i get nervous at the thought of getting together with a bunch of women. or anything with other moms that involves the word “mom” along with “gathering” “playdate”, or “group.”
i haven’t been able to pinpoint why, but that stuff is draining to me. i dead it and then i want to come home afterward and take a nap. i am not much of a napper so i just end up being tired and grouchy the rest of the day.
mainly i don’t like plastering on a smile and saying nice things about child development and how much or little my kid naps and eats. i don’t like playing the game of whose child is more advanced and which mom gets the most pity for getting the least sleep. i don’t always get when someone is making a joke or when the tone is serious.
now you may be wondering why i want to be an at-home mom, but i love the kid part. i love sitting at home on the floor with shilah and playing and reading and talking. i love seeing her learn new things and try new foods and figure out how to solve little problems like keeping the cracker in her own hand and not giving into the temptation of handing it to the charming dog, which results in: no more cracker, then trying the scenario all over again.
i also like getting together with friends one-on-one. i like talking to and learning about other people and all those one-on-one get-togethers with close friends are fun and engaging.
but the group stuff is overwhelming.
we’re sitting at lunch the other day and my very nice husband asked, “why do you think that stuff is so frustrating to you?”
i stared at my cheetos and then i began to talk, slowly. about how other moms just want to compete and how people start talking about dumb stuff like how they had a friend who had a natural childbirth and it was ridiculous, and how they are ridding their house of bleach because traces of it in their homes is going to kill their kids, and how they did everything right and now their kid sleeps through the night every night, and how everyone wants to have another baby.
it sounds like the problem is everyone else, not me. doesn’t it?
well i kept talking about what is wrong with other moms. and he says, “yeah, but why does that stuff bother you so much?”
and i don’t think before i talk but i start: i think it bothers me because in that instant, when i realize that i had a birth that people think is dumb, and my house does contain more than a few traces of bleach and my kid wakes up crying every other night, and shilah will likely hit the magic age of two and not have a sibling and…i feel like a terrible mom.
the problem is me.
in those situations, i immediately lose confidence in the things i know. i forget that God created me with a purpose and that i can be confident because even on my very, very worst day, Christ would have died for me. for me to live eternity in heaven. i forget all of those things. instead, my stomach tightens and it gets a little harder to breathe and i hold on to my child tighter and i am looking for the nearest exit, because i must be a terrible mom. because of the traces of bleach and the fact that my daughter doesn’t like to drink milk.
and an aside here, are people really saying these things as drastically as i think? i am absolutely sure that they are not. i am internalizing them. i am so prideful that i think people spend time thinking about me and that i make the wrong choices. i am choosing to hear everything through the filter of my own insecurities, and consequently, words and emotions hit my emotions sounding harsh.
i am writing this because i trust that someone needs to hear it: you are fearfully and wonderfully made. God is in control of your family and your home and all the things you have and even what you do not have…remember that when someone else is forgetting and telling you otherwise. or when you are just hearing it all wrong.