Sometimes I sit around thinking about my girls when they're teens. (And when I say "thinking", I really mean "worrying" like a neurotic person).
I wonder about millions of things. I wonder if they'll like me. I wonder if they'll think I hugged and kissed them enough as kids. I wonder if they'll have body issues because I once said I didn't like my thighs. I'm always wondering if I'll be... good enough.
Maybe it's because of the information out there. I can't open up Facebook, take a look at Twitter or glance at the newspaper without finding multitudes of articles on how to be a good parent.
The latest that's twisting and turning in the back of my mind? “Don't lose yourself in parenting”. If you no longer have a sense of self, you won't model independence for your children. And you want your kids to grow up strong and independent.
That's an interesting one. So... be a good parent, but don't be too into it, because then you won't be yourself anymore?
All I do are Mom things. That’s all I can do right now, really. I get my kids up, change them, dress them, feed them breakfast. We play. We go places. We have lunch and naps. Then I change them, give them a snack, find some other activities, followed by bath and bed time. Then I do it all over again the next day.
Sure, I work part time and I manage to find time to work out a few times a week and go out with friends every now and again. But while I'm out with friends, all we do is talk about our kids.
Is that a bad thing? Am I losing my pre-kid self? Should I give something up (like my coveted down time on the couch in front of the TV at night) so I can do things that make me more me?
So this is my latest worry. As I sit here and watch Anna, Lauren and Paige, I wonder who they see.
Who will they see when they're grown up?
Will they see a person who loved being their Mom with every ounce of her being? Or will they see a woman who lost her sense of self?
Will they see a strong woman who chose to stay at home part time and devote a large part of her life to them because she wanted to? Or will they see a woman who had mostly menial tasks to fill her day?
Will they see a happy woman who loved to play and laugh with them? Or a tired one, drowning in laundry and dishes?
This is one of those things that I have no answer for. I don't know if I'm doing the right thing. I don't know if I'm leading by example for my daughters.
So I guess all I can do is close my eyes and take a giant leap of faith with my girls. (Preferably into a big old ball pit where we'll roll around and giggle and be silly).
Because that's what I want to do and who I want to be right now.
About the Author:
Heather Dixon is a copywriter at Mabel’s Labels, a smoothie aficionado, a runner and a Mom to three highly advanced little girls (according to her husband and her).