The house is clean. The kids are in school. The dogs are sleeping. It is so quiet that I can hear the hum of the refrigerator. I actually have time to sit and write. I’m sure that if I thought, even for a second, that I could come up with something that needs to be done (like return the kids’ shoes to Nordstrom,) but instead I am opting to take some “me” time. Why is it that when you become a mother, you can’t do this without feeling guilty? Is it a good thing or a bad thing? I can’t quite decide.
I love it that I no longer crave a mid-day nap. Yet, that used to be my favorite indulgence. I appreciate that my house tends to be very tidy. Yet, I used to take pride in the fact that I could let myself relax even if it wasn’t. Now I can only unwind if everything is put away and order is restored. We used to eat out, pick up or order in all the time. Now that seems like chaos and, instead, cooking (and cleaning up after) seems easier. I used to wish the evenings away so that we could put the kids to bed. Now, I glance at the clock and wonder where the night went? With all the extra-curriculars and homework, it seems like the kids always go to bed late in exchange for some quality time together as a family.
I used to pray that one day our girls would learn how to talk. Now I find myself wondering if they’re ever going to stop? I used to want to keep every piece of artwork that the kids ever made. Now, I carefully pick and choose the masterpieces worth keeping and am forever sneaking the rest into the trash, b/c I would rather have less clutter. I used to complain that Craig didn’t talk enough. Now, I am impatient with his rambling and tell him to get to the point.
I used to wear high-heels whenever possible. Now, I wear flats whenever possible. Up until this year, I could down an entire bag of chips and dip and think I deserved it. Now I only eat a small amount at a time and have to suffer the lingering guilt. I used to kill every plant that ever got near me. Now, I have a green enough thumb that even my step-dad trusts me to babysit his plants for the winter.
I used to smother Tucker with attention and be frustrated that he wasn’t a lap-dog. Now, he is ignored most of the time and is by my side every moment of the day. My favorite past-time used to be mindless T.V. shows because I could turn my brain off and not have to think while I watched them. Now, those same T.V. shows make me restless. Instead, I prefer the sound of a quiet house and my computer because I like to hear myself think.
When I grew up, I hated living in a small town. Now, I sometimes find myself longing for the simplicity of little, old Edon. I used to avoid eating fish at all costs. I hated it. Now, I am training myself to tolerate it because I know it’s good for me. I used to be the loudest one at the party. Now, I prefer to sit back and let someone else wear that hat. I used to want to stand out. Now I like to blend in.
I used to like to argue. Really…I did. Because I knew I could win, and winning felt good. Words are a dangerous weapon of mine, and I don’t always use them fairly. But, now, arguing gives me a headache. I am much more willing to bite my tounge because I see no point in the battle. Even when it’s a battle worth fighting, I don’t usually feel proud of my victory because chances are: it wasn’t pretty.
It’s funny, isn’t it? How we change? How we grow? I had no idea where I was going with this blog when I started writing it. But now I get it. Just yesterday, I said to Craig: “You have lived with me for 9+ years now. How can you not know this about me?”
I can’t remember why I said it. It could have been for a number of reasons. Maybe he put his bowl on the top rack of the dishwasher, instead of the bottom rack like I prefer. Maybe he didn’t give Tucker fresh water when he fed him, like I prefer. Maybe he was joyfully singing at the top of his lungs in the morning, instead of being quiet and near-grumpy, like I prefer. Maybe he left only one pillow on the bed for me, instead of leaving me two, like I prefer.
Whatever the case, I am constantly evolving and changing. So, maybe I need to be more patient with him for “not knowing me” when it’s pretty obvious that I’m still figuring myself out, too.