Turns out that it’s difficult to find yourself when you’re shin-deep in bodily fluids. Yours? Your child’s? Who knows where one ends and the other continues to drip from their nose. We have mostly made it to the other side. Minus my husband’s declaration that he now has a “slight tickle” in his throat. No, you don’t.
This brings me to the value of Time. Oh Time, how I took you for granted. When my coffee became cold, it was because I cradled the mug in my hands for too long as I vacillated over what to watch on Netflix. Only to circle back to either The Office or Parks and Recreation. Again.
Like Rent Sings, “24 Hours. 1,440 Minutes. 86,400 Seconds,” no, not the words? All of those unappreciated seconds. The laundry left undone. The gym not attended. The plans canceled. Because I didn’t have the time. And when the mamas would scoff at my ignorance, I would scoff at their condescension. Why? Because how can one ever appreciate time until they’re scrubbing and sanitizing bottles. If I supported torture as a method of investigation I would have a whole plan called “Operation Baby.” Let’s just say it involves sleep deprivation, sanitizing, and Baby Shark on repeat.
Somewhere in between the phlegm and flatulence of the last few weeks, I struggled to “find me.” But it wasn’t the right time for myself. And this is part of the lesson when becoming a new mother. Being selfish was my jam, but despite the desire to pursue new passions and explore who I am, parenthood doesn’t allow for that. Parenthood enables you to willingly allow someone to cough in your face and sneeze in your hair.
The word “selfish” connotes the image of the narcissist without a care for others. But in the age of “self-care” can we rearrange how we perceive the word. Maybe selfishness is not always a bad thing, but rather, a gift for the young which can be purposeful. It’s in that space that you develop, explore your passions, and hopefully find love for yourself. And when we know who we are and what we want, we give that back one day by instilling that some creativity within our children.
In the Likert scale of “good” and “bad” parent, we have to find a balance for our own wellness. Television and old people in line at the grocery store will tell you to sacrifice it all on behalf of your mini. People will talk about the mother who went on a girls weekend as she left behind her young with their :::dun dun dun::: father. I’m over here striving for the balance amidst the martyr and Narcissus.
List for your day: How do you find balance in parenthood?