Apparently, Zoey and I have become a unit, a single entity. Like Brangelina, but less hip and with less skeezy facial hair. I catch my self saying things like, “We’re working on sharing” and “We just started potty training.” And yet I know how to share (Demetri may be laughing his shapely ass off right now). And I know how to use the potty. It is, in fact, my lovely daughter who is learning to do these things. I am already a functional member of society; I don’t walk around with crap in my pants or hit people on the head when they so much as look at my My-Pretty-Pony.
But I am a SAHM. I spend almost all day every day with Zoey. And somehow, with all that time spent being Zozo’s mom, I have lost some of who I am. I love my daughter and I would gladly give up at least half of who I am for her, maybe even more. It’s when I start giving up all of who I am that I get a little less glad. Frustrated and angry might be better descriptors. And then I feel guilty. I feel like I should be grateful for every minute I get to spend at home with my daughter. I feel like I should be cherishing things, and baking pink cupcakes, and scrap booking. But I’m not. And then a thought wafts into my mind, a teeny, tiny wisp of a thought: maybe I don’t like being a stay at home mom . . .
Usually I turn my back on that thought. Brush it away. Pretend it never happened. But then I’ll be forced to go to some kind of schmoozing/mingling event and find I have nothing interesting to say beyond, “Yes, I have a daughter. She’s 2. No, I don’t work outside the home.” Or I’ll get my high school update in the mail — the one where they tell you what everyone from your class is doing so you can feel inferior about your own life: “Susie started a school in Afganistan! Chad is running for congress! Janet just purchased a home in the Bahamas!” And that teeny tiny thought will come back.
Lately that thought has been more insistant. What was a wisp is now more like a brick hitting me on the side of the head. And I wonder, Is it OK? Is it possible to love my daughter and not feel fulfilled by being a SAHM? Am I allowed to want to be something other than Zozo’s mom? I have to be honest, a lot of times it feels like those things are not possible, are not OK. It feels bad to want more than I already have because, well, I have a lot. But when I can think instead of feel, it seems OK. At least I think it probably is. I hope it is. OK, fine. I still have a lot of guilt. Here’s the truth: I really want it to be OK.
So I’m thinking that maybe once we’re in Boston and we’re settled and Zoey is in a school program and everyone is feeling OK about the world, I might get a job. Maybe. Or I might not. But I might. I might try and use my graduate education that I’m still paying off. Or I might volunteer at a worthy non-profit. Or I might enact my plan to take down the republicans. But whatever it is, at the next cocktail party I want to be able to say something like, “Yes, I’m Zozo’s mom. She’s 2. We just mastered the potty. And I’m writing a book.”
P.S. – If your a SAHM, I’d love to know how you feel about it. If you get paid to work, I ‘d love to know how you feel about that to.