Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Have I lost myself already?

Sometimes I sit around thinking about my girls when they're teens. (And when I say "thinking", I really mean "worrying" like a neurotic person).

I wonder about millions of things. I wonder if they'll like me. I wonder if they'll think I hugged and kissed them enough as kids. I wonder if they'll have body issues because I said I didn't like my thighs one too many times. I'm always wondering if I'll be... good enough.

Perhaps it's because of the information out there. I can't open up my Facebook page, take a look at Twitter or glance at the newspaper without finding multitudes of articles on how to be a good parent.

Sleep with your babies so they'll feel secure. But let them experience frustration and failure from time to time or they won't develop important life skills. Make sure they get 3 hours of exercise a day. But introduce them to technology - it's the way of the future. Don't give them time outs because studies now show they're humiliating. But you must discipline your kids.

The latest that's twisting and turning in the back of my mind? Don't lose yourself in parenting. If you no longer have a sense of self, you won't model independence for your children. And you want your kids to grow up strong and independent.

That's an interesting one. So... be a good parent, but don't be *too* into it, because then you won't be yourself anymore?


What am I doing right now? All I do are Mom things. I get up, get the kids up, change them, dress them, feed them breakfast. We go and play for the morning. We come home and have lunch and a nap. Then I change them, give them a snack, find some other activity to do until dinner, followed by bath and bed time. Then I do it all over again the next day.

I don't write anywhere near as much as I used to. I don't have a job all ready to go back to in a set amount of time. Sure, I run a few times a week and go out with friends every now and again. But while I'm out with friends, all we do is talk about our kids.

Is that a bad thing? Am I losing my pre-kid self? Should I give something up (like my coveted down time on the couch in front of the TV at night) so I can do things that make me more me?

The thing is, I'm not one of those people who can look at the piles of laundry or the long list of things that need to get done and just say "Forget you, stuff!" I have yet to get Anna's one-year photo shoot pictures printed and into an album... so it's not like I'm a supermom over here by any stretch. Some things just have to get done at some point. Which means even less time for me to do my "me" things.

So this is the newest worry.

As I sit here and watch Anna colouring and Lauren alternating between staring at me and the toys on her play mat, I wonder who they see.

Who will they see when they're grown up?

Will they see a person who loved being their Mom with every ounce of her being? Or will they see a woman who lost her sense of self?

Will they see a strong woman who chose to stay at home and devote her life to them because she wanted to? Or will they see a woman who only had menial tasks to fill her day?

Will they see a happy woman who loved to play and laugh with them? Or a tired one, drowning in laundry and dishes?

This is one of those things that I have no answer for. I don't know if I'm doing the right thing. I don't know if I'm leading by example for my daughters.

So I guess all I can do is close my eyes and take a giant leap of faith with my girls.

A giant leap. Into a big ol' ball pit where we'll roll around and giggle and be silly.

Because that's what I want to do and who I want to be right now.


  1. Great, now that's all I'm thinking about now too! Just kidding. Anna and Lauren WILL know how much you've done for them. I think staying at home because it's expected of you or because that's how it's always been (in the past) is much different than the choice some of us have today in staying home because we honestly feel that that is what's best for our kids and ourselves. You're obviously in the latter category, and hopefully after the girls have passed the scary teenage years, they will come to realize and appreciate this about their mom! (And here's hoping that we won't have to move our monthly coffee meet ups to a bar to cope with those teenage daughters!)

  2. Thank you so much for such a sweet, thoughtful comment! :)