If you’re a mother and you’ve never had a day, or a part of a day that you didn’t sit and daydream about the life you once lived I’m very sorry, but I can’t be your friend.
The problem with stay at home parenting for tweens and teens is that when you’re doing it well it appears that no one needs you. It’s nice to feel like your kids don’t need you, and it’s common to feel like your children don’t appreciate you. This is mostly a one way relationship, I give, they take. Yes, of course there are hugs, kisses, thank yous and sweet moments, but most often it’s more mom giving, dad working and kids taking.
I don’t resent my family.
I just sometimes wonder what I’d be like with a flat stomach and some time to myself. I look at parents who split and I wonder what gave them the nerve, the total self obsession, to look at their family and make the decision to follow their bliss. What is their bliss? Why does only one person get to follow their dreams at a time?
I understand feeling restless and unappreciated. I’m not restless every day, or even every year. I understand the pangs and when I look at my single childless friends I’m alternately jealous and piteous. I’m guessing they feel the same stuff, but more pity less envy.
When I wish I wasn’t a wife and a mother I wish that I have less things. When I’m entertaining the fantasy of a life all alone I dream of no mortgage, no pets, no phones and sometimes no friends. I have this vision of myself living in Los Angeles completely surrounded by people but not having to please any of them. I fantasize about my only interactions being with shopkeepers and servers. I recall fondly the days of workouts followed by massages and then naps. A completely selfish existence, one that I don’t know that I’d ever dare to lead, one that I’m not convinced isn’t lonely.
It’s not the mothering that gets me, it’s being The Mom.
Photo via Flickr creative commons license.