Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Things Nobody Wants to Admit...

If I were to write a book about motherhood it would be titled: Things Nobody Wants to Admit About Being a Mother. Ever since making the unexpectedly hard transition from a "dyad" to a "triad" as my husband likes to say, I have kept little mental notes to myself about the things you just don't find in books, and none of your friends with kids really tell you ahead of time. These are the things you assume no other mother at the park is thinking or has ever felt, because strangers don't talk about these things. Only close friends will usually admit them to each other.

Lately, on the scale of minor evils, I've been finding myself desperate for the moment my son takes his nap or goes to bed, literally counting down minutes. And the irony is that he is more fun and wonderful than ever. It's not his behavior that's driving this in me. Being that he's nearly a year old (and oh my god how did that happen??) you'd think I'd have the hang of this whole motherhood thing. While aspects of it do come much easier and pretty much any stage past newborn is a walk in the park in comparison, after a year of spotty sleep and obligation and not being able to exercise, write, think or make love to your husband without either guilt or rush, you start to crave wider expanses of time. And I'll confess that my son goes to a babysitter 12 hours a week (in which I work, write, exercise, eat, call friends, read, etc) and I still feel this way. And my dear friends with multiple children will laugh when they read this and say, 'honey you 'aint seen nothin'...but these are MY confessions after all. Confessions of the unprepared mother of one child.

(And the really weird part is, even as I write this, my son is pulling tissues out of a box and making himself laugh and I just want to scoop him up and hold him for hours.)


At 7:38 AM, Anonymous Emily said...

A mother for almost a year and you think you should have gotten the hang of it? Ha! Expecting to get all of the time to yourself you should want in 12 little hours a week? Ha ha! You are being very, very hard on yourself. I think most moms are immensely grateful for quiet solitude while also feeling blessed to be mothers. As Amy Hempel would say, "People are not one thing BUT another thing, they are one thing AND another thing." Loving your kid and needing a break from your kid are not mutually exclusive. Enjoy your alone time and don't feel guilty for craving it!

At 3:30 PM, Blogger Maryanne Stahl said...

and to think, though I truly know how you feel, that I miss those days. I'd rather be back with my babies, showing them butterflies, than teaching other people's babies when to use who and when whom.

I don't miss the sleep deprivation and, honestly,I don't have the physical stamina for full-time care of a toddler any more. but god, I miss the smell of their heads.

At 8:07 PM, Blogger J.C. Towler said...

Hey Jordan,

I recently matriculated into parenthood myself, though am about a year and a half ahead of you. (Ours is 2 1/2ish). I know well your feelings and use those nap hours to your advantage because they are sometimes the only opportunity you have to recharge during the day. Don't feel the first pang of guilt.

I'm sure you've come to realize how much the old axiom about kids being sponges is true; well, they also soak up a lot of energy along with everything going on around them.



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At 12:30 PM, Blogger KSCollier said...

I love what you have written about being a new mom. I am a savored grandmother now of 16, and totally compute it all in my cobwebbed brain. I remember well the first time mom event until I had 7 to talk about or write about. Now I have 16 grandbabies with one due in January. Jordan, you are doing right by getting a 12-hour a week break. All mom's need that. I admire all mom's who find time to write amidst the daily cares of family. Life only gets better, enjoy your journey.

At 12:56 PM, Blogger KSCollier said...

I forgot to tell you thank you for writing such a wonderful book, "Make A Scene." It has helped me tremendously. You are awesome. Enjoy your precious angel and more to come. When the time comes your words will flow again, but your angels will not wait. They will grow so fast and be gone before you understand where all the time went. Never feel guilty for wanting time for yourself, it makes for a healthier relationship when you are with them. Enjoy writing always, but enjoy your journey with your family most of all.


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