It starts at about 6:00 am.
The cry is confident, knowing that it will be answered promptly. They might want (yet another) glass of water. More likely they’re ready to get up though. I feel like a jerk, because I’m not happy about this. I was counting on getting another hour, hour and a half of ‘me time’, and the early morning call from my bosses means no me time today. Again. As I walk up the stairs, I try to get into gratitude. How amazing is it that these little people even exist, let alone know they can count on me to be there for them? I never thought I’d get to be Mommy, and to so many people!
So why do I sometimes feel so frustrated?
Is it because I had my kids in my late thirties, after being a self-sufficient adult with nothing BUT me time for so long? Sometimes I look back on the days of lazy sleep-ins, pedicures, and weekend getaways and I can’t even believe that was me.
Don’t get me wrong. If I was given at time machine and the opportunity to go back and make a different choice, I’d choose the same life I have today. Which is what makes this gnawing disquiet so hard sometimes. I feel disloyal to my kids for wanting a break from them, and at the same time I feel disloyal to myself letting my tank get so depleted that I’m running on fumes, and pissed off about it to boot. My husband gets the brunt of my wrath, which isn’t fair, but when I’m beyond my breaking point, everyone suffers on some level. Whether it’s my overreaction to accidental spills or breaks, or my complete intolerance to the WHINING, there comes a point where no one’s getting my highest and best. In fact, I don’t even remember what my highest and best is.
That’s my name now. For a long time my daughter thought my full name was Mommy Maldonado. I thought it was cute (and still do, kind of) but I also get scared when I realize that I feel more like Mommy Maldonado than Carrie. Is Carrie still there? Do I still have anything to offer besides being Mommy? Should I?
I remember so clearly when I was pregnant with Bisky, thinking that I’d bow out of corporate life until she started school. I figured I’d stay relevant through consulting and then jump back in. Now, she’s starting school and I feel like my call and purpose has completely changed. Because of becoming Mommy.
- Mommy is that chronically sleep deprived woman who still manages to get it all done.
- Mommy is that working woman who is making everything a priority and pulling it off. Sometimes adeptly, and sometimes by the skin of her teeth.
- Mommy is the person who gets head butted in the nose and swears up a blue streak and then has to explain why we shouldn’t use those words in church preschool.
- Sometimes Mommy is the person who gets head butted in the nose and holds back tears so she can comfort the distraught kid who is devastated at the thought that he hurt Mommy.
- Mommy is the person who is doing what she never thought possible, every second of every day.
- Mommy is the person who has overcome a past she might never fully tell her kids about, hoping and praying they never make the mistakes she has.
- Mommy is the person who wonders if she’ll ever be able to commit the time and energy it would take to be ‘successful’ out there, and wondering if she still wants to.
People try to understand, but the only ones who really get it are other Mommies, whether they’re working outside the home, full time in the home, or some other combination. But even before I was Mommy, it was the support of other women that made me stronger and better. Please understand, I bear men no ill will at all. It’s just that there is something so powerful about women helping women. I’ve always been drawn to mentoring women, helping them with their leadership abilities, and helping them find and use their voices. It’s just that now, I’ve been Mommy and that’s not something you can un-be.
I think we as women and as Mommies need a place where we can support each other. I’m reminded of the story of a woman who grew up as a poor minority whose people were despised. She managed to make it up to a place of authority mainly based on her looks, but it was only when she found her voice and spoke her truth that she changed the world. She realized that she was ‘born for such a time as this’. Are we Mommies and women of today really any different from Esther in the Bible? Aren’t we all born for such a time as this, and can’t we all use the reminder that yes, we’re Mommy, but there is no ‘just’ about that.
I have a feeling there will be more on this to come…so hang on. If this got you excited, let me know. Because I think we just might be a tribe.