One of the things I've learned while dabbling in the social media field is that people like to read statisics. Well, here's one for ya: I've been a mom for more than 1/4 of my entire life.
For the past 10 of my 39 years here on this earth, I've spent a lot of time changing diapers, fixing lunches, arguing the importance of completing the before school ritual before playing video games, making beds -ok, not really so much on the "making beds" part because I do hold to that theory that Hey, you're just going to get back in it in a couple hours so why make it, BUT I digress...
Bottom line: I'm a mom.
Out of those 10 years minus time spent completing all the motherly tasks and sometimes sleeping, I think I have spent the majority of my time playing with my kids. After about year 8, I got tired of it.
Yes, you read that right. I didn't want to play anymore.
I got tired of Candyland. I didn't want to make forts. I completely stopped enjoying the swingset.
I just wanted to sit back and observe.
I started to get annoyed when my kids would ask me to join them in every single thing they did. No, I don't want to ride bikes. No, I don't want to jump in the sprinklers.
No, I don't want to play.
Then one day I heard myself say that out loud. And it sounded so incredibly horrible that I wanted to jump out a window. I felt like Mommie Dearest. What was wrong with me? Why couldn't I just play?
All I could think of was the term Seven Year Itch, but in my case it was about motherhood. At the same time my kids craved my attention, I craved to go off to foreign lands...like any store other than Target, Justice or Five Below. My kids wanted another teammate for a pick up game of tag, and I wanted to sit in the sun. I wanted quiet.
Was I becoming a horrible person? Was I really done with all the fun of motherhood? Did I give up on my kids?
No. To all of that self-depricating bullshit... Just no.
When I was playing all the time and not enjoying it, I was feeling down on myself. I wasn't really playing; I was fake playing. And how is that good for anyone? The kids might have an extra body to complete their basketball team, but that's it. I wasn't teaching them anything. I wasn't smiling. I was actually quite childish when I forced myself into their games. I'm not proud of it by any means.
I felt very selfish about wanting to be alone for a while. But I realize that I must have needed it. In some way, God was telling me to step back and reevaluate the situation.
So I said no when my kids asked me to race them in MarioKart. I declined their invitation to a dance party. I chose to talk with my friend on the bench instead of climbing the equipment at the playground.
I needed to show my kids that I am a person outside of being Mom. They needed to see me doing things that I like. And to be honest, I needed to remind myself what activities and things I actually do like!
As weird as it may sound, it made me feel strong again. Once I re-embraced my own self, I was able to re-embrace motherhood, too. Now I feel like I can do anything.
...Even play a game of Monopoly all the way through.