Friday, April 29, 2011

What I Learn From You, My Readers

Last week when I saw that the SITS girls chose me as part of their Comment Hour on Twitter, I was both happy and freaked out. I was happy of course to get new traffic to my blog and to meet other new bloggers. But freaked out because my post on constant mommy talk was sort of a departure for me.

I worried when I wrote it that it was kind of a downer, or whiny, or just a result of a few awkward weeks. I was unsure of what the response would be given that for many this would be the first impression.

I’m still sort of wrapping my head around all the amazing responses I got.

I really appreciate people giving their honest opinions on the topic, and it really put it in perspective for me. I think, for me, what I am concerned about is losing myself.

When we had our baby, Scott and I made a sincere effort to keep some things normal. He and I each take one night a week with our individual friends. We always make sure we allow each other time to work out, which often means switching off baby duties during the week and weekends.

I’m just not sure if that’s enough, really? Do you have to do more to retain your self-ness when you’re a parent?

Maybe it’s more of an effort because you’re giving something up. I mean, sure I was giving up time with Scott when we were married without children and I went out separate from him. But I looked at that as a good thing. And while I know going out now is a good thing for Wee ‘Burb, it’s a more difficult and delicate balance now.

I just envisioned, I guess, a network of people when I had a baby. A village and all that, right? I blogged here a lot about struggling finding mommy friends and that struggle continues. I remember my mom trying to comfort me and said “oh when she goes to school, you’ll meet tons of other moms.”

School? She just cut her molars! I can’t wait that long.

I just thought I would have my mommy friends to help me through those phases and then my non-mommy friends who would keep me grounded and remind me there’s life beyond diapers and drool.

And I think a lot of you had very valid points about there being times in your life when you are at a phase where you need to be sort of absorbed in your child. Wee ‘Burb is developing so quickly and I’m so conflicted on loving her growth and being scared of it, being aware of how formative this little person is and wanting to do it right.

And it sounds like those of you who are not in this phase are extremely understanding women who frankly, I want to be besties with right now.

And then there are times when you just need to be a girl. Talk clothes and food and pop culture. Where you want nothing more than to FORGET you’re a mom for as long as possible. And so we cling then to our single friends, or friends without children.

I seriously hope I am half as good of a friend as most of you seem to be.

Here were a few of my favorite comments:
Amanda at It’s Blogworthy: It's Blogworthy
I think that it's a season. Someday when Wee Burb is grown up, you're going to reconnect with your husband and talk about other things, but right now she's the center of your world and not only is that OK, it's NORMAL. So what if you become that couple for a little while? I know that someday (with us at least) it will pass or at least lessen.

Sparkling at  Lia Sophia Tomgirl
It's the mother who cannot be separated from their kids that bother me the most. Those who vehemently refuse to even try to have a normal life because they now have kids. I think it's extremely unrealistic.
At least no one has ever said to me "well, you wouldn't understand because you don't have kids." That would really annoy me.

Laurie from  Consultant Calamities
Heck, I'm a mom, but *I* get tired of hearing about some people's kids, if it gets to be too much after a while...I have all kinds of friends: some with kids, some with no kids. some with babies, some with adult kids. I have friends of all ages, when I think about it. there's SO much else to talk about !! I do talk about the little man, but I want to talk about other things, too!

The Mays writing at It Builds Character
Oooh, I'm with you. I'm losing my single/childless friends - and I need them. Much more than they need me these days. It's a difficult thing - our little people are our biggest "project", "achievement", or whatever you want to call it... And they're stinkin' cute!

Gin from Life as Topher's Mama
I have been clinging to my single and or childless girlfriends since having my baby. I also have to make a constant effor to not say, "man, I remember those days..." when they talk about taking an impromptu trip or sleeping in. I honestly have dug my claws into them and made a conscious effort to hang with them; with and without my son. They're totally cool with and without him, which is a blessing.

Kat from Tenaciously Yours
I would have to say that I'm rarely offended by baby talk as long as mommies make it a point to include me in the conversation. Like, we all go through different life stages/phases and sometimes it's important to be the talker. Other times it's important to be the listener. If you have that balance, you're golden.

Jessica B from  Sugar in My Grits
Having only had him 20 months ago, & expecting our daughter this June- I find that I have lost myself. Only, I am hoping that once she is here, I'm done being pregnant, & once things are balanced I can find myself once again. More than likely a new version of myself but hopefully there is a part of me left that doesn't have to revolve around my kids.


Amanda @ It's Blogworthy said...

Aww, I'm right there with you! I'm just now getting to the point where I am thinking, let's get a sitter so we can go out. Kelsey's school is having a play and I really want to see it and support them, but know that there is NO WAY we can take the baby. It was the first time I was like, no, really...we need to get out of the house. I thought about you during comment hr when you had written this! But I knew you'd get some good feedback.

Anonymous said...

Oh, lady this is totally worth an XO. So there that is. XO.

Reading about the conscious balance that you and Scott have created for the two of you and Wee 'Burb, I'm impressed. From everything I've read about motherhood (which seems to be a disproportionate-ly large amount for a childless 23 year old...hahahaha), trying to figure out what "normal" and "doing it right" are in the context of your life is hard. To make it more challenging, with every developmental milestone for Wee 'Burb, those things will keep on changing.

Keep your head up, and please know that when you need large quantities of mindless blather - I'm your girl :)

KLZ said...

Making mommmy friends seems damn near impossible some days. Working, for me, just makes me feel so horribly guilty when I take some time for myself since I'm already away so much. There's just no easy answer.

Anonymous said...

I have very few mommy friends. Hell, I have very few single friends. And when I do take time for me, the guilt...omg the guilt just gets me. I'm not sure there is a balance or a magic solution. Parenting, like everything else, comes in phases and waves and guilt and longing for something more or less might just be a part of it. I guess it's a growth experience, you know?

Sparkling said...

Hey, wow, I'm one of your top choices! Whooo hooooo!

My sister is about to pop one out any day and she is all about retaining her normalcy but we'll see what happens once she is a full time mom!

Jen - LifeWithLevi said...

Can I be a mommy friend? I'm with you on the balancing act. Sometimes I feel guilty sneaking in "me" time, but that's part of figuring out this whole new mommy thing I guess. One thing I've found helpful is to entertain at home. That way i can play mommy & friend at the same time. It seems that the conversation naturally flows between the kids and other topics.

Stephanie in Suburbia said...

Tenaciously and Jen: Yes, please! I'd love to spend more time with both of you! This is why I adore blogging.

Everyone: again, thank you for support and understanding. Really you have put this into perspective for me and I am feeling motivated to focus on the right balance for me and my fam.