It happens for parents and we never see it coming…especially if we stay at home (I know some stay at home dads too whom I am very proud of). I remember when I was a room mother for my youngest daughter. When we had field trips or events and I saw the other parents I didn’t even know any of their names. They were all Casey’s mom or Jenny’s Dad. It was as if they weren’t even people because the only focus was on the children. All of the kids in the class called me Rory’s mom, and it didn’t bother me in the least.
It sneaks up on me sometimes. The other night I got so angry because I went to the fridge to get out some salami and it was all gone. My daughter loves salami. I swear, I had bought two pounds of it a couple of days before, and just when it was the thing that I was craving and really, really, wanted, it wasn’t there. I was really mad, and I actually made an angry sarcastic comment that I felt I needed to apologize to my daughter several times for. In large part, when we have kids, we simply get put on the back burner, and it can be difficult to deal with.
I am always just so grateful for everything that we do have, and I have the kind of personality where I shame myself if I notice that I am being jealous of all of my childless friends. They go to parties and concerts, they have a social life, and they can afford to eat out at restaurants. I mean, I could envy the fact that they just get to leave their house without children in toe, for goodness sake. With all the time that we spend worrying over every tiny detail of raising our kids, there isn’t always a lot of time left to simply be ourselves. We forget to invest in enriching the person, because we are only focused on the parent.
I started changing my situation by instinct a few years ago. When I started writing my first novel, I was slowly recreating my own identity, and I did it without even knowing what I was doing. I think that my twins were seven. It took me seven years to remember myself! The thought sort of frightens me. Sure, I know that I am a great mom…but I think that for most of us we need to be great at something besides parenting. The time is not difficult to find, nor is the motivation. I think that we all just simply get so wrapped up in societies expectations of us as parents mixed with the endless demands of our children, we sort of forget ourselves.
I don’t want to be forgotten. I like myself and I have a lot to offer, and not just to my children. I can do more for the next ten years that they are living at home than simply sacrifice all of the salami that I buy to their endless appetites. Thank goodness I figured it out now, or I would have been a real mess by the time that they all went out on their own. It is a good meditation for parents to remind ourselves who we are besides mom or dad. I am Kristin, my favorite color is green, I like to people watch, I’m not a big fan of lobster, but I am pretty fond of salami.