I had a discussion with my sister in law on Wednesday while she was inflicting great physical pain on me. Or, maybe she was just waxing my eyebrows, but anyway, we were talking. We were talking about being a mom, raising kids, etc. She said that sometimes she feels like she's "just a mom". I responded with something like being a mom is noble, worthwhile, and I think some other stuff, but I really can't remember. I hope it was profound. Anyway, I tried to offer some words of wisdom that my 11 more years then her of life have given me.
I could totally relate to what she was saying because oh boy, have I been there! The first time it really hit me was when Cameron was just a few months old. I was coming off a whirlwind of a couple of years where I suddenly found myself with not only a husband, but 2 kids and we were living in our first house. I was living the adult life for real and in the process of becoming one, I kind of lost contact with the adult world, minus my husband and immediate family, and I wasn't very happy about it. I told Ryan that I needed to get out and interact with others and I needed to do it soon. Otherwise, he would feel my pain. Thankfully, he took the hint and stepped aside so I could figure out how to be more than "just a mom". And I did. But I also found that just being a mom isn't a bad thing. It's noble and worthwhile and all the other things I think I said to my sister in law. ☺ But.....now that I've said that, and after pondering that conversation for the past 2 days, I've come to a realization about myself. I had an epiphany, if you will, and what it revealed to me didn't necessarily make me happy.
Yes, I've learned over 11 years of mothering that I am more than just a mom. So very much more, but that's not what I have a problem with. I have a problem with the way I'm being a mom, unfortunately.
I treat mothering as job. I'm way too business like about it. That's not to say that I'm not affectionate with my kids. Because I am. I hug them and kiss them and tell them I love them all the time. They know I love them. What I realized I don't do often enough is just be with them. I go from one day to the next, doing all the things I should do, but I don't take the time enjoy it. I hold myself back from really being with them because I have the next item on my to do list on my mind. Sometimes, I don't listen all that closely to them because I'm too worried about what I'm making for dinner, the laundry I'm currently folding, the floors I'm trying to vacuum, etc. That's just not right and I've resolved to change it.
Yesterday, I took the time to lay in my bed with Peyton and just watch Spongebob. I didn't do anything else. I didn't think about anything else. I really paid attention and responded and interacted with him when he made comments. I was there and it was fun. Imagine that. Yes, laundry and dishes and a shower for myself were put off, but it didn't matter because I was being a mom. And the world didn't end because of it.
I'm going to try to truly be present each and every moment of each and every day. Yes, my children can exasperate, annoy, anger, wear me out, like no others. But they can also entertain me, make me laugh, love me and change me for the better like no others and that's the way it's supposed to be. I'm a mom and I love it.