Posted by Gina Perkins, Pre-School Mommie | Posted in Gina Perkins | Posted on 18-10-2010
Tags: confused, Gina Perkins, heard, lonely, lost, misunderstood, new mommie, new mommy, relatable, transition
There I was, at Whole Foods, meandering up and down the marinades aisle for the twelfth time in 45 minutes…literally. I had been gone from home for so long that my husband called to make sure everything was alright. I broke down in tears, “I cannot make a decision to save my life.” I finally grabbed the Tandoori sauce. Tandoori sauce? Not only had I never cooked Chicken Tandoori before, but I actually didn’t even know what it was.
My husband kept me on the phone for my drive home. “I’m worried about you, babe. What’s going on?” I didn’t even know where to begin in answering that question. In the moment, what was wrong was that I was afraid of letting my family down by choosing some random Indian dish for dinner. However, the more we got to talking, what was really wrong was that I had no idea who I was anymore – what I liked, didn’t like, it all just blended together into one big sea of indecision.
The truth is, I haven’t taken the time to talk – I mean really talk, to anyone these past 13 months about how my life has changed since becoming a mom. I mean, sure, there are those wonderfully candid conversations that I have with my best friends where we complain about how many loads of laundry we’ve done, how many days it’s been since we’ve had even a minute to ourselves, how thinking of cooking ONE MORE MEAL feels like torture, or how changing one more diaper just might put us into the psych ward. It’s not that those talks aren’t important, because they are. In fact, it’s those raw moments in friendship that keep you floating from one monotonous moment to the next. However, in a world of really loving, really supportive people – sometimes telling the truth results in tirelessly defending yourself against a flood of heartfelt suggestions on what you may, or may not, need to be doing differently.
And so folks, here it goes. My best attempt at telling my truth – not because I care to endure one more suggestion that I need a girls’ night out, or that perhaps I’m one of those women who really needs to work outside the home, but because I feel the need to be authentic in hopes that I can make peace with this woman that I’ve become. And, quite frankly, I am sick of subscribing to the whole of other people’s truths simply because part of that truth mirrors my own, and I am desperate to be understood.
I LOVE being a mom. I was meant to be a mom. Nothing has brought me even a fraction of the joy and fulfillment that being DJ’s mom does. I don’t actually feel that I have given up very much, or that I have sacrificed very much to be a mom. I can count on one hand how many times I have lost my patience with DJ, or how many times I have ABSOLUTELY needed a moment to myself. I can’t relate to moms who fantasize about running away from home, or who prefer to run their errands without their kids in tow. I actually don’t mind not sleeping through the night, or even comforting an inconsolable child. I don’t even care that my favorite song is currently “Pop Goes the Weasel,” or that my best dance moves accompany “The Itsy-Bitsy Spider.” I am unabashedly in love with my daughter. There are even moments when I look at her and literally cry over how cute she is (I am sure that saying that out loud has caused some eyes to roll – which is exactly why I’ve never said it out loud before). And while I realize that my swooning love affair with motherhood could cause some people to question my sincerity, I promise, it’s the truth – it’s my favorite thing ever.
And so, what’s the issue? Well, the issue begins with my confusion – how could something that I love so much also leave me longing for things of my past? I mean, I miss feeling cute and even remotely desirable (though my husband never makes me feel anything less than beautiful). I miss commuting to my office, and feeling as though I am in rhythm with the infinite energy of Silicon Valley. I miss having aching calves at the end of a workday from wearing three-inch heels while running from one meeting to the next. I miss having smart things to say in front of people who would inevitably be reviewing (and rewarding) my performance. Heck, I just miss having smart things to say! I miss the financial freedom of having two incomes, and I miss being just a partner to my husband – rather than a co-parent with him. I miss spontaneous and extravagant dates with him, too. I miss completely tiny, potentially sequined, and very nonfunctional purses. I miss sneaking away at 3:00 in the afternoon to indulge in a frozen yogurt all by myself. I miss getting through an entire episode of Ellen, uninterrupted. I miss feeling like I’m in the know, part of the “popular” group – the women without muffin top tummies or thick-strapped, underwire bras. I miss feeling independent – or at least the strength and sense of power that comes along with it.
So, that’s it, in a nutshell. Much of why I don’t share is because I can’t possibly be polite to the next person who offers to watch Delilah while I spend some time alone. I can’t possibly explain to one more person that missing my stilettos doesn’t necessarily mean that I need to slip them on and go grab a drink with a girlfriend. It’s just that I need to be able to say these things so that I can process who I was, and who I am now – and how those two worlds have collided and what gets to cross over, what’s left behind, and what’s still to come. I need to be able to mourn for the things that will forever be left in my “previous life,” while also being able to say that I would never, in a million years, trade those things for the gifts that I have now.
I just need to be able to be me – without the effort of being fixed, or the doubt that actually I’m happy, or the justification that I’m truly alright. When I say it all out loud, it makes perfect sense and I feel great – refreshingly multidimensional.