I’ve been struggling lately, as a mother.
Georgie is in such a wonderful and fun stage. She is walking, trying to say words, dancing, giggling, cuddling, picking flowers, squealing with delight, and reading books.
I know these are special, sacred times. But I am bored.
For those of you who are new around here, I resigned from my job as a reporter six months ago to stay home with Georgie. I don’t regret this decision, but sometimes I miss my old life.
The other day I dragged Georgie to a peace march. TV news vans lined up on side streets around a community park where a few hundred Mexican Americans gathered to celebrate Cinco de Mayo and honor their freedom as Americans. A few of my old coworkers snapped photos with their iPhones and posted them to Twitter. One pushy reporter tried to interview me, and I finally understood why nobody likes talking to journalists. I dashed off to chase Georgie midway through the interview, relieved for an excuse to end it. Meanwhile, Georgie loved the colorful dresses, the drum circle. She loved running around in the grass on a cool spring afternoon. I loved watching her clap to the music and squeal at the friendly faces.
We left soon after the march began. It was time to go home and get Georgie fed before I start her bedtime routine.
A few years ago, I would have been at that event, notebook in hand. I’d have gone home after to write the story on deadline. It would have been a long workday, but I would have loved it.
Now I spend my days slicing avocados into small squares, wiping crusties off a variety of surfaces, and giving improvised puppet shows. And every chance I get, I write. Not for any publication, but piece by piece, I write my stories, on this blog and in one big Word document that no one has seen yet but me.
Some days, I feel that I am going through the necessary motions just to get Georgie to take a nap so I can spend an hour or so writing. Some days I feel irritated when she wakes up, if it wasn’t as long as I had hoped, or if I was in the middle of something good. Some days when I’m playing catch with Georgie in the backyard, I’m mentally not there. I’m thinking of how I might edit that paragraph or restructure that section. Sometimes I am that mom on her iPhone at the park. I’m making notes of hazy ideas and plans for future prose.
I know many wonderful mothers who find their fulfillment in the very act of caring for their little ones. I admire these mothers. But I am just not like that.
I feel guilty for my boredom at home. I don’t want to be the kind of mother who lives for the chance to sneak away to do the thing she really loves. But this is where I’m at right now. With Mother’s Day around the corner, the guilt makes me feel unworthy of such a Hallmark day. I’m positive that Mother’s Day is a celebration of mothers who are not bored by their children.
I don’t have answers. But if you are in a similar place right now, at least know you are not alone.
**If you are looking to read a response to the “Dear Mom on the iPhone” post, this one is very good.