Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I Am More Than "Mom"

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The wee ones look at me, and they see Mom. They see the woman who cooks for them and with them, always ensuring that they drink their milk. They see the woman who does their laundry and helps them clean their rooms. They see the woman who kisses the boo boos and bakes the birthday cake.

But I'm more than that, and I wonder if they know about this. I wonder if they know how much I love horses and how much I miss riding them. I wonder if they understand why I choose the books to read that I do and why I enjoy certain authors while rejecting others. I wonder if they consider how I'm a slightly different person when I'm with my friends and my focus isn't on them.

I doubt they do.

When I look at my mom, I see the same thing. I see the woman who is always there with advice and help. I see the woman who made the spaghetti to put into the refrigerator for lunch. I see the woman who drove me all over kingdom come for various activities.

And I know she got a little lost, too. I was thinking about this the other day while reading a book where the author explored her mother's addressbook after her death and discovered all sorts of mysterious facts about her mom.

To be honest, the author was a little surprised and rocked by some of the relevations she learned about her mom. Her mom was a real person, and that was so hard for her to reconcile with her image of her mom.

And I don't want that. I don't want to have the wee ones see a version of me that I paste on for the world. I want them to know who I am and to feel comfortable growing into their own individuals based on the role model I am. And for me, I don't want to put my life into separate pockets - the mom bucket, the me bucket, and so forth.

When I hear about my mom going to the city with her friends for the day to explore museums and see a play, I'm still surprised. I feel badly that this is something that my mom wasn't able to do as I grew up - or that she didn't share with me when I was growing up. That isn't the relationship I want to have with the wee ones.

And with that in mind, I'm going to heave a huge sigh of relief and take away that guilt. Tomorrow I'm heading to Ravinia to see the B-52s, and I'm going to tell the wee ones what I'm doing and why.

And the next time I have the opportunity to do something fun? Well, so long as it doesn't conflict with something the wee ones are supposed to do, count me in!


WeaselMomma July 21, 2010 at 5:27 AM  

Break out of the apron string uniform and have a great time at the concert.

Alexis AKA MOM July 21, 2010 at 11:51 AM  

I've lost myself around the way, it's a good thing I need to push myself too!

septembermom July 21, 2010 at 12:02 PM  

You should see my kids' faces when they hear about the "poet" mom in me! I do try to share my love of music and art with them. They don't really see my goofy adult side. I guess that would embarrass them too much. Enjoy the concert!!

Tara R. July 21, 2010 at 3:15 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tara R. July 21, 2010 at 3:16 PM  

As my kids got older, we moved a little away from doing things that only they were interested in and started adding in road trips their dad or I wanted to do too. Now that my oldest is almost 21, we go shopping, to sushi restaurants, and though it will never be like a girls night out, it's more than just a mom/daughter day too.

Michelle July 22, 2010 at 11:36 PM  

WeaselMomma - We did. You'd be proud :) In fact, I posted on it tonight!

Alexis - You aren't the only one. Keep pushing!

Kelly - It's hard to have that balance, isn't it? I do love that you're sharing the poet with them though!

Tara - We'll get there then, right? Fortunately, we're already all over the sushi restaurants :) But the "me" things? Still working on those.

Melisa Wells July 26, 2010 at 5:13 PM  

This is one of my favorite posts of yours, ever. SO GOOD.

Michelle July 26, 2010 at 11:10 PM  

Melisa - Awww, thank you! That is so sweet. It is so hard for me to create an identity that the wee ones understand that isn't just "mom."

Lucy August 6, 2010 at 9:53 PM  

I'm really struggling with this right now. I skipped BlogHer because I didn't want to leave my son and now I'm reading everyone's blog posts & Tweets with envy. I have an opportunity to go to Vegas this fall sans hubby & child and I really want to, but at the same time I don't know if I'm ready to leave my kiddo. But I don't want to be writhing in envy in Oct. like I am now! It's such a mixed thing--I want to be more than mommy, but I don't want to leave my kiddo. AGH. Tell me it gets easier...please???

Michelle August 10, 2010 at 9:41 PM  

Lucy - It's really hard, isn't it? It does get easier as you realize that you'll always have time with your children, especially when you make it quality time. AND that (for me at least) I'm a better mom and a happier person when I have my own identity and do my own things.

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