My whole life, I’ve heard nothing but negative things about parenthood. The tiredness. The lack of privacy. The sacrifices. The loss of freedom.
But what’s I haven’t felt restricted or like I’m making any sacrifices when it comes to Jiraiya or this next one. In fact, I don’t feel restricted either. I feel wonderful and strong and happy. Watching him grow and watching his personality come blossom more and more everyday. Watching him learn new things. I don’t mind working my schedule around his every need. In fact it’s kind of fun for me. I love being a mother. And I love that it’s given me this extra fire to pursue my dream and go into business for myself and also to seek therapy so I can deal with the issues that have plagued me my whole life so I can be a better mother.
When I’m away from him, I feel kind of lost. Like “What do I do now?” When Jacques takes Jiraiya out with him so I can rest, there are times I’ll wake up a few times to check on him until it finally sinks in that I’m alone and he’s okay and there’s no need to keep getting up. It feels great to get that rest though.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I do take time for myself. That’s how I’m able to write blog posts and upload youtube videos and comment on other blogs. But it’s always after Jiraiya’s needs are met. And besides, about how much else would I have to talk about when talking about my day if I didn’t spend time with my kid? I’m not working, I don’t have any other sources of income other than food stamps which means Jacques and I don’t go on dates or anything and we live in a family shelter. Which means Jiraiya and the soon-to-arrive baby are quite literally the highlights of my life.
My entire life, I had no self-esteem, I lived in constant fear and anxiety and I was filled with shame. I didn’t really have a voice either. I had strong opinions and beliefs and ideals and no one really heard me unless they were one of the people that always seemed to gravitate towards me seeking advice. And I always found it strange that I was sought for advice when I was so unpopular and a big social anxiety ridden mess. But since my calling has finally come to me, looking back it all makes sense to me.
Anyway, suffice it to say I felt that I had no real strength. But since I had Jiraiya, I feel so much stronger inside. I feel empowered. And it’s more than just having someone to boss around all day. There’s just something about seeing that beautiful, unabashed joy and love and happiness in him. And that strength of will he’s got. It’s amazing. And nurturing that strong sense of self in him somehow makes me feel like I’m doing the same for myself. In teaching him and instilling values in him I wish I had learned growing up, I’m installing them withing myself too.
So, to all the well-meaning mothers out there that keep offering sympathy in the form of negative comments like, “Your life is over.” Or “You can forget about having freedom. You’ve got kids to think about.” Just know that your experience is not mine. And I’m sorry that you viewed your experience in that way because I don’t view mine in that way. My children are not inconveniences to my life. They are my life. Therefore my life is perfect in every way and I love every minute of it.