Monday, September 26, 2016


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.


M said...

When Rob (the youngest) was still pretty small, and he and Evie started doing part-time preschool, I realized I didn't want my whole life and world to be my kids. I needed something that was me/mine. Because they grow up and go away (usually) and I didn't want to face being an empty shell somewhere down the line. I love my husband and my kids, but if (G-d forbid) anything ever happened and I was just me, alone, who would I be? So I went back to what I love, and kind of know. And I'm glad of that now because they are all in school, and I volunteer at the school but I don't want that to be my life either. I want to be involved but... Yeah. Anyway, I guess all this boils down to: I hear you. I was there once. Looking down the tunnel and thinking, "Wait. Um. Hmm. Now what? Who am I?" And now I can answer that. I'm a mom, yes, and a wife, yes, but take those away--because those are really only what I am relative to other people, but what/who am I *really*?--and I can still say, "I'm a writer."

Find your answer to that question. It's hard and scary sometimes but you need to know.

Jane said...

I don't think you're a mess as an adult. You're a freakin' rock star for cryin' out loud!! - without all the drugs and alcohol - and you look much better doing all of it than many of us, with less successes, do.
You rock. And you will always be younger than me!

Today was one of those days where I threw my to-do list out the window and headed to the children's museum with Thing 3.  This is ...