Motherhood is wonderful they said. It is filled with milestone moments you will remember for a lifetime and there is no greater love that a mother’s love for her child. Are you sure it’s love all the time though?
Tonight I found myself running home after work to quickly cook a meal for the kids, asking my teenage stepdaughters to help clean up the dishes while I cooked pancakes and sausage. Breakfast for dinner tonight because I’m just beat in every way. My 3-year-old son watches cartoons with no cares in the world and a face full of excitement. I find myself going over my day in my head resenting my coworker for taking her cruise vacation this week. Jealous of my husband who is coaching high school baseball this evening and even jealous of my stepdaughter who just explained how her daddy is going to pay for a weekend concert ticket for her even though she is currently grounded. What? Really? Can I catch a break?
I feel like I am breaking, like all the life is slowly being sucked out of me. What do I have, what is really mine, something I can call my own that I don’t have to juggle around everyone else’s schedule. Nothing, because even the things I enjoy like quilting and gardening I have to work around everyone else. I always work around everyone else and even give things up because it doesn’t fit in with the family’s schedule.
Often times I look forward to going to work so that I can feel like I am good at something, I am really good at my job. It has always come naturally to me and I still enjoy it after 16 years, but my job is not who I am. See, that’s the thing, I think I’m a pretty good mom too, but that doesn’t mean I always want to do it though. Don’t get me wrong, I am fully committed and I will give up everything for my kids, but I don’t like it. Sometimes I wish someone would give a little for me. I see my husband go on trips to ballgames with his friends, or golf tournaments that take him away all day while I stay home and take care of the kids.
When I try to express this to my husband, he says go do something or go get something, do whatever you need to do. I don’t know what will fulfill me or make me happy. I am not fulfilled by work as I have always felt I cannot let it define who I am. Meanwhile I am being a good mother but it drains all the life out of me. Am I depressed? Are these things signs of an impending mental illness? Is this normal, does everyone feel this way? Is it just my hormones talking? How do I shake this feeling? What will make things better?
I think about all the things my parents did for me. Looking at the life they have now that my brother and I are adults, it is clear they take weekend trips together and complete home projects. They do what they want. If my mom wants to go shopping, she does. If my dad wants to go to a game or start a project, he does it too. There is nothing to keep them from doing whatever they want, whenever they want to do it. Maybe that’s it, my time is not my own. My time is ruled by my family.
So, I guess the mature adult thing to do is suck it up and keep on truckin’. When my son is 18 I can begin my life again.