The older kids are at school... the preschooler (just on Tuesdays and Thursdays) is napping... probably. And I?
I'm almost 37.
I put that picture up instead of a selfie because I'm realizing I am kind of uncomfortable being anything but their mom. I've been that for so long that being anything else doesn't feel... right. I went into motherhood kicking and screaming louder than the kids came into this world. And now, it's a shield. I'm bad at life? That's cool. I stand behind the spastastic half-nekid toddler to distract from my own crazy. Or the dizzying autistic kid. Or the loud tween.
I was a teen once. It took a while to take myself seriously and realize that I was old enough to be expected to have the capacity to drive myself across the state for rehearsals, auditions, etc. And to be responsible for so, so much knowledge - that if I didn't get and retain it, I'd have no shot at college and the life college brings.
Then I was a college student, which is what I'd always wanted to be. It was hard, but I loved it.
Then I was old enough to graduate and it took a while to recognize that I wasn't just a college kid anymore. Teaching high school was so confusing and difficult. I just couldn't picture myself as that person and I was a ball of nerves and contradictions the entire time.
Then I got married. That was a hard transition, but the plus side is I got a husband who loved me and wanted to be with me forever. That's kind of awesome.
Then I got pregnant. And moved to Brasil. The day we went to get visas and junk, the lady processing us asked me what my occupation was and I couldn't answer violinist - violin teacher - or anything familiar, because I wouldn't be doing those things there. So she put "Homemaker" on my form. I turned to Jared and started silently yelling. Not that there is anything wrong with that job - but I had no experience with that, no history, and it was not something I'd ever, ever had to come to terms with.
In Brasil, I was alone with a baby. I was suicidal, scared, sick, and a total mess. I couldn't come to terms that I was now a mother. Being a mother meant that I had given up everything familiar and was now going through the worst physical and emotional pain I could imagine. A few years down the road, with experience and medication under my belt, I started feeling less like a liar when I said I had a daughter. And then a son. And then another son. I was and still am a mess of an adult - I don't understand mortgages, or the stock market, but no one really judges you on those things when they see you chasing your half naked son through a library. They are just like - "that's a mom."
So I am a mom. It's safe and protective. It covers a multitude of my inadequacies.
But for 3 hours a day on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I'm not a mom. I'm a woman who has their 3 year old in preschool. I don't know what to do with myself, and it makes me panic to think that in 2 years, I'll have 8 hours a day 5 days a week where I won't be able to hide behind a spastic child.
It's weird how terrifying that is.