Monday, September 27, 2010
Morphing into Mama
My kids are growing up (and I guess I shouldn't be surprised at that). With Lucy turning three and Nate in SK, my mothering is growing up too. And it's this that I'm a bit surprised at.
As a hip, young girl about town, I simply thought that I would buck the trend. That I could somehow avoid muffin top, minivan and soccer mom cliches. I would continue to live a life full of arts, culture and travel and my wee ones would simply come along for the ride.
If you have a kid (or more than one) you're probably laughing your head off in recognition here. When I think back to how difficult I made my life by trying to swim upstream instead of going with the flow, I want to reach back in time and slap myself a bit. Why was surrendering to motherhood and all its trappings so difficult?
Well, for one, many of us are having kids later in life these days. We've already spent tons of time with our adult selves, our significant other and our friends. By the time most of us have kids, we've done a lot of things that our parents only dreamed of doing at our age. I'd eaten at the city's top restaurants, danced on speakers, seen every band I loved from Radiohead to Paul McCartney, climbed to the top of a fjord in Norway, drank sangria in a basement bar on the Rive Gauche...
In my mind's eye, I didn't see that changing with Nate's arrival (almost six years ago). I just envisioned doing those things with him in a Bjorn on my chest. Living a quieter life, where going to Costco on Saturday would be the highlight of the week, didn't fit with my idea of myself. But the first time I nursed him in the bathroom of a pub (it was too loud in the bar so he was getting upset), I realized that I had to adjust my expectations.
At first, I was rather depressed about these changes. Giving up the freedom of an unscheduled Sunday, the joys of "What do you want to do today?" being more about desires than to-do lists — well, that was tough. It took the better part of five years (and the addition of a second child) until it really kicked in: my life isn't just about me anymore, and that's OK.
In fact, it's more than OK. Now that I've accepted this fact, motherhood has become the best thing. EVER.