Today, I walked by a 30 something year old white male in the deli section of the local grocery store. Standing at least 5’10” and 200 or so pounds he looked as if he wanted to shrink and hide himself in the midst of everyone and everything-not exist, disappear. To say I felt his every emotion communicated through his non-verbal language is an understatement.
Everyone tells you about the joys of being a mother. The love, the intensity the bond, the joy. But they only relay a portion of the story in doing this and intentionally leave out the other things that certainly become your monsters under the bed that are so real to a 2 year old. They neglect to highlight the unending pressure, complete isolation, constant expectations, and the feeling of never, ever, being good enough. No-no one mentioned the way your life immediately and forever changes once you look into that infants’ eyes and suddenly your life is not your own-you have no control. All of a sudden almost every title I ever held became void, absent and irrelevant. Mom was now the only one that mattered. Everything came second-everything, not necessarily a good thing but that’s what happened. Almost 8 years later and this still remains. Taking time to write this entry alone feels selfish. Enjoying a day or weekend away is deemed irresponsible, negligent at best. These norms-whether they be self or other imposed feel beyond unreasonable.
It is time to re-negotiate this contract-not with them, but with and for myself. I must create space. Tell me; what is the cost of freedom?