Here is my question to mothers: Ever felt you tired or resentful of your children? When you don’t wanna listen to them, play with them or give them
[what an UnPC question, right?]
It’s called “IDENTITY CRISIS“!
Maybe fathers might relate to this question too. Sorry I cannot tell, because I have never been a father. Well, I have been a mofather, i.e., playi
ng both roles as father and mother to my son, for most of his five years. Yeah Yeah, you know it already:)
I am writing this note because, time and again, I get into those moments of not wanting to pay attention to my son. When I just wanna be by myself, do my own stuff, type away on my laptop, catch up on news from around the world, and enjoy my Facebook moment. Those times when I just wanna pick up and go. At times, I have resented the clock ticking 16:00hours during weekdays, when my son gets back from school and I need to pick him up from the bus. I confess that sometimes, I feel better dropping him off at the school bus stop in the morning, then going on to do what I love – morning jog, reading, work and “me time”.
Yesterday, it just hit me really hard. It was Friday night, so no school over the weekend. And we were home just the two of us…So, we had a lot of time to ourselves. But I did not wanna be all that my son had. I did not wanna be responsible for his entertainment. I do a lot making sure he has what to eat, he’s bathed, dressed up and goes to sleep calmly. I just don’t wanna become his “playmate” every other time! And last night was much harder on me.
But my son didn’t get it. He kept sharing with me the toys he was making from his play dough. He kept asking me question, and engaging me in his play script. He wanted me to play along with his toys. He kept asking me that he wanted me to answer or guess the answers…! He wanted to involve me. I just wanted to type away.
I cried because of the guilt I felt for not wanting to play with my son. I cried because I felt guilty for wanting to be alone. As mothers, we are generally expected to want to be with our kids all the time. We are expected to love our kids unconditionally. In fact, some mothers often castigate those mothers who say, they do not want to be with their children. We throw HEAVY stones at mothers who give their children away to foster care or abandon them in hospital or to their fathers or grandparents. We denounce mothers who drown their children, who want nothing to do with their children. Yet, we rarely question fathers who just sit down and burry themselves in a newspaper or TV, instead of making dinner, bath, dressing up their children. As society, including mothers, we do not apportion similar blame to fathers as we do to mothers.
So, I wrote to my BFF and shared my feelings and sadness. She wrote back to me:
“you need to look on mumsnet, there are so many women also saying this same thing. it’s about identity, you’re not just B’s mummy, you’re d the person too!”
Oh! that made me feel better! By the time I receive this note, my son was asleep and as I watched him sleep in my bed, I enjoyed all the beauty in his silence and fell in love with him again. I had done my crying and was back in love with him. But my BFF’s words fortified my feelings of love and devotion to my son. It was a re-assurance that, I am not just a selfish biatch! I need to have my life back. Before I was a mother, I was just me….the globetrotter, runner, worker, happy girl….It was all about me. Since becoming a mother, it is all about my son 24-7. It has been like this for most of his life. And like my BFF brought to my attention, plenty of mothers go through it…
Besides the note, I watched the “Pregnant Man” on OWN’s Where are they now? last night, which gave me a better appreciation of parents and commitment. A woman-to-man-expectant mother-single dad on three…more than I would be willing to do! That selflessness gave me a renewed appreciation of my son and commitment.
So, today, Saturday, we had a great time. We went to the park and played. Initially, I did not wanna be the one to play with my son. I want him to play with himself or other kids…not mother. Perhaps because I grew up with plenty of neighbors my age, and all the kids I knew played with fellow kids not their parents. So, he climbed up and down, went on slides, as I sat aside…He still tried to involve me. I followed him around. He was happy; he enjoyed himself and enjoyed his mother being there. He rode his bike and climbed around again in the park. He rode the rodeo, as I sat in the coach, on his instructions, and he rode me around. We went back to the car, had fruit, homemade juice and coconut yogurt. We took out his scooter and he rode it with a helmet. I did not have to remind him to put on a helmet. he reminded himself – and told me, “It is dangerous to ride without a helmet.
Then he got me onto something even more exciting. He led me to the play field, and started running around, stopping at the base. He told me to run as well, to the base. Then I learned that the base meant, “baseball”…I asked him whether he learned that at school. He said, “No! Daniel taught me.” [Daniel the Tiger]! Oh! I love you PBS…maybe TV does not necessarily rot all the brain! More power to you PBS. And we batted and threw the ball. We interchanged roles; he batted, I threw the ball; he threw the ball; I batted…. Moreover the activity involved my favorite sport – running….All my uncomfortable crumbs vanished. After 15 rounds of batting and throws, he won… We went onto the swings. He was happy. We swing together.
And the day is done. And I feel much better, much happier as a mother and much committed. Good night love….of my life….