Happy (early) Mother’s Day!
On this very day seven years ago, I became a mom. Little did I know that when I became a mom, I also became part of a club in which all the members know what it is like to have spit up run down your back and understands what it is like to function with as little as five hours of broken sleep. It’s great to have a community of women to look to for advice on baby food, diapers, and preschool.
What gets lost in that conversation about baby gear and sleep schedules is who we are as women. Not the women we were before children, but the women we become after we have give birth, separate from being a mom.
Tracy Beckerman breaks down the walls about the identity crisis that many moms go through in her hilarious new book, Lost in Suburbia: A Momior of How I Got Pregnant, Lost Myself, and Got My Cool Back in the New Jersey Suburbs. She details her journey from a full-time working woman in New York City with a cool job in TV where she gets to wear real clothes and shoes to a full-time stay-at-home mom for a boss that isn’t even potty-trained in a New Jersey suburban neighborhood.
She explains her situation with such humor that I was able to laugh at some of those difficult memories of weird baby illnesses (like the time Marie had hand-foot-mouth disease as a baby, which at the time, was the grossest thing ever) to finer points about being neurotic about a pacifier (I actually called the pediatrician to see if it was OK to give her one).
However, the part that resonated deeply with me was the conversation about cleaning wipes.
Yes, cleaning wipes.
I took great comfort in the fact that she, too, shared the feeling of insanity that cleaning wipes was an acceptable topic of conversation. In fact, those kinds of conversations are the exact reason why I started a blog.
And when I didn’t think that I could love this book anymore, Tracy writes about her rock bottom. I laughed through some tears as she describes the layers of guilt of not feeling totally and completely fulfilled with being a mom. I love being mom, but sometimes it feels as something is missing. That guilt about feeling guilty about being lucky enough to stay home with my kids mixed with the guilt of wanting something more is exhausting - on top of an already exhausting schedule.
I absolutely enjoyed reading about Tracy’s journey of finding her cool, that part of you that is just for you and not tied with being a mom or a wife or even something you do. It is difficult to talk about this sometimes because it can be embarrassing (or scary or what is the word? Oh, yes, *guilty*) to admit that the most important job in the whole entire world doesn’t complete you is a bitter pill to swallow. It is also frightening because if you let it, motherhood can make you a stranger to yourself.
I am at a point right now with blogging/freelancing/teaching that I am enjoying what I do, but sometimes wonder what the hell I am doing taking time away from my kids to pursue my interests. After reading Momior, I somehow feel less guilty to want a little corner of my mind that is just for me. Her wicked sense of humor mixed with her powerful insights are exactly what I needed at this point in my life.
Be sure to check it out and let me know what you think!
Have a wonderful Mother’s Day!
*I was given a free e-copy of this book to read. The opinions are all my own.