“Mom mom mom mom mom mom…”
Fingers press beneath the door and bodies bash against the wall near it. A few seconds of proximity results in my four boys turning to their neighbors in frustration.
“I didn’t; you did!”
They all seem surprised when their goal, Mom in the now-unlocked door, stands before their wrestling pile. Written over most of their faces is confusion. Why is her face red? Why does she look sad? Was Mom crying?
Their confusion is warranted. I live in a nice house, am able to be the stay-at-home parent, and have access to health care, good food, and kind neighbors. My family lives close enough to visit occasionally. I even finished reading a novel sometime this year.
As my husband also confusedly wonders, “Why is Mom sad?”
I’ll tell you: I didn’t want to be a mother.
I wanted to be an artist. I wanted to be an engineer. Heck, I wanted to be a fairy. My wants and desires and future goals changed as I grew, morphing as my interests and aptitude emerged; as my exposure to reality and opportunities increased.
Really, the only consistent life goal I had was to never do housework again.
-Which is depressing enough in itself that I am now the primary housekeeper around here.
But the real rub is what I wanted to do; to be. I did not want to only be a mother. Perhaps I didn’t expect to attract someone with my mediocre appearances. Perhaps I thought motherhood was only dishes and laundry. Perhaps I saw women tied to the occupation as somewhat brainless and clueless; those tied to real occupations were intelligent, impressive, talented, and noteworthy.
I mean, how many quotes from just mothers do we read in school? How many do we post as uplifting messages on walls or social media?
I wanted to make a difference. I wanted prestige. I wanted my daily tasks to be laudable ones, not unseen ones. I wanted I wante I want….
Why is Mom sad?
Because, years ago, a tiny infant began growing inside me. He came out, squawking and gasping and clawing at the world. In his first, completely helpless month I had to make a life-altering decision: live for me or live for him.
I chose to live for him. To live for my husband, who wanted more of them. To live for the more of them that came after.
I had to.
Because if I had chosen to live for myself, I wouldn’t have been able to live with myself.
So, Mom is sad. Mom is depressed. But, they have a mom. That’s what’s important, right?
Sunday, September 15: “We Don’t Point Guns at People,” my brief discussion about the realities of boy children and our realistic rules.
Monday, September 16: Wrote a poem titled, “Happy Hour of Parenting.”
Tuesday, September 17: Shared a funny meme.
Wednesday, September 18: Plated a dinner tip involving butter.
Thursday, September 19: “This Space Reserved for Fetus,” a snippet concerning baby movement during pregnancy.
Friday, September 20: Shared Dude-Bro Dad‘s tweet about picky toddlers.
Saturday, September 21: Had no advice in “I Have No Advice.”
Sunday, September 22: That’s today!
Photo Credit: Zach Lucero
©2019 Chelsea Owens