I always wanted to be a mom. Really. And while I realize I certainly held an idealized vision for what motherhood would be, I’m still bewildered to discover what it has become. I never signed on to become the Big Meanie. I didn’t volunteer to lose who I am and what is important to me. Yet here I am. I get to be the constant voice of discipline, nagging, reminding.
Somehow, everything Dad is, loves, and does has this golden aura of “amazing” surrounding it. What the children want is frequently what comes to pass. If you were to ask my children (and maybe even my husband) what is important to me, what I enjoy – I highly doubt they could come up with anything substantial or actually important. The things I do are certainly important to the family, however, who I am has disappeared into the ether.
I crave order, discipline, organization and the absence of chaos. I love music, particularly hymns and classical. Obeying rules, and the pursuit of: education, good manners, politeness, kindness, personal independence and the Golden Rule are ingrained in who I am. I love to bake yummy things for people to enjoy. But my family doesn’t even enjoy eating, and in general I have become weary of the constant battles, nagging and all that accompanies my quest for this order, and so I suppress it. My values are no longer part of the family values – theirs have become mine.
I know all my Superheroes, plus which are DC, which are Marvel, and which are Other. I know all about the Star Wars universe (yes, there is a universe), Star Trek and all manner of Sci-Fi-dom. I can quote entire episodes of Dora, Diego, Wubbzy, Blues Clues, and so on. I have 1 show scheduled on the DVR: Cash Cab. And that’s because it’s only 1/2 hour per episode and I can do stuff while I watch.
So often we read or hear advice for moms saying, “don’t lose who you are to your kids/family/husband.” Their solution? “Find a hobby! Take a class! Go out with your girlfriends!” Yet those are temporary fixes and don’t address the actual change that has taken place: it has occurred deep within, we’ve decided to let it go because with all that goes on, it’s just too darn exhausting to try and deal with pushing what I feel is important on this little kingdom I’m trying to maintain.
And so, I close the doors left open, put the shoes tossed on the floor back in their homes, organize the clutter that is apparently invisible to all other eyes, squelch the reminders of “Would you like it if he/she did that to you? Well, then don’t do it to him/her!”, “Where did you get it? Well that’s where it goes”, or “let’s turn off the TV and sit down and read together.”
If I were to be gone, I would certainly be missed – I know that. But what would be remembered of me? That I was always cleaning? Nagging? Punishing? Or that I loved words, musicals, dessert samplers, a good book, and a nice clean comedy.
And this is probably my fault. I have lost who I am, but it’s certainly not apparent. Because I’m still doing what I do, so there’s no problem, right?