I've been doing this all wrong.
By "this" I mean this mothering thing.
I've been trying to make everything ladeeda wonderful for the children ALL the time, thus sacrificing my own adult brain to one thousand times too many games of hide and seek or by torturing my adult ears with hours upon hours of the Max & Ruby soundtrack. While cute and charming rabbit figures, that Max never says more than one word over and over again in each episode and why the kripes would I want to relive that particular nightmare over again? I already raised a two year old. Let poor Ruby be damned to that monosyllabic fate.
All of this became abundantly clear to me while driving today. Just this once I refused to play a DVD (I know, so suburbia) for Grayson while we took a 15 minute drive to the pediatrician's office. I heard a song on that grabbed me and made me smile. Then it made me carseat dance. It was the first time I'd ever heard this song and then it hit me. It was the first time I'd ever heard that song and that song has probably been in rotation for months. Maybe even years. The plucky guitar and rhythm is very Jason Mraz but the voice is all Pat Monahan. At least I could place the voice. Thank you God for letting me place the voice.
You know how we all want to be perfectly wonderful at our jobs and perfectly amazing in all other endeavors? Well that's the whole problem. Or at least it is for me. I whole heartily believe you cannot be 100% in all aspects of your life. It's illogical and mathematically unsound. When you give 100% of yourself to something then that something has all of you and you are left with a steaming pile of resentment, exhaustion and bad hair.
We all know you must take time for yourself. I'm no idiot, even I knew that intellectually. My problem has been with the follow through. Practically speaking my follow through on making time for myself has suckity suck suck sucked. I pretend I make time for myself when I'm downstairs alone and folding laundry for maybe 46 seconds before someone needs a wipe or a time out. I act like it's "me" time when I park in the driveway and snarf down the rest of Grayson's chocolate milk so the plastic bottle can be dropped right into the recylcing bucket on the way inside our house. It's all a sham. I've been yanking my own chain. I'm fooling nobody but myself on this and even myself is catching on.
All it took was hearing Train belt out, "Hey soul sister, ain't that Mister Mister on the radio, stereo, the way you move ain't fair, you know," for the old me to bob my head around like a mama hen and twinkle my fingertips toward the sky like Mariah does when she hits the dolphin notes. I was me again. I was 18, 22, 32, and me again! All except I had two stole aways who were both stunned into silence while Mommy danced off the deep end for a few minutes.
I once had dreams for myself. I once had goals for these dreams. I even went as far as paying for time in a really nice recording studio (verses the makeshift free one I had use of over the years through a very dear friend) and taking these pictures (below) for my album's cover. Just writing those words down makes me laugh because they sound silly and ridiculous and so far away from who I am now.
This girl is still here. Her dreams never died. They are just hiding under a shitload of Legos and matchbox cars. But, aside from the really heavy eyemakeup and appled cheeks, that girl in the pictures is still me and those are still passionate seeds of fun I harbor when I pay attention to them. I bet some of you are suprised to hear this (could even be hearing this for the first time in fact) and that's the point of this post. I'm not going to go on pretending (to myself mostly) I don't matter. I do matter and this is who I am and what I love. Who gives a poop if my children have to put up with Mommy who isn't playing, interacting, or directing their lives every minute of the day and is instead laying down scratch vocals or fumbling around with her guitar? I think it's high time they got to know me, the person behind the mom.
I'm not saying I'm unhappy as a mom. No, quite the opposite. I love being a mom so much that I threw myself into it all the way and just now (three years later- whew- thick skull) realized I don't have me anymore. I have a whole lotta them and I love every second of it. I just know there has to be a compromise. I think listening to Train or Pink or Martin Sexton instead of letting the kids watch another cartoon on DVD is a great start. Who knows, they might even enjoy themselves and learn something along the way!