A Tale of Two Mommies

…because more seems excessive…

Tag Archives: life’s purpose

The Buddy System

My husband and I were talking last night about how we became accustomed to the fairly profound change of having a young child; well, I was speaking of the transformation.  My husband was partially lamenting about not having time for himself any longer once he enters our homestead.  A part of me shares that lament, but I’ve been at home with my soon-to-be two-year-old so long that much of the independence I gave up is a very distant memory.  I also have the benefit of the end of my second pregnancy to haze any productive use of my nostalgia.

It isn’t so much that my husband was complaining; most of the facets of our son’s loud plod through his life are things he loves and embraces, giving purpose and unique happiness to his existence.  But, there is the constancy of care and attention that can drain as much as it bolsters.

As I mentioned, I’m used to it.  There are very few moments that are solely my own.  Sure, I have the daily nap time…assuming my kid doesn’t decide to take Mommy’s bad day and increase it ten-fold by forfeiting this one meager break that cascades into an avalanche of awesomeness until it is late enough to bid him goodnight.  But, when all goes as “planned,” I amaze myself with how much my life’s changed, and how little I think back to the way it was.  This was not the case during the first year.  Maybe I’ve finally found myself along the way, or at least enough of myself to feel comfortable with uncertainty.

While I most definitely appreciate my Saturday free time, it occurred to me during the conversation that my Saturdays don’t hold the same desperation they did in the beginning.  I find myself not having the dramatic personality transformation after that single extended break.

The Warrior Queen may be born in as little as three weeks, and I wonder what it will be like, aside from the predictable sleep deprivation and all the spousal and life hatred that brings.  Little Man was my first for so many things, but my daughter will be my first with me as a person as well as Mommy.

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The Prize for First Place

I find it interesting the commonalities I periodically find amongst Mommies.  Usually I can divide us into certain groups, but there is one issue that has a certain Stepford quality to it.  I’ve met a myriad of accomplished women in my life travels, but all the ones with children say the same thing.  Their children are their greatest accomplishment.  I even hear it in interviews of various noteworthy women.  I bet some Nobel Prize winners throughout every category would say the same thing, “Oh, yeah, that thing I did that changed the world?  Sure, I guess that was important, but my children, well…”  I always figured that was something I didn’t understand because I wasn’t a parent, and was, at best, ambivalent about the prospect.  Even with that, it never escaped me that I never heard Daddies say something comparable in conversations or interviews, but maybe they are never asked.

Well, now I’ve earned a membership in the elite parenting club.  I’ve accomplished squeezing a watermelon out of a lemon, and continuously prevent my son from leaping off of furniture and plummeting to his sudden death.  He is a delightful little man most of the time, and I love him oodles.  Even as young as he is, I’m pretty proud of my role in forming his loveliness.  Would I say he is my best accomplishment?  Maybe it’s too soon to affirm.  Would I say that I’m the most proud of my life achievements as it relates to him?  Not the most proud, but maybe if he solves the crisis of world hunger…

I find it a troublesome pressure that women must pick one feat that has a singular worth above all others at all times.  For me, sometimes I look at my little man when he is doing something really sweet, and I swell with pride thinking of how I created this little man from a pin head.  Other times my other pursuits win out in my thoughts.

I’m proud of many endeavors I’ve realized in my life, and I find it dismissive and insulting that the expectation is I choose ONE thing I’m supposed to declare as having primary value at all times, and the default is always motherhood.  Are fathers expected to make such a choice?  Unlikely.  Would I be a terrible person if I viewed parenting as an enriching part of life, but not an accomplishment to be achieved?  I’m kinda afraid to test that one; something tells me throngs of people carry rotten vegetables and eggs in their car trunks and pockets just for such an occasion…

 

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