Monday, June 15, 2009

Tuesday's Soapbox: I am More than just "Mom"

My life does not revolve around my kid. (Please refrain from throwing anything at me! :)

Is he a HUGE part of my life? Yes!
Does he have an effect on everything we do & how much sleep we get? Yes!
Is my life so much better because he is in it? Very much so, yes!

But my life does not revolve entirely around him & I don't want it too.

Luke brings me lots of joy & lots of good stories to tell, but if you met me out on the street, you would not automatically know that I was a "mom" unless he was with me. In fact, when meeting new people, I have often been asked "So do you have kids?" after having talked to them for awhile because I don't bring it up immediately. I also love to take pictures, but never seem to have any on me & it makes me feel awkward on the very rare occasions when I do. I am not into "showing him off" just because I have a kid. I definitely don't walk around trying to show people pictures of Scott all of the time just because I have a husband. That idea seems silly to me "Yes, I have a husband! Here wait let me get out his pictures for you to see!" & it carries over into how I feel about Luke's pictures too I guess.
If someone asks, of course, I could tell them all kinds of things about Luke's latest antics, but I could also do the same thing about Scott or myself-why are our lives not considered interesting, but that of a 1 1/2 year old's is fascinating?

It is important to me to maintain my life while trying to help Luke develop his own life. I do not want to be the center of his universe, even though that might be fantastic, I want him to know that it is okay to be your own person & to have your own interests even after children enter the picture. In fact, my own mom & dad made this very clear while we were growing up, yet none of us ever felt less loved because of it. Mom bowled every Tuesday night just so she could have some time away to he herself with friends. Mom & Dad rarely turned down the opportunity to spend time with friends on the weekends sans kids-calling in one of the local babysitters so that they could enjoy an evening without us in tow was done without hesitation (we always thought it was great too because it was fun play with 'new' people who most of the time were our older cousins or neighbors!)
In the same respect, I don't usually hesitate when one of my friends calls & says "Hey, do you want to get together on...?" I find someone to watch Luke & I/we go without guilt. I feel lucky that some of my closest friends are the exact same way. When we talk on the phone, the conversations are not always about the kids, in fact, many times we forget to even mention the kids during the phone calls & any get together in our minds is usually better without the children in tow :) Do we love our kids? Yes, of course! Do we enjoy each other's kids? Yes to that one too, but we also know that one day our kids will move out & leave us behind so we had better still be able to have fun together without them & be able to talk about something else besides them or we might just end up sitting around looking at each other twiddling our thumbs someday!
What a fun group we would be then! :)

So, in conclusion, I am glad that my kid is not the "center" of my universe because I hope that it helps him to develop into a more interesting, well-rounded individual who is not completely dependant upon me or Scott to help him feel good about himself.

Will he know that I am proud of him & that he is loved? YES!
Will I make sure that all of his needs are met? Of course!
Will he know that he is very important to me? YES!
But...will he be the only interesting thing about me? No, most likely not!

Disclaimer: "Tuesday's Soapboxes" are not meant to be offensive-Comments I make are not directed at any one person or group, but are just my thoughts on whatever topic I choose for that particular Tuesday. The topics may range from serious in nature to just downright silly. As always, I appreciate hearing what you have to say about them, however, I am not here to start any 'debates'. Thanks for reading & I hope you enjoyed :)


Kara said...

this is great advice Anita. I see parents who go to the extremes, either they do make their kid the center of their life and everything is about their kids and the kids end up spoiled and the parents lose their identity. Or the parents practically ignore their children and their best interests for their own. A healthy balance is probably the best, but I have heard that the healthier the parents are and the healthier their relationship, ultimately the better for the kids. good luck!

Kocher Family said...

AMEN, Great post Anita, I also agree with Kara!

Lora said...

I am so glad to see this post today! : )