration and do it anyway. At all costs.
And they didn’t leave. And no one died. And the bigger asked me to help him spell his name last night. And the little calls me “his angel” and I totally had rad sex this weekend.
And the feeling…the feeling…the feeling…that it’s done- blooms me wide open…
to the world…
and my family…
“Thank you for listening to my quiet pleas.” I hear her say.
Thank you for not pushing me down when ignoring, silencing and pot would have been easier” I say.
“Thank you for your fortress of steel around my request of you.” The everything says.
“Thank you for making room for me to do my thing too.” He says.
“Thank you for showing us that doing what you love is the most important thing in life (if you’re lucky enough to get the chance)” They will say one day too…
“Thank you” we all say together. It was worth the mother-fucking wait (weight).
And now, with the freedom and flight of “the thing” being out of me and into the world…all I want to do is be with my loved ones. And love them. And listen. And give. And clean. And wipe. And hold. And say thank you, thank you, thank you to them too.
In allowing myself/making myself get “the thing” done- now I can be and give all of me.
Thank you for letting me get to get that feeling.
Here it is – in her full glory. Trying to be Good…the healing powers of lying, cheating, stealing and drugs.
Think ‘Eat Pray Love’- but relatable and on credit cards.
A person taking space and time to free “the thing” inside of them, for everyone’s sake, is a radical feminist act. It changes the world. It’s not just self-care.It’s revolutionary. And it’s being begged of us.
And one last thank you- to the something somewhere that gave me no choice in the matter. I bow.
I wish it on you next.
And now here’s what I do with my free time…