Drama Mama

The scattered thoughts of a new mom.

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On the Quest for Control

Wed, Aug 31 2011 (05:21 AM)

Ever since I was old enough to have responsibilities, I’ve felt like I’m constantly trying to catch up with everything I need to get done. Despite having good grades throughout all of my schooling, I usually put off projects, reading assignments, and studying as long as possible. And if I wasn’t procrastinating with my schoolwork, I was putting off practicing piano, cleaning my room, or doing other chores. I still put off chores and projects and even things I like to do, such as writing. In the face of everything that I know needs done, I tend to retreat to mindless games on my phone or computer. Sometimes, I waste large quantities of time focusing on some small organizational matter hidden in the heap of responsibilities. When required to clean the TV room as teenager, I once spent over an hour sifting through all of our Disney movies and arranging them according to release date.

But I have a dream that some day, I will be a responsible adult. I will “have it together.” I will be in control of the small world around me. I fantasize about being one of those skinny moms with clean, well-behaved children, an organized diaper bag, a chic stroller, and successful playdates. I will drive a nice but reasonable car which will receive regular oil changes. I will find some way of fixing my hair that allows it stay long for my husband but out of the way of my mom duties. I will regularly drink fancy coffee or wine at all of the coolest local venues with my hip, intelligent friends who will no longer judge me for being disorganized and not fitting their picture of a well-balanced life. My husband and I will have the time and energy to devote to our romantic, sexy, sophisticated, mature relationship. And I will do all of this while maintaining a beautiful, HGTV-worthy home, preparing healthy and delicious meals for my perfect family, writing regularly, and expanding my intellectual horizons by reading the blogs and books I want to read. Oh, and I will occasionally paint and participate in community theatre.

Um, yeah… that’s absolutely insane. But I do want to feel like I have a reasonable amount of control and that I least have my shit together. And I ferociously want to prove that I can do it because of some recent criticisms by one particular friend. This young woman is currently engaged, working in the field in which she got her degree, and does not yet have children of her own. She posited that I have made my entire life about my children (oh yeah! I’m six months pregnant again!) and my husband. She started by saying that any time we got together, I made it all about being at my convenience. Then, she tried to soften it by saying that she doesn’t recognize the person I used to be and that I don’t do enough for myself. Maybe she’s right. And maybe she doesn’t know a goddamned thing about how your life changes when you become a mom. (I’m still a little bitter about this conversation, if you can’t tell…) And I’d like to think that she’ll get a major wake up call when she has kids, too. But, she’s the one friend in our group who’s consistently organized, always on top of things, and occasionally lectures the rest of us about getting our shit in order. She will naturally be one of those disgustingly perfect, organized moms that I want so badly to be. And, yes, I’m a little jealous of her self-discipline and diligence.

So, I’m trying (as I have several times before) to put more structure into my life and take control of at least some of the chaos around me. The hubby and I have intentions to devote Monday evenings to blogging. If we can maintain this, I will have weekly posts about my strides in parenting, homeownership, intellectual development, and whatever else I can get under control. Wish me luck!

Oh, and apologies to the dear friend whose conversation has spurred me into action if this has hurt or offended you. You know I love you dearly and our policy of brutal honesty means we sometimes step on each other’s feelings in an effort to improve each other’s lives.

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