Let me just clarify: there is no such thing as “a carefree mom.”
I realised this yesterday in a somewhat profound moment when I was catching up with some of my fave mommy friends and one of them remarked: “I think what I miss the most [about life pre-kids] is being carefree, because we will never feel that again. No one ever tells you that…” and never a truer word was spoken!
Even when our kids aren’t around us, when we are at work or having some ‘me time’, whatever – we are constantly thinking about them. Worrying about them. Wondering what they are doing. Are they driving the babysitter insane? Did I pack enough nappies? Have they eaten? Have they slept? Are they warm enough? Did I send an extra dummy? Oh crap, I forgot the snacks…. And the ultimate concern, one that we all have at some stage or another: what if something happens to us? Who will look after them? (Another member of the mom pack said she spent an entire weekend – the first full weekend away from her little one – worrying about just that, to the point where she hardly enjoyed herself – sounds familiar, right?!)
It’s a tough one to reconcile for so many of us who are fighting the battle to maintain our identity and not to just be “Mom”. And let’s be honest, it is a battle sometimes. It’s hard to meet the demands of little ones and to still make time for ourselves; to nurture our own interests (those beyond mothering) and to make time for our partners too – and then on top of that we are still constantly worrying about everything!
I remember when I was young and single; I heard somewhere that that was probably the stage of life where I would be the richest (financially) that I will ever be: no dependents, fewer expenses, a higher amount of disposal income, only me to be worry about… And at the time it baffled me because I thought I was pretty poor compared to my banker friends in London ;) but this is kind of the same thing…
Even if someone HAD told me way back when, I wouldn’t have ‘got it’, because that’s how life works – we only know these things once we are in the thick of it.
And 99% of the time, we wouldn’t change a thing.
I’m all about embracing things these days, accepting them, trying not to sweat the small stuff – life seems a whole lot closer to carefree when I do…