I haven’t posted anything here for a while. I wish I could say it is due to a chaotic schedule or something, but it’s honestly more a lack of motivation and inspiration. Until now. I have something to get off my chest…
It’s “May Long Weekend” here in Canada and everyone we know is off doing fun stuff. Back home in Boston it’s just a regular weekend, but friends and family are hitting the beach and firing up the BBQ, too.
What am i doing? I’m nursing my sick toddler in an attempt to get him down for a nap. Trying not go go stir crazy in the house for the weekend without the car, trying to get motivated to clean and do laundry while my husband works 10 out of 12 days.
I will admit I miss parts of my life prior to being a mom. I enjoyed carefree time hanging out with my friends and going with the flow, but right now my life is a sardine can packed with responsibility that doesn’t stop. A 24/7 gig that cannot be understood unless lived. I’m behind the 8 ball 100% of the time, and it takes a lot not to slip into a negative head space when I see the To Do list before me… but I wouldn’t change it for anything. This little boy will keep growing and he won’t always need me like he does this summer. The page will turn and a new chapter dedicated to me and Shaun and our resurrected sense of freedom will appear before us. I will eventually go back to work and we will have two incomes and two cars and more money to play with to go on vacations that aren’t strictly to visit my family. I see the future and it keeps me from feeling like this current normal isn’t something to dwell on or resent.
However, the problem that has been bouncing around in my head more and more lately is how this new life of mine contrasts so starkly with my old life, and the damage it has done or could do to relationships that I hold SO incredibly dear.
There are two events this year that I think about constantly… the first is a bachelorette weekend in August for one of my absolute best friends on the planet, and the 2nd is her wedding weekend in October. I talked my dad into having his heart valve replacement surgery in August so I could afford to be there for him AND the Bach weekend, and I will be there in October for the wedding without question. My issue is that I am still very much nursing and co-sleeping with my son. I don’t see an organic end in sight, and I am very uncomfortable with the idea of prematurely weaning him from the two things that bring him such immense comfort and security.
So what do I do in order to maintain a consistent relationship with my son by continuing to parent him in the way I have chosen to do so… while also honoring my friendship with someone who has been there for me through so much and deserves my undivided attention and love for these two very special moments in her life?
I think about this A LOT. I haven’t come to a nice neat solution I can tie up with a bow and call upon when the time comes. That is due in large part to the unpredictable nature of raising a small child. They change daily. Meeting his needs is a roller coaster ride of trial and error, and the x-factor related to illness, teething or other forms of developmental distress can come out of nowhere.
My friend is a wonderful and understanding person. I know she is very much looking forward to being a mom herself and will know soon enough the inner struggle I am dealing with. I also know that is all irrelevant and she is reasonable and would just understand if I explained all this to her… but I’m SICK of feeling like I have a list of excuses for why I can’t be the friend I WANT to be to the people I care about. I miss just being able to say “count me in!” and meaning it. I miss being able to get excited and contribute as much of myself as possible to the celebration. Being a mom is hard, but it is made harder when you’re the only mom in the crew. The only one who can’t hang anymore. Of course distance is another big hurdle for me to contend with, but that feels far less obstructive than motherhood when I am working out the details.
Here is my perfect scenario… in August I want to leave Ty with my husband at my parents house and hitch a ride with my girlfriends to Cape Cod for a fun filled beach weekend and stuff my face with blue fish pate and drink rose and listen to Backstreet Boys and Kanye and get a tan and give my girl Amanda lots of hugs and cry with happiness about all the love and joy she has found and the life she has created around her… I want to give all of my love and attention to my friends and be present. Be fun. Be myself before I became a mom. I haven’t been that person for 2 years. I miss that person, and I just want to reconnect with her for a freakin’ weekend. Then in October I want to leave the baby home in Canada with my husband and go to the wedding in Massachusetts all by myself. Again, just be there without distraction and celebrate my girl and her man 100%.
Will these scenarios play out the way I want them to? Probably not. Will people be understanding of why I can’t pull it off perfectly when the time comes? Probably to my face, but I don’t know that it will really be understood. I say that because I made a living as a childcare provider before becoming a mom and I STILL had no idea what I was in for. Nobody can fully explain to a non-parent what it feels like to be a parent. You cannot comprehend the love. You cannot comprehend the exhaustion. You cannot comprehend how drastic the life you currently live is about to change. I was lucky to become a parent while also starting my life over in a new place. I was able to take that blank slate and define myself as a stay at home mom. The people here do not know me as anything else, so my day to day is not a balancing act between who I was and who I am now. I only get to experience that reality when I travel home to Boston, so I have very limited practice when it comes to finding that balance between my two realities.
All of this is just a rambling stream of consciousness that has been consuming me for a while. Maybe it resonates with you, maybe it doesn’t, but I know I feel better getting it out of my head finally and beginning the process of problem solving.