Before I had kids, I thought I was going to really have to work at not becoming The Mommy. I thought I was going to get sucked into the whole thing: Motherhood. I thought I might love it all so much, be so enamored by the whole adventure, that I'd forget about being The Wife or The Friend or Just Me.
Boy, was I wrong.
It turns out (brace yourself...big secret coming...major potential for offense here) I don't really like being a mommy much.
After all those years of worrying that I would love it so much I'd cross over to the other side...the side with bob haircuts and no stilettos and scrapbooking parties and holiday-patterned cardigans...it turned out I'm not actually The Mommy Type.
Hmph. Who knew?
Okay, so yeah...this is where I say what I have to say (which is actually quite true): I love my kids, I have no regrets, I am sooooo grateful for them, their health, their smiles, their moments of joy. Yes. Blah blah blah. I am all of that too. But mostly, I am tired. And stressed. And exhausted. And sleep-deprived. And sex-deprived. And freedom-deprived. And carefree-ness-deprived. (What do you mean, 'That's not a word'?!?)
*Intermission: As I am typing, my chubby little Aidan Kai crawls over, pulls himself up, grabs onto my leg and, in an attempt to join my blogging confessions, starts slapping at the keyboard. Then, as I point out his little piggy toy is waiting for him a few feet away, he grins his dimply toothy smile and trots off...yes, trots...because he has just started to walk, and I melt a teeny bit. Parenting is the only thing that can make you feel that way: a million contradicting emotions at once. Frustrated. Trapped. Amazed. Blessed. Giggling at his antics while bitching about them...*
But yeah...I've come to realize that I am not The Mommy Type. I thought I might become the mommy type after some practice, but yeah, um, no. Like at the end of my workday, I don't always look forward to going home. I don't. I know. That's really, really terrible. But it's true. In fact, some days I dread it. I just don't enjoy entertaining and lifting and disciplining and cleaning and refereeing at the end of a long work day. I'd much rather be on the couch, reading or sleeping or writing or romping with the Hubby.
And on the weekends, I'd much rather be out...glammed up, out late, dancing and drinking. Or, not. Maybe in my pj's, staying in, sleeping in, and doing absolutely nothing. But that's the whole thing: with parenting, you just don't have that many choices. You don't have that many opportunities. You usually don't get to choose whether to go out or stay in. Because most nights (at least around my house, anyways), we are getting through all the Requirements: baths and meals and toys and to-do's, and then...oh, we are sooooo done. Done. Exhausted. Get into bed and just barely watch the latest episode of Rachel Zoe (or Monday Night Football, depending on which one of Us we are talking about).
And another thing...you know those uber-cool pics of Gwen Stefani and Heidi Klum, all chic and thin and fabulous, with a kid in one arm and a Starbucks Venti and the latest It Bag on the other? That is SO not motherhood. I mean, I could look like that too if I had a nanny (or 3) and a hair person and tons of money and did I mention a nanny? Real motherhood is not glamorous. It is not chic. It is, usually, messy and wrinkly and bags under the eyes. And if you happen to be having a good day...your hair is done and your nails are polished and you've got your sparkly hoop earrings...then chances are you're extra tired from the effort that took AND there is an even better chance that your 1-year-old will tear out, at the very least, the hoop earring, if not the whole earlobe.
So now here I am, 4 years and 2 kids later. And I don't have to work at not being The Mommy. In fact, it is the Wife, Friend, and Self that is constantly pushing and battling against the Mommy...all the Me's fighting for equal time. Except no matter how violent that fight gets, the Mommy usually wins. I admit, it's not by choice. I'd like so much to see myself as a woman who happens to have kids, instead of a mom who happens to have a life, but I can't. The truth of the matter is that when you become a mom, it becomes a major part of who you are...whether you want it to or not.