Off Duty Mom

Thoughts from an exhausted mom who is NEVER really "off duty"

Growing up, Getting better

Before I was married, I lived on the second floor of a duplex in a beautiful neighborhood. Having just graduated from college, I couldn’t afford all of the luxuries I might have now, but I did have the most comfortable bed of all time. I slept in it, diagonally, using 5 or 6 pillows at any given time to prop, cover, cradle and comfort my body perfectly. I slept well. Every night.

Before we had children, my husband and I never made plans for anything. Ever. We typically ate dinner at about 8 pm, on the floor or on the couch in front of the television. We had both a dining room table and an eat-in kitchen, but we were just too informal for that. With the exception of having to let the dog outside, we had few responsibilities that dictated that we be home at any specific time of day. It was easy and normal for either one of us to stop for drinks with friends after work or to run errands at odd hours.

I miss parts of my old life. Before becoming a responsible, married, home-owning adult with children, I was a different person entirely. In fact, I suppose I have gone through several incarnations of myself over the course of my lifetime. The person I was in my youth is vastly different than the person I became in high school. That person doesn’t even resemble the person I became in college. And, that person differs, still, from the person I became as a young professional. And, even so, that person differs greatly from the person I became as a newlywed. And, of course, that person is so different from the person I became when I became a mother.

I miss some (but certainly not all) of the pieces of my former selves. I don’t want to go back to being any of them, though. Make no mistake about that.

It is interesting to me how as a mother I have the privilege to watch a child become a full person even while I am certain I, too, am becoming more of myself each day. I suppose growing, changing, developing and evolving never really end in a human life.

Each day I will try to learn more about myself and answer questions like, “Why did I like ‘Magic Mike’ enough to refer to it as a ‘film?'” and, “Why do the Olympics make me sad that I never thought to pursue a career in beach volleyball even though I have never played volleyball of any kind?” And, I will learn more about the little ones I hope to mold into responsible men, hopefully answering questions like, “Why do little boys think kicking each other in the head is hilarious?” and, “What makes automatic flush toilets so terrifying to a 4-year old?”

It is poetic, and aggravating, never to be a completed model– always to be a work in progress. But, if you’ve been reading this blog long enough, you know that the best thing to do upon making this realization is to have a glass of wine and stop worrying. My oldest son always wants a cup of juice if he is hurt or sad. “Juice makes everything better,” he says. Yes, it does, son. Yes it does.

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13 thoughts on “Growing up, Getting better

  1. Let me know what you find out about the whole kicking each other I’m the head thing. At 13 & 15 it’s apparently still funny…..

  2. Well written and interesting. Some laughs as well. Boys think hitting of any kind is funny. It’s in the DNA

  3. Yesterday I had a bit of quiet while I was cleaning the kitchen and making dinner and I put some of my music on (you know the music the kids say “mommmm” when you want to listen and sing along). No one was home but the 6 year old who was watching something on Netflix. And I felt “this is what it would be like if I was single and had no children”. I could bee bop around the kitchen and sing at the top of my lungs if I wanted and actually enjoy cooking a meal that I want to eat. But then I quickly realized if I didn’t have the 3 kids, I’d probably be still at work or would be getting take out because I wouldn’t bother cooking for just me. So yep, I’ll keep my life as crazy as it is. Great post!

  4. Oh, I am so glad I discovered your blog. I just…not even fifteen minutes ago…left a comment to one of your other posts along the lines of ‘we are always in the process of becoming’…and then I read this, and you’ve summed it up so perfectly, and made me laugh to boot. I am now going to carry on and work my way through your archives….(puts the kettle on)

  5. Pingback: Reality as a Geezer | Off Duty Mom

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