Confession: Motherhood has changed me.
We have all said at one time or another that we won't change when we have children. We won't become our parents. We won't let our children dictate who we are, or what we do. Then we have children, wake up from our little fantasy, and realize that we are for all intents and purposes, different people. For some, this is a tough cross to bear. For others, it is a welcome change, a rite of passage into a secret society that they have longed to be a member of. No matter what you once said, no matter how you feel about the changes that have befallen you since becoming a parent, it is undeniable that for as much as it may have taken from you, it has given that much more back to you, tenfold.
I am not talking about the physical changes that we go through. I won't even venture to discuss the weight gain and loss, the pimples, the hormones, the stretch marks, the scars, the parts of your body that no longer look like parts of your body. I am talking about the undeniable shift in your nature, your personality, your very being. When I decided to tackle this topic, I couldn't help but think of all of the ways that I myself had changed. There were definitely things that I could no longer do. There were places I could no longer go. And even feelings that I once had, were now as foreign to me as a movie spoken entirely in Arabic. So I thought, what better way to account for it all than to share with all of you a list? A major listmaker in my personal life (hubby even once bought me 'The Book of Lists' as a gift), I never make any lists here on Mommy Confessions. I hope that you will read along, hopefully with empathy and maybe even a little laughter. I
demand encourage, okay beg, everyone reading this to make your own similar list. Link back to this post if you'd like, or simply comment and let me know you've done it. I would love to read everyone's 'That was then... This is now' lists.
Things I Could Do Before I Had Kids That I Can't Do Now
Stay up until 5 a.m. drinking and get to a 9:00 class. No hangover.
Live voluntarily in a house with no heat or electric for 3 months because it had a great view.
Stage a sit in and not worry who will watch the kids if I get arrested.
Walk into a room and remember what I went in there for.
Pee without an audience. Or at least without an audience under the age of 7.
Hit on a bartender or waiter for free drinks. Unless he's got milk or apple juice, I am not interested.
Use curse words without fear that "Shit mom, I dropped my damn toy" will be juniors next full sentence.
Lay down and rest when you don't feel good. Possibly from that whole drinking until 5a.m. thing.
Sleep until an hour when the roosters are no longer crowing, or cock-a-doodle-dooing, or whatever sound it is that a rooster makes.
Things I Can Do Now That I Could Not Do Before I Became a Mom
Change a diaper in aisle 6 of the supermarket.
Simultaneously make dinner and nurse an infant. Nothing like making dinner and being dinner at one time.
Cleaning up vomit from the floor, my clothes, their clothes, and the walls without myself vomiting.
Putting on a puppet show, singing 'The Wheels on the Bus' sixteen times, and being the snow queen in a play all before 8:00 a.m.
Listening to the songs of Laurie Berkner, Raffi, and The Peanut Butter & Jelly band repeatedly without pulling my hair out when I really want to be listening to The Beatles or Led Zeppelin.
Compare every ache and pain and injury everyone has to childbirth. "What do you mean you cut your hand on a table saw? 7 stitches in your face? Car accident? Broken leg? Please. I gave birth- vaginally- to an 11 lb. baby. Call me back when you've felt some real pain!
And most of all, experience hope, and joy, and even pain and fear and doubt, but most of all love, in a way that I never even imagined was possible.
I can't wait to see what you can come up with.
A special thanks to my lifelong friend Kelly, who helped me dig deep into the recesses of my pre-parent self to remember what it was like to be childless. And helped me to capture the infinite possibility and joy that is being a mom. You know, when your not being driven crazy!
Friday, February 27, 2009
Confession: Motherhood has changed me.
Friday, February 20, 2009
Confession: Sometimes I wish I could just pack up all of my things and sneak away in the middle of the night.
Before you judge me for being a terrible abandoning mother, I should tell you that I am taking my family with me in this scenario. This isn't that kind of confession. At least I haven't gotten to that point yet.
