Scary Mommy featured an ad campaign ran by The Boppy Company that used the hashtag #NeverNotaMom and showed all these different moms going about their days – working both in and outside of the home – but all with one thing in common: each one had their young children in tow. And it’s true, while women may hold many titles – wife, employee, sister, aunt, or even my favorite “domestic engineer” – first and foremost always seems to be mother. The ad nails it when it says,
“Being a Mom is Never Not a Balancing Act.”
Ain’t that the truth. Don’t get me wrong, I think motherhood is a damn grand title that I’ve been personally blessed to have earned. It’s brought me more joy than I could have ever imagined, but at the same time it’s also definitely drug me down to the fire pits of hell and shown me where little people like to fraternize with the devil.
Now obviously I would never give up that title for anything in the world. But due to its extreme domineering role, for me personally I feel that everything else I am – or used to be – has gotten pushed aside or buried to the point that most days I’ve forgotten that I used to be anything BUT a mom. And I miss being ME. Who was I? Who am I? Do I even know? Am I the same person? I know I’m in the deepest part of the trenches right now having three young kids, and chaos is the everyday norm. And each year as they get a teeny bit more independent, things should get a little easier. Or do they? Because like everyone reminds me, the bigger the kid, the bigger the problem. Awesome. Can’t wait.
The other day, a friend asked me if I missed working. My immediate answer was YES, everyday! But then I thought about it and realized that it’s not the actual work I miss but just what it meant for me as a person. I miss the adult camaraderie. I miss using my brain for something other than trying to keep track of schedules or meal planning. I miss the social hours after work (especially that one). I miss having nonhuman responsibilities. But you know, at the end of the day maybe all this is just me being selfish. Because isn’t motherhood the epitome of self-sacrifice? I knew that going into it, or at least I think I did. Or, maybe this is just me entering into the first stages of my midlife crisis. Whatever it is, I just know that lately I’ve missed Amy.
I know I’m in there somewhere because once in a while when I’m around my friends or just alone with my husband and we’re actually talking about something other than our kids, I find myself laughing or offering my adult opinion or even just feeling relaxed, a feeling that doesn’t come up too often these days. Okay maybe it’s the bottle(s) of wine we’re enjoying that elicits these behaviors, but even so these brief breaks from parenting are proof that “Amy” does actually exist.
Obviously it’s not like I can go out every night or even every week, but I decided to make it one of my (many) goals for 2018 to try to better balance being a mom and being Amy. Honestly I have no clue how to realistically do that but I know I have to try. Parenting is hands down the biggest and most important job a person will ever have. But it shouldn’t have to be at the sacrifice of losing one’s identity. Because I’m more than just a chauffeur, maid, cook or crazy mom. I’m a music lover, a book nerd, a beer snob, an antique fanatic. I’m also a wife, a daughter, an aunt, a sister, a cousin, a friend – all things that so often get buried under the pressure and responsibilities of motherhood. But in a way the underdog titles add up to something greater than just being a mom. Because they came first. Those titles and those passions make up who I am as a mother. And without them, I would not be the “mom,” “mommy,” and “mama” that I am today. So while I’m #NeverNotaMom, I can’t forget that I’m also #NeverJUSTaMom. That one simple word makes all the difference.