I often wish I was a Stepford Wife

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.

5 thoughts on “I often wish I was a Stepford Wife

  1. Lorri

    No. definitely not. Just because that truck missed you does not mean you would come out swinging for Boy Detective and he is much, much better off in the long run to have a Mom that is so in tune with who she is and what she wants to do.

    My mom TO THIS DAY, still regrets not going back to college after she had her 3 girls and that we were the only things she revolved her life around. Now that we are all grown up, she is finally finding herself and preparing to go back to school. I am proud of her and sympathetic that we took up so much of her time.

    Be proud of yourself – you can do it all – I have seen you do it! :-)

  2. Grace

    I think it may have been easier on you long term, yeah. But what happens to the woman whose life is her children when her children get lives of their own and don’t want her 24/7 involvement? Seems like the most lonely and depressing place in the world to me. Spend X years completely dedicated to another person, and then poof! who are you when that other person gets old enough to be dedicated to himself? Better to be able to keep yourself intact and incorporate mommy into you, rather than letting mommy subsume you.

  3. The Redheaded Lefty

    People must nurture themselves. Mothers aren’t always willing or able to do this when they have young children. You should rejoice in the fact that you recognize you have your own wants and needs. Boy Detective will be a better person because of it.

  4. becky

    I am totally, absolutely in love with my son. But I don’t think it negates the other parts of me. I still have other interests, go out with my girlfriends (albeit not nearly as often), and talk about more than the kid with them.

    And as he gets more independent, it gets even easier for me to do so. But the getting lots done? Still ain’t happenin’. :)

    Hey, I think all of our experiences are different. Have I turned into a different person? Somewhat, but not 100%. Has my blog become a bit more kid-centric? Absolutely. I don’t want to forget these fleeting moments. But I’ve always wanted to leave a record, so that’s nothing new. (And I know how much my memory sucks.)

  5. Lori

    “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.”

    I could totally relate to this. Something always has to go (lately it’s been the writing and the house cleaning, but it’s been being an involved mom and work at times, too). I never seem to be satisfied doing whatever I’m doing anymore, because I think of all the other things I could or should be doing instead. If I truly want to do all these things, I need to be more in the moment when I’m doing them. :-/

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