When I was pregnant, one of the things I feared the most was that having a kid would turn me into a Stepford Wife.
My vision of a Stepford Wife is definitely a caricature. She’s a woman whose entire life revolves around her children. She has no hobbies, no passions, outside of raising her children. She drives a minivan and buys disposable everything at Wal Mart. She has no interest in recycling, buys whatever cleaning products are cheap regardless of what’s in them, and watches reality television to unwind. She hasn’t read a book or seen a movie in two years unless it was created for children. Her only friends are other moms, and they only talk about their kids. In fact, they only get together for playdates, they never just go out to have dinner or something.
I don’t think there are actually any women like that, and I’m not trying to insult anyone whose life looks more like that than mine does. It’s just so not me. I was afraid I would lose my self, the self that cares very deeply about the environment and corporate social responsibility (even when I’m not always 100% doing what I know I should), has quite a few hobbies, and greatly enjoys checking things off lists. I wondered if I would turn into a person who could spend an entire day deeply engrossed in the gurgles of a baby and report a deep feeling of personal satisfaction. Would the baby turn into my whole world and the person who I had been before would just drift away?
Since I was likely going to stay at home with Boy Detective and I was worried that this would somewhat limit my conversational topics, I asked C-Man if he would still be interested in talking to me if all I talked about was the kid.
He said “Well, you can talk sh#t pretty well, so I assume you would still have that going for you.”
It turns out that he was right. I do talk sh#t pretty well, and motherhood hasn’t put much of a dent in my tendency to do so. And even when I was at home full time, the baby did take naps, so the internet was my friend and I was pretty aware of the world and could hold a conversation that did not involve diapers or laundry.
I also stayed pretty much the same person I was, with the same desire to make lists and check things off, write, hack, thrift shop, quilt, and more. I’m the same person who often said “I’m so behind! How can I get more done?” and now I have a big chunk of time dedicated to mothering and the rest has to fit into what remains.
I often wish I just didn’t WANT so much, want to be a good mom AND work AND write AND have time to myself AND keep the house clean to my desired condition AND hang out with my friends. I want to do so many things, and do them better, and it doesn’t all fit into the time I have, and I’m so frustrated.
When I read another mom’s words and she says something like “As soon as he was born, I realized what love was, I became a mom, he is my whole world, I am so lucky and glad that I get to spend my days watching him grow up.” I often wonder if it wouldn’t have been better if I had gotten hit by that truck too. I wonder whether it wouldn’t feel better to have turned into someone else.