On Being Stuck
I get stuck when I get into my own head. Thoughts are constantly swirling around in my head, but not thoughts about my day or what is currently happening. These are DEEP thoughts - thoughts about the well-being of my children long term, how we are going to spend my husband’s bonus money, if I made a good impression on the new moms at my son’s dance class, and always, always, always about my to-do list looming over my head. In case you wanted a peek into an anxious, OCD brain, this is what’s going on with me when I’m doing something as simple as sitting on the floor, playing with my kids.
It doesn’t feel good to be stuck when you’re a mom to a toddler and a baby. It feels suffocating and lonely and confusing. It feels like my days will run together like this forever and I will never have variety or freedom in my life again. It feels like my husband and I will never have a spontaneous date night to try cocktails at the new place downtown again. It feels like I will never catch up on my to-do list, have the time for myself I so desperately crave, or reach my fitness goals. It feels like I will never sleep through the night again and will always be woken up in the early dawn hours by one kid (or both).
I love being a mom, although you may not think that from reading what’s goin on in my head. My kids are the best thing to ever happen to me, which is why I’m trying to get “un-stuck.” I want them to have a mom who is passionate about life and can show them how to pursue their interests and not just go through the motions, day after day. I want my boys to know that there is more to life than just “doing what you have to.” There is wiggle room for creativity and for play. It is okay to ditch the to-do list and just start over - chances are, most of those things didn’t *need* to be done anyway.
I also feel stuck when I convince myself in my head that I have to do something I don’t really want to. For example - I am very introverted. Most times, I will choose to be at home with my family than with a friend. Sometimes I think, geez I haven’t talked to her in a while - I better call and schedule a playdate. Why? Why do I do this, when I don’t even really want to and it stresses me out more? On one hand, I think it’s extremely important to push yourself out of your comfort zone, but on the other, I think why do I have to do that? I’m a grown, functional, responsible adult - who says I have to have a playdate with my old college roommate and her kids when I feel guilty we haven’t talked in 3 months?
What must it be like to be someone who isn’t stuck in their own head, day after day? What must it be like to be free of these kind of thoughts and to just *live*? I really don’t think I will ever know the answer to that question, so the goal is to just figure out ways to improve upon my current situation so it isn’t this intense forever. I really do think I’m a good mom, but I sure have lots of traits I do not want my boys to end up with. It’s very hard to parent from a place that isn’t authentic to who you are, which is why I want to at least allow myself to understand different perspectives so I can help my boys keep their minds open and not as closed off as I am as an adult.
I think it will take me the rest of my life to learn that things don’t always have to be so black and white, but it’s not too late for my kids. I want them to see all colors and shades of grey and allow black and white when they want it, but not be tied down to it. I want their brains to be full of thoughts that lift them up - not keep them stuck.