Lucky Me - Livin' the Good Life
Feb. 11th, 2013
02:55 pm - Lucky Me
I was reading a blog link that came up on my Facebook page today, and I was surprised and saddened to read about a mother who truly had unhappy feelings about motherhood. She had strong regrets. She felt like she had "died". She admitted she was depressed. And what mother isn't, she asked. I just could not relate. She called having a child "a beautiful catastrophe". I would never have described it that way. A catastrophe? Doesn't that mean a disaster? Not even close to my experience. She said she wanted her "body back". I was honestly happy to share mine. It felt yummy and luscious to do so. She said she was mourning the loss of her "previous identity". My new mother-identity was much more meaningful and fun and challenging than my old identity, which, granted, was young and not fully developed. When I became pregnant, I was so eager to take on this new identity that I gladly, gradually, let that other self fall by the wayside. She was, after all, embarrassingly self-centered and superficial. This new woman was deeper and more concerned about the welfare of others. This woman had a deep, deep mission. I couldn't imagine anything more important than being someone's mother. It was the hardest thing I ever did. It pushed me to my limits every day, and I just had to keep going deeper. And what was on the other side of each challenge was usually a "better" me. (Not always. Sometimes I failed miserably.)
This poor blogger mourned being able to go out and have a drink or a smoke with friends. (The last thing on my mind.) She mourned getting to go to work and, also, being alone. The "being alone" part really gets more achievable as the children get older.... not getting to be alone is a (granted, pretty long) phase. But, I honestly never wanted to leave my kids and go to work. Who would take care of them as good as me? Who was more interested in their welfare than me? And getting a job? That sounded boring to me. I had plenty of work of my own to do at home. Why would I want to take on someone else's work, too? And, to be honest, I found the average adult company to be tiresome. Same old, same old. But, children were fresh and fun and totally in the moment. Never dull. Adults, especially women, had endless baggage to gripe about. Children didn't. Maybe adults didn't get good enough parenting when they were little, because they seemed to have endless problems. We adults actually have very little real influence on the adults around us. But, young children, especially, are highly open to influence. Talk about a job with power! Creating and influencing the next generation couldn't be more important!
I was a big cuddler and children are also big cuddlers, so kids were a perfect match for me. I could hold them all day long if I wanted. How much cuddling would I have gotten at work? Or out with friends? None! I loved, loved, loved witnessing the blossoming and unfolding of children. Nothing was more interesting and compelling to me, and there was an incredible amount of blossoming going on around our house every single day. Lucky me.
I realize that many women do not share my feelings about mothering, especially in this day and age. I'm SO glad I was raised in the 50s and began parenting in the 70s. My friends back then were more likely to be at home with their kids and not wanting it to be otherwise. I was able to create a solid mothering network. I loved that.
Today I can enthusiastically say: "I'm happy I'm me." The life I had as a mother was perfect for me. And now that I'm no longer an on-the-job mother, I'm STILL happy I'm me. My current life is perfectly suited to the person I am. I am so grateful for the way things have turned out in my life. Lucky me.