Yesterday at the airport, my son got up to chase my husband to the food area. My heart jumped a step as I lost sight of him. My older child saw where him and told me he was in view. The man next to me said kindly, “When are you ever not working as a mom?”
At first, I didn’t know what he meant. I thought he was asking me if I work. I wasn’t in the best of moods. We had left the house for the airport without our two guidebooks and G.P.S., two items of great importance to me when traveling. Even though the man was amused by the situation, by my nearly losing my child, I wasn’t really in the mood for chit chat. But I thought about it and answered, “No one told me it’d be like this when I signed up.”
Of course, he laughed.
It’s true. Don’t get me wrong. I love my kids. But I also feel a lot like Jessicca Gottlieb in her recent post I Don’t Actually Like Kids in which she wrote that she doesn’t love little kids. I’m not saying I don’t dislike little kids. It’s fascinating to see them change, learn new things, reach milestones. But the truth is that I relish my freedom and I’m gaining more of my freedom now …as well as my identity…as they get older. My kids are ages 6 and 8 now, and I’m finally at the point where I don’t feel guilty about everything. Now I can now go away for short periods. I know they’re in good hands with my sitter or husband. For the first 5 years, it was virtually impossible to have any kind of life that didn’t involve kids. While my life is still kid-focused, there is time for me now. There wasn’t before.
I think I prefer motherhood as they get older (I just don’t like the fact that I, too, am getting older).
I know that this is not nice for a mom to say. I’m just being honest. It’s funny, my husband has never felt this way. I think that’s because he’s always worked 40+ hours a week since they were born and relishes his time at home — even when my son runs up and down the stairs like a nutter at night. I, on the other hand, declare nightly that I am done at 9pm. It’s my cut-off.
But you know what, with motherhood getting better and better, this is what I signed up for. Great kids who are more independent and letting me fly. Personally, I don’t think that’s selfish…to be a great mom and a great individual. Nothing wrong with that.
How about you, is motherhood what you signed up for?