(I know, I know. I said the next post would be about my house but this is something that I have been thinking about a lot lately and since this is essentially my journal, I am posting about it)
I spend a fair amount of time reading blog posts and articles about being a mom and a wife and how women need to have it all, etc. etc. I don't typically agree with the articles because if you know me at all, I am determined (probably to a fault) to figure things out on my own. I hate asking for help. I don't want to take advice from anyone. I don't want to accept help from anyone. I ask Jake and my dad. That's it. I love a lot of other people but at the end of the day, I don't want their help. I am stubborn and I am going to figure it out on my own. (it's a problem) I recently moved into a really great ward and so many of the sisters in the ward tell me "Oh if you need anything at all let me know. Even if it's just an hour to watch your kids so you can relax." And I am so grateful to them for offering but even as I nod and say thank you, I know that I will never do it. It is so hard for me to ask for help. Especially when it comes to my kids.
I don't profess to know everything or even much about parenting but I do know my kids better than anyone (with Jake being a notable exception) I know how to speak Mikey-ese (poor kid is a terrible talker) I know what Adam's different cries mean. I know what they like to eat for lunch and exactly how Mikey wants his bread buttered, the appropriate cheese to peas ratio for his cheesy peas, or what fork he wants. I know what toy Adam wants to play with, what is his favorite game to play with me. And then when it comes to being Jake's wife, I think I do pretty well. I know how he likes to eat his eggs. I know the order he wants his food stacked on his plate (yeah, I think that's weird, I like my food separate) I know what his favorite movies are, what snacks he likes, how much ice he likes in his water, I know how he likes his keyboard set when he plays his video games. I know all these things about my family and I am proud of it. So when I decide that instead of making dinner that night, I want Jake to do it and I will read or watch the latest episode of Grey's Anatomy, I am attacked with almost debilitating guilt. When instead of bathing the kids myself and Jake does it, I feel like I am being a terrible mom, no matter how much I did for them during the day.
I went grocery shopping the other night by myself, which I think has happened maybe 8 times since Mikey was born, and I felt terrible the entire time that I left Jake with both of the kids. He is a great dad. They love playing with him. They love when he changes their diapers and puts them bed. So why do I feel bad?
I can't be sure but I imagine that who I am is Mikey, Adam and baby girl's mom. I am Jake's wife. Don't get me wrong, I am Meredith too but those things are no longer separate entities. Being a wife and mother are crucial parts of my identity. I am photographer. I am a sewer. I am a reader. I am a champion sleeper (which I think I miss the most and it would've probably been the thing I used to take the most pride in. I know, I am awesome) There are other parts of me but the ones I take the most pride in are being a wife and a mother (notice housekeeper is not on this list.. I really suck at that) And I don't think that is a bad thing. But I feel like I should need all these other things to be happy. But I just want to be a good mom. I just want my kids to think I am a super hero (I know that sounds conceited but still, doesn't everyone really?) I just want my husband to want to come home to me. But what is the appeal of a wife and mother that clocks off at 6pm when the husband walks in the door from working all day too? I am not saying that if that is how you operate that is wrong because I am not judging anyone. Do what works for you. I just want to live up to my end of the deal. I want to be as good a wife and mom as my husband is provider. Jake doesn't get to take a day off work just because he is crabby or tired or annoyed. If I expect him to push through, I need to too. I have this idea in my head (that I think comes from these articles) that I have to have a girl's night every month and one night a week where I am free in order to not lose myself in being a wife and a mother and in order to be a fulfilling my potential I need all those things. I think I feel guilty because I want to be with my boys. I want to bathe them and put them to bed. I want to cook them dinner. But honestly, what is so bad about that? There are a lot worse things that I could lose myself in besides my boys (and soon to be girl) I am proud to be a mom and a wife and I am proud that those are the crucial parts of my identity.
I think that I do get to have it all. Maybe not by the standard definition, but I have never lived my life by anyone else's definitions before so why start now?