Tuesday, August 6, 2013

More Than a Mother

My husband and I started dating in high school. By my senior year we were pretty much attached at the hip. We married relatively young, after dating for six years, and soon started a family. And for the past 12 years my life has been consumed by my role as Mother.

I wouldn't have it any other way.

I don't pretend to be the best mother. No illusions here! But I try to be the best I can be. I'm always learning and always trying to improve, although sometimes I slip and have to start all over again, and sometimes I just darn right suck. There is nothing I think about more than my children and parenting them. I go to sleep worrying or smiling in pride every night. It is hard to fathom what sorts of things use to occupy my brain before I became a mom.

The volunteer work I make time for revolves around my kids and their schools. The books and blogs and articles I read are usually related to them in one form or another - what to feed them, what to do with them, how to teach them something, where to take them, how not to ruin them for life. My conversations with my husband, my friends, and my family are almost always related to them. Many of my friendships started via my kids, by making friends with their friends' parents.

I am a mother in every sense of the word, and I am largely defined by that role and title. I'm not complaining because it's what I've always wanted, and it's a blessing, and I love it.

But dig a little deeper and you will find that there is more to me than being a mother. When I was starting to feel like I was losing that identity a little bit, that part of me that is my core being and doesn't depend on my children to define me...that's when I started this blog. Actually I think I felt like that for quite awhile before I started blogging, and it took me some time to figure out that writing helps bring me out of that all-consuming cloud of parenting. I need that to live and thrive. I need more than motherhood, and although I felt a pang of guilt typing that, there is nothing wrong with wanting and needing more.

So I write. And I go to the gym. And I run. And sometimes I see my friends and none of us bring kids along, and we might even get in a few sentences about topics outside of parenting. Not often, but sometimes.

And this week, I'm going to New York City. With a friend. No husbands. No kids.

I went from being a girlfriend to a wife to a mother...but I still get to be ME. It took me a long time to realize that and own it. I'm still stumbling along and it's not always easy. In fact, the day my friend and I booked our airfare, I wavered and hyper-ventilated and hesitated and mildly freaked out and pretty much felt like I was going to puke and pass out. Then I said let's do it. And a small part of me acknowledged that it was okay and I deserve it.

I'm a mother, and I love it. There could be nothing more rewarding in this world.

But I'm also me, Alysia. Blogger, wannabe runner, wife, and friend.

And Oh. My. GOD. I'm going to New York City! This is a dream, and it's coming true. I'm so excited!

I'm not sure how much blogging I'll get done while I'm gone, but I'm estimating none. So I've scheduled a few posts from previous years to be re-published. You probably never read them, or you forgot all about them if you did, so please keep visiting while I'm away. And I'll probably be blowing up Instagram, so if you don't already please follow me there: Michigalmom.

Finally, if you have any tips for fabulous must do attractions in NYC, preferably free or low cost, please leave me a comment!


Jill said...

Your time away will be wonderful!!! New York is an awesome city - even more so without a husband or kids to drag around. Have a wonderful time! I'm jealous ;)

Liz Parker said...

Have fun, Alysia! NYC is a fun place.

Free/low-cost attractions: walk through Central Park and by the pier. I believe the Staten Island Ferry might be free, you could take it there/back if you wanted to do a boat ride. :)

Jeremy Norton said...

Hope you had a great time with your NYC vacation. Being a mom is indeed the most rewarding thing any woman could experience.