I often find myself using my children as my excuse to be who I am.
When I see a slender, fit woman walk by, I think to myself, “If I didn’t have children, I could work out more. I could make salads for every meal an no one would veto my skim milk and whole grains.”
When I hear my friends talk of some sophisticated show they’ve seen, (you know, the ones with subtitles that I am always too tired to read at the end of my days once I FINALLY get my kids to sleep…) I hear the voice in my head whisper, “If I didn’t have to put my kids to bed… I could’ve watched that. I’m sophisticated. Really!”
When I see pictures plastered all over Facebook from exciting parties and read status updates involving drunken shenanigans, I think, “If I had a babysitter… I could’ve been there.”
When I take orders from doctors and relay reports, I can’t help but ponder, “What if I hadn’t had kids? I could’ve become an obstetrician.”
Over the summer, my children went back to our home state for an extended period of time to visit with family. Over the two week period they were gone, I got a taste of the single life.
I ate anything I wanted, which almost always included extra beer and ice cream. Often, with ridiculous amounts of chocolate syrup.
You know that run I was going to go on? Well… I got busy watching a movie.
You know that classy movie I was going to watch, with the subtitles and all? Well, it was on the agenda, but then, I figured out that I could watch a Dexter marathon on Netflix…
And I was going to turn off the Dexter marathon to go party it up with my girlfriends, but… they were on call, and so… I got another bowl of ice cream. With syrup. And whip cream. And another beer.
And the next day, after another amazing day of work, I got dressed for my run. But my calves were sore from dehydration. (Damn beer.) So, I put on my most comfy pajama pants and watched another episode of Dexter. Then I talked Ryan into ordering the greasiest Chinese food I could think of. And cracked open another beer. And then I went to bed early, because I love my job, and I wanted to be rested and do it well.
It was good my kids came back home. I instantly felt more motivated and healthier when I got into my normal daily rhythm.
Maybe my runs are my excuses to find “mommy time”. Maybe I pick whole grains and skim milk and the dreaded vegetables because I want my children to be as healthy as they can be, even if they detest anything not drenched in sugar. Maybe, just maybe, sitting home and reading “Junie B. Jones” and closing the curtains and having a “sneak rock and roll dance party” is just a little wilder than hanging out at the local bar and hearing the same pop songs. And maybe, coming home to my family at night with no pager, (from a job I love, none the less, introducing women to their babies to be) fulfills my need to help women start families of their own. Where else would I come up with amazing, encouraging stories about all the reasons they will love their baby, if not taking inspiration from my own boys?
When I am honest with myself, my boys are not my “excuse” for being who I am. Honestly, my boys help make me who I am. My boys accentuate all that I really like about myself. They are my reason for being a better person. After all, without kids, who could I really be?