Can I pour my heart out for a minute?
Becoming a mother, without a doubt, was the greatest gift of my life. The most monumental honor, privilege, and responsbility that has ever been given to me. I dreamed having a child since I was a child myself. Envisioned myself with a pregnant belly, breathing "hee hee hoo" through labor, and kissing that precious, pink, screaming baby when the doctor laid him on my chest. Minus the "hee hee hoo," all of that pretty much happened like it was supposed to.
It's amazing. Phenomenal. Words can't really even describe the love and emotions I have felt since becoming a mother. It's the most beautiful, heart-wrenching experience. Each day I look at my kids and I'm proud of them. Literally - my pride and joy. I have real conversations with Theo that make me laugh and beam.
But other times, I think about how much my life has changed. For the better? Without a doubt. For the worse? Yeah, that too. Yep, I said it.
When I am not at work, I give my family 110% of myself. It might be too much. I don't have anything left to give to anyone else, including myself. 99% of the time, I don't even answer the phone if I am with my family. Granted, part of that is out of respect for the person calling me because there's a good chance my kids will be yelling in the background anyway. Lately I just don't have that much quality time to spend with my kids and husband, so when I'm with them, I'm with them. Make sense?
I have friends that I used to talk to on the phone every.single.day. For like...an hour. I used to spend time with my friends. I used to drive long distances to see friends. I would sing loud in the car to music I liked. I used to go to concerts and bookstores and coffee shops and just hang out. I don't need a break from my kids - I just need time for friends. Time for myself.
When I had kids, everything changed. For the most part, my bond with kidless friends faded and bonds with other people that have kids have grown. Because of a couple reasons, I guess. 1. Because the kidless friends don't always understand that 8pm dinner doesn't cut it anymore. I have to be home by 8 so the kids can be in bed by 8:30pm. And yeah ... I wanna be there to tuck them in and kiss them goodnight. No, I can't just up and leave to meet you at Barnes&Noble at 2:30 in the afternoon. Kids are napping. Naps are sacred. SACRED. 2. Because friends with kids help me cope with the craziness. Strength in numbers. Getting together is fun because guess what? Their house is kid-proof and I don't have to worry as much about what my toddlers can destroy. Also? It's cute to see the kids developing their own friendships.
The thing about kids with friends though...there are always kids. I love the kids. Theirs. Mine. Theirs and mine together. But there's never an opportunity for adult female friends to just hang out as adult female friends and not as moms, whose conversations are always interrupted by diapers, tantrums, spilled plates, and the like.
I miss having friends. Time with friends. Having a family and being a mom is how I identify myself 100% of the time. 99% of the time, I'm fine with that. I don't ever want to give that up. I just want to find that other person who still lives inside of me. Her name is Candice. The friend. The wife. The music lover, movie goer, book reader, gym visitor, phone answerer, blogger, Candice.
Do you ever feel this way? Please tell me I'm not alone. (Because that would probably mean I'm just a selfish person and terrible mom in general).