Maybe you were here yesterday when I posted a completely lame repost that had been done about 10 months ago. I know it was lame. But, that is where my head seems to be these days, in lame repost land. I have been going through the same motions day in and day out for as long as I can remember now. Not exactly a life that makes for exciting reading. I do the same things, follow the same path, drive the same drive, day in and day out, all the time. There is no doubt that my soul craves change. It always does. But, what changes can we make, do we make, when we have a family, small children to care for? When we want them to have stability and security in their lives?
I'd been thinking a lot about moving from the community we live in. It's always just a thought. It's never been discussed with any degree of seriousness, and it's not really a possibility for us right now anyway. But sometimes I feel like I don't really fit in here. Then again, sometimes I don't feel like I fit in anywhere. I feel like I am a little more laid back then the other parents that I know. I feel like my interests are different. I feel like I want different things for my family than they do. Different values. Different lessons to be learned. And then there is the issue of diversity.
Is it always better to be yourself even if it means exposing yourself to potential prejudice and discrimination? Or is it better to hide who you really are to get along with the masses? Seems like a fairly simple answer, right? Okay, now what is the answer if you are seven years old?
For example, if you are an African American, you can not hide that part of who you are. Therefore you must deal with any ignorance and prejudice that you may encounter among certain people. If you are say Christian, or gay, or a Republican, those are things that can be hidden from someone who may harbor ill will towards you because of it. So is it always best to show your true self and deal with the potential negative consequences?
My children are for the most part being raised Jewish. I was born to a Catholic mother and a Jewish father, a Catholic in the eyes of both religions. I was baptized. My husband was born to two Jewish parents, raised in a Jewish home, Bar Mitzvahed, the whole nine yards. My children attended a Jewish preschool. And although we celebrate Christmas, I think that we define them as being Jewish. While we are affiliated with a reform synagogue, where there are many interfaith families, we live in a neighborhood that has virtually no Jews. Philly? No Jews? South Jersey? No Jews? Crazy as it sounds, it is true. We seem to have picked the only Jewless area for miles around. There are maybe three Jewish kids in my daughters elementary school. Three. The whole school. Is it any wonder I worry about their religious/cultural identity? I certainly don't want them to live somewhere where everyone is just like them. On the contrary, I want them to live somewhere where there are people of all colors, all religions, all ethnicities. And here, where we live, I have to admit that I worry.
I worry about discrimination. I worry about what other parents have taught their children about other cultures and religions. I worry about ignorance, and intolerance. I worry that kids will question who she is. I worry that my already sensitive child will feel ostracized at some point because of who she is. So, I ask myself if all children go through this at some point because they are blond, or because they are poor, or because they don't have the right clothes or book bag? And mostly I wonder what my role as a parent is.
Do I run? Do I stay? Do I help her find her way? And can someone please tell me where this laid back, diverse, liberal, clean, green, safe community that I desire is? And can you send me a ticket to get there?
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Confession: Despite my desire to be a supportive woman, one who backs her motherly sisters in a show of female solidarity, some women just PISS ME OFF.
You know what I do when I am not sick? I get up early, I take care of the kids, maybe do the laundry, clean, play chauffeur, make dinner, etc.
You know what I do when I am sick? I get up early, I take care of the kids, maybe do the laundry, clean, play chauffeur, make dinner, etc.
I can not tell you how tired I am of hearing women talk about how hard they have it, how busy they are, how they have no time for themselves. Self? What the hell is that? I don't even know who I am anymore if I don't have some other humanoid somehow attached to some part of my body! I actually heard a woman I know tell another woman that she was upset that her daughters teacher made the parent conferences mid morning because that was her time to go to the gym and get her nails done. Now, I have to admit that I thought the times were a little odd also, but I was concerned for the working parents who might not be able to swing it. Fortunately, they added in some evening conferences and all was right with the world. I assume all the working moms and dads wishing to attend got the chance to do do. I also assume that this women changed her time to better accommodate her grooming schedule. But I am not bitter. Not at all. Just because I have been sick, injured, or PMSing for the last 3 weeks. All I know is that I would kill to have someone here to watch my kids so I could take a nap, let alone have the opportunity for a midday trip to the gym or the nail salon! But, I don't. And I do feel like crap. But, I owe you.
