3/18/14

Bad Mom Thoughts (Just Write)

I had a really un-momlike thought in the car today.

On my break, headed towards Old Navy to buy a pair of Super Skinny jeans (not for me! For my 13 year old son, silly), driving along the highway and doing that random-thought thing that happens. You know, when you're focused on the road and where you're going and what you have to get done when you get there and everything else you have to do after that...those scenarios that play through your mind. Sometimes I finish arguments during these drives, sometimes I pretend I'm famous and give interviews (shut up! It's fun. Try it sometime).

Today, though...today was different.

Today I thought about what life would be like if I didn't have kids. And I don't mean just a fleeting thing, a "gah can you imagine how much easier things would be" sort of thing. I think a lot of moms, if pressed and mayhap plied with a cocktail, would admit to sometimes thinking about life without children. But mom guilt and love for our progeny quickly smother such evil thoughts.

Not today. Today I spent the majority of my car ride fantasizing (YES I said fantasizing because I thought of this much like I think about winning the lottery or sleeping with Louis CK) about a child-free life.

I thought about where I might be working, what kind of home I'd have and yes I thought about what my body would look like if it hadn't produced and fed four human beings in six years. I thought about education (mine) and money (again, mine) and traveling and OH MY GOD what it would be like to not live and breathe motherhood every second of every day.

I thought about what it would be like to not worry about things like lunch money and grades and shady friends and judgy adults and financial aid forms and junk food and mother effing cell phone bills.

I thought about clean bathrooms and guest bedrooms and what it would be like to have to save up dirty clothes to get a full load. What it would be like to always know where the freaking remotes are and to live the kind of life where you don't open the fridge and find a milk carton with half a tablespoon of milk left in it.

All of these thoughts happened. All of them paraded through my cranium as the gray road was consumed in front of me and the gray skies gloomed above me. Big deal, right? Who doesn't think about this kind of stuff every once in a while, right?

But here's the kicker:

This time, I didn't feel bad. There was zero guilt for allowing myself to pretend for just a moment, for just a drive's worth of time. I didn't picture my children's faces and curse myself for being such an ungrateful heathen.

In fact, I was envious. Jealous of this Jenny in my mind, this Me living in Bizarro world, childless and flat-bellied and perched upon a toilet not decorated with amber splotches of dried pee. I even felt a little sad, not because I'd had these awful thoughts but because I'd never know what life would have been like if I'd chosen what was behind Door B instead of pushing Door A open without a moment's hesitation.

But this is what I did: I bought the jeans for William, and then I stopped at Trader Joe's for some Orange Chicken. Because my kids love it and dinner isn't going to make itself, right?

I forgave myself for having the kid-free fantasies and also for not feeling bad about having them.

I decided that as nice as it would be to have all of that stuff I thought about on my drive to Old Navy, I'm certain that choosing to have kids was the right choice for me.

And my children would probably agree.

***************

This post is my first attempt at free writing in conjunction with my friend Heather and her blog The Extraordinary Ordinary. Do you blog? Have a stab at it. Write free and then link up at Heather's blog.

21 comments:

  1. I do the interview thing, also. I have no idea why. I guess I just like to pretend that someone somewhere would actually be interested in what I have to say. We all have our fantasies, right?

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    1. Who interviews you? Usually it's Ellen for me.

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    2. NPR personalities, mostly...Diane Ream finds me utterly fascinating. Also? Michele Obama.

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  2. I live near an international airport and sometimes I drive by and fantasize about taking that exit instead of the one to the grocery store. I'd park. Casually walk in, and then give myself 5 minutes to view the outgoing planes to pick a flight. In this fantasy I have a flat stomach. That part is completely crazy.... The first part is possible, and while exciting, I feel the guilt as well.

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    Replies
    1. I love how that flat stomach comes into play. And I've had the funaway fantasies, too. Sometimes I wonder, "How far could I get before I ran out of money??".

      Thanks for reading :)

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  3. I often have this fantasy. And the conclusion that life is way better with these kids gets made every single time.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah. Usually I come to that conclusion faster. I think life stresses are taking their toll right now. I must become more zen.

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  4. Wonderfully honest and you speak for many of us. I haven't read the other comments, but has anyone mentioned the movie Me Myself and I. It was SO GOOD and I seriously cannot recommend it enough. It's sort of Sliding Doors for parents.

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    Replies
    1. I have never heard of Me Myself and I! I'll check Netflix. I loved, LOVED Sliding Doors!

      thanks for reading, Nina :)

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  5. I want ro write, but I am afraid of the truth.

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    Replies
    1. Damn the truth, friend. Write it anyway.

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  6. Oh, God, a typo in