Tuesday, November 4, 2008


When you have kids, or rather, when I had Jessica, my identity changed. Becoming a mother just superceded everything. And because it happened so closely to the time when Marc and I became a couple, I don't always feel like that aspect of my life, that of a wife, really gets enough attention. Then after Sam was born, and I quit my job (actually, if I'm being honest, after I got pregnant with Jess, and my whole outlook changed, my committment to a professional career went right out the window), my whole world became Mommy World. And it's a lovely place, unconditional love and joy, it's fun and sweet, and so hard sometimes. Frustrating, exhausting, and overwhelming as well. But there's not a lot of room left for anything else.

Maybe I do it wrong? Maybe I need more balance, more time for me, more time for me and Marc together as a couple. Maybe I need to be able to see myself as a wife, as a lover, a partner to him. But I think that I need to have more a sense of myself, separate from being just Mama, before I'm able to give that role, that of wife, the attention that I need. Because to be Mama, that's all need that I fulfill. It's all immediate - Mama, I need this, I need that, I fell and hurt my leg, I need oobies, I wet the bed and need to crawl in with you, I'm hungry, Can I have a drink, read me this story, etc. I just do - without a lot of thought. Without a sense of me in it - it's easy to get lost.

I don't know that I feel all that lost (could this post be any more rambling and disjointed?). It feels right and somehow normal to just relax into this role. I read. That's my thing I do for my sanity. I don't get really any alone time, but I've always got a stack of three or four books to read and am in the middle of one. I can escape with a book and for a period of time, not be thinking about the next load of laundry, the dishes that need to be done, the toddler that needs his diaper changed, or the five year old who needs a story. Not for long, because (and it keeps coming back to this), those needs are immediate. I don't go to the bathroom unless it's at a convenient time. If the dishes need to be done, I do them. I change the diapers, and I can't see refusing to read to a child because I'm reading myself.

But I would like time to be a wife. Time to be the woman he fell in love with, time to focus on his needs, on my needs... To be a whole person, have motherhood be just a part of my life, instead of my whole life. I remember reading somewhere that you look at your life as circles that intersect. And when you have children, your circle and theirs are almost entirely on top of each other, and the process of raising them is moving more and more of their circle out from under yours. If you look at life that way, my circle, the part that's just mine, is a pretty tiny fraction. And the part that's just shared between Marc's circle and mine isn't a lot bigger. But the part that encompassing both kids is still pretty big.

I wonder if it's something I really want. Do I want to change? Do I want to put more of a focus on the other? On me, on Marc? It takes effort and mostly, it's easier just to keep doing. Change the diaper, get the drink, crawl into bed and read for a few minutes before crashing out of sheer exhaustion. But I have a feeling that everyone, me, Marc, and the kids, would benefit if I was able to balance it out a little more. Just a feeling, a suspicion. I could be wrong - it certainly feels right to keep doing it the way that I have been. But maybe, just maybe, I'm wrong.

No comments: