I always cross my fingers that Friday morning will be sleep in day…but Potamus usually has other ideas. And so I trundled out of bed at 6:15 this morning for a hungry boy who wanted to watch some Jake & the Neverland Pirates like he does everyday before school. I tried to curl up on the couch and sleep, but between episodes ending and the dog barking I was barely successful at even resting.
So I decided to bundle him up to get some errands done, and hopefully get a chance to run off some of his energy at the mall’s play area. I was sitting there getting him acclimated, facebooking my friend Mari, and hoping that he’d stop CLINGING to my leg and go run around, when from across the play area I hear “Monk-Monk!” and I look up to find my college acquainted, her daughter, newborn son, and another acquaintance from a mommy group I attended on maternity leave. I hadn’t yet managed to align my schedule up to meet with Christy, since her son was born, so I rushed over to hang out with them and catch up. It started off well, the small talk pleasantries, and a wee snuggle sesh with her son, but then I started to feel…awkward.
Mostly I started to feel awkward when Christy announced that our other acquaintance was going to have another baby…because whoa nelly that’s personal, and she’s not due until this summer, which makes her not that far along and maybe doesn’t want the news to just be announced from the rooftops. At any rate, the thing I realized that I was supremely uncomfortable about was that what we were relating on was…being moms. And the emphasis on having TWO kids, and how TWO kids is more of a deal than having ONE kid (like me), and I felt less-than. I also think that the fact that I’m a working mom set me apart, too, and I left the interaction awkwardly after about 30 minutes and had to text Mari to make sure that I wasn’t going crazy.
Holding that newborn I felt repulsion and jealousy. I know that I want to at least try to have another kid. But I also know that I am also really really loving being a mom AND a person. I was reminded at how overwhelming the whole early breastfeeding experience was, and the total consumption of ALL THINGS BABY was, and I didn’t like talking about it and didn’t fit in, either. Because so much of my world is about being ME, a person who happens to also be a mom. But my identity is multifaceted, and Ijust cannot seem to relate to stay at home moms who appear to have lost any ability to talk about anything except poopy diapers.
God I feel so conflicted, and left out, and trying to remember that my path to motherhood is valid and my own, regardless of how it looks or doesn’t mesh with other people’s path or experience of motherhood.
But it’s hard.
While they were talking about how bad they felt putting their kids in a home daycare for 1 day a week in order to ‘get some stuff done,’ I was sitting there feeling ZERO guilt for the 4 days a week of daycare that Potamus goes to…and ZERO guilt for doing yoga 3-4 times a week, and ZERO guilt for having a job and friends who drink and managing to shower every day since his birth. I think that the issues might be that when I was first a mom I met mom friends…friends where what we had in common was being moms of newborns. And now…now I have this desire to have friends.
Friends without kids, who appreciate kids and are okay with Potamus coming along.
Friends without kids, who don’t like kids, and are okay with me only sporadically being able to hang out when my schedule permits.
Friends with kids, who are friends…with kids. Where we can talk about being parents, but mostly we can just hang out and do fun stuff and have our kids come along, like last weekend where we went to a brewery with kids in tow, after having them run around at an indoor playground.
It’s okay that my life and priorities are different than other mom’s lives and priorities…and just like when I didn’t have kids, it’s okay to be friends with people I click with, rather than trying to force myself to be friends with people who I don’t feel like I click with…right?