Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Um, yeah, I'm obsessed with my kid

I don't have evidence, but I heard the results of a survey once that asked women who were and were not mothers if there was much of a difference between people with and without kids. The non-mothers all said, "no, there's not much difference between people with and without kids," but all the mothers said, "YES! There's a HUGE difference between people with and without kids." And it's so true.

I always thought I'd be one of those mothers who effortlessly happened to have a child and then focused on herself. I envisioned my lifestyle being essentially identical to the way it was, but I happened to have a kid. I'd get a babysitter or have my husband watch her while I went out with my friends and went shopping. I'd shop with her. We'd go to museums and walk around with her in her stroller. She'd eat meals with us. Everything would be easy and smooth (after she wasn't a baby anymore).

Um, yeah, that's not the case. What is it really like? Everything revolves around my child. Everything. I thought I wouldn't be obsessed with her. I thought I would be able to have a place for her and place for life. But life has become her. It's crazy! I guess part of it is that I really LIKE her. She's fun, she's cute. Everything she does is the coolest thing ever. She's small, she needs me to feed her, care for her, make sure she gets enough water, diaper changes, baths stimulation, book reading, and more. Oi vey, it makes my head spin just thinking about all that she requires for care. By the time I've done all that, it's time to do it again, and again, and again.

When we leave it requires tons of effort. Bring: extra clothes, snacks, sippy cups, diapers, wipes, pacifiers, toys, strollers, carriers, and snacks and water for me. Even if I wanted to remain coolly detached, I'd still have to remember all these things. Once we are outside of the house, does she want to primly sit in her stroller while I do everything I want? Not any more. She wants to get up. She wants to walk around. She wants to pick up cigarette butts from the street. She wants to run down hills, take off her shoes, play in the dirt, eat sand, eat snacks, eat other people's snacks, push other people's strollers, climb on things, etc. It's exhausting. Do I get to do what I want? HA! What I want now is to just have a good time with my family and if my girl gets to have a good time, I'm good. I've suspended all needs to do anything specific unless I plan for it that way. Want to go shopping? I've got an hour at best or else I need Aaron to watch her. Want to hang out with friends? Fine, but expect that one of us will chase her while the other one has an adult conversation and then trade.

You can't help but think about her ALL THE TIME. Maybe it gets easier, but probably not for the forseeable future. I totally get how people with kids lose track of their friends without kids. Who wants to hang out with someone while they have half a conversation while chasing their kid? Not me! At least if you are with another mother with a kid the same age, they get it. You exist while chasing your kids and are content with a partial conversation.

In other news, AJ got her first boo boo... :-( Poor pet! It was very sweet though to put a cute little bandaid on her knee for the first time, though. I have to say I felt very good about being her mommy who could make her boo boo feel better! :-) So sweet.


Jo 9:49 PM  

Thank you so much for stopping by my little corner of the interwebs the other day. Having your support means the world. Seriously.