We must become Amommymous.
We must proudly give up our own names. We can no longer be Michelle; a woman with interests, ambitions or desires of her own. We become Noah's Mom or Micah's Mom, so that all of our interests, ambitions or desires are replaced by those of our children. Yes, we must happily transform ourselves into mindless automatons, only capable of doing what we are programmed to do.
We must give up our appearance. We must let ourselves go and use our make-up free visage and food-stained sweatpants as badges of honour. Time and money spent on personal appearance are time and money not spent on our children.
We must abandon the things we used to enjoy. We no longer belong in a bar with our friends; we have to get up early for Gymboree or some other crap exciting activity. We have no business watching HBO, we can't even know about it because we are so busy watching Disney Junior or the Imagination Movers (whatever the heck that is.) We can't blast gangsta rap in the car like we used to because it's been replaced with Veggie Tales Sing-A-Longs. . .BUT THAT'S OKAY because, as good moms, we like all this drivel kid stuff even better.
We must never think of ourselves. The minute we put our own needs ahead of our child's we have committed an act of child abuse. No matter what. We must, like dogs, gratefully accept whatever is left for us after our child's needs have been met.
And if we dare to express ourselves in anyway that deviates from this celebrated amommymity; if we fail to martyr and obliterate ourselves for our children, we are deemed unfit. It is assumed we are bad mothers, undeserving of our sacred, ordained role in life.
HECK NAH. I DO NOT THINK SO!
I happen to think that sometimes prioritizing your needs is putting your kids' needs first. I think my kids deserve a happy mom who is interesting and appealing to their father. I think my kids deserve to have a mom who is refreshed from having some "me time". I think my kids deserve a mom that isn't filled with resentment but a model of someone who knows how to take care of herself as well as others. I think my kids deserve to get to know the funny, quirky, messed up person their mom is and not have to wait until they are adults.
I think my kids deserve to know that they are not the center of the universe.
Because all of those things are true.
And the rest, this Amommymous? Looks and smells of rubbish to me. And I don't believe it was ever God's plan for parents.
"These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates." Deut. 6:6-9
This verse has been one that has spoken to me the most clearly lately. The key word being IMPRESS. An impression is something that you give to someone as they see you being yourself. Not becoming something that you aren't. Kids need to see us standing out and being responsible and taking care of ourselves. It's one of the easiest ways that they learn that it is important to take care of themselves. We need to consciously impress upon them the necessity of building up themselves as an individual. We do this by example. By making an impression. Happy parents make better parents. You can't give your little ones joy and peace and freedom and laughter when all you have inside you is restrictions and feelings of entrapment and depression from the weight of giving up all that you are and all that makes you one-of-a-kind. So this "Amommymous". . .it's going to have to stop. Take a breather with me folks. . .the kids won't become little delinquents in the 30 minutes it takes you to go tanning and grab a Sonic coke in peace. In fact. . .they may need the break from YOU as much as you need it from them!