And so I give you... a rebroadcast. Cheap I know! I am horrible. But what are the odds that any of you even read this the first time. I mean it's like a year old already. And it seems to fit my mood. So go ahead, have at it. It's a lot harder to find material when you don't leave the house.
When I am sick, I just want to lay in bed. I don't want to change diapers, make lunches, transport to bus stops, playdates, or anywhere else. I just want to plop into bed, get under the covers, and resurface when I feel better- much, much better.
When was the last time I got sick and could actually do this? Umm let's see... definitely BC (before children). Inevitably, when you are home sick you are NOT there alone! More than likely you are there, kids in tow, with your head throbbing, your throat scratchy, your belly churning, or whatever other symptoms you've been unfortunate enough to acquire.
You try and try to occupy them. You bargain. If I can just lay down for 15 uninterrupted minutes you can all have _______________ (insert generally forbidden item of choice here). Does this ever work? Not for me. For me it goes more like this:
Turn on television. Make kids snack. Try not to barf. Take 3 Tylenol. Put kids in playroom with aforementioned snack and every toy you can find. Flop onto couch. Is it bedtime yet? Listen as cries over who gets to play with toy #1 erupt. Break up fight. Flop onto couch. Is it bed time yet? Listen to frantic yells for more food. Get more snacks. Flop onto couch. Is it bed time yet? Take preschooler to potty. Start to plop on couch only to get a whiff of toddler. Change diaper. What's that? More snacks. Sure, why not. And just as I am about to plop on couch again... hubby arrives home. Is it dinner time yet?
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Confession: Sometimes I too wipe my nose on my sleeve.
Some of you may have read my last post, Letter to my Heart, which is a project that I am participating in with other woman from BlogHer. In that post I mentioned that it was a little early for such a Valentine's Day-esque post. Some of you may also have thought that I was waiting until the real Valentine's Day to post again, because it's been so darn long since I have blogged here. But alas, the wait is over. Here I am. The truth of the matter is that I have been dealing with some combination of one, two, or three sick kids, for weeks now. Toss in a portion of that time being sick myself, and there you have it- a recipe for blogging disaster.
It's no great secret that kids are little snotty nosed, germ infested, disease carrying, grossballs. And I mean that in the nicest possible way. They wipe their nose on their sleeves (if you are lucky). They cough in your face. They have questionable post-bathroom sanitary practices. The very young drool and spew a petri dish worth of mouth goo all over their rattles, toys, and dolls. Toys and dolls which an older or perhaps even a younger sibling will inevitably come along and put their curious little hands and mouths all over. So, it is no wonder kids are always walking around with some various form of illness. And if you have more than one child, it becomes a vicious and seemingly never ending cycle of illness once it has begun.
I have been relatively lucky. Compared to friends and family of ours with children who are seemingly always getting sick, my kids occasional bout with the sniffles, or a bellyache, don't seem quite so bad. But this winter has been particularly bad here where we live. For starters, the weather has been completely erratic. It's 65 degrees one day and 18 the next. Literally. We've also been battling the now famous norovirus. Our state has the most reported cases in the whole country. And if that wasn't enough to make you want to poop and puke at the same time, our county has the most cases in the state. Lucky us. I just knew I moved here for a reason. So, for all of these reasons, I have been sadly neglectful of the blog world lately.
We've all been there. If it's not one thing it's another. You're sick. The kids are sick. Your house looks like a bomb hit it. You're having out of town guests. You have two birthday parties to throw and a meeting to prepare for. You're finally taking that trip to Disney. Or maybe you just have some good old fashioned bloggers block. Whatever the reason, sometimes as much as we really, really, really want to reach out to those who read our blogs, we just can't. And it's okay. I know that when I do get back to posting whether it be in a couple of days or even a couple of weeks, I know that you will be here for me. And when the shoe is on the other foot, when you can't get off the toilet to blog, or when you are elbow deep in the stinkiest diapers that have ever been produced, I promise to be here for you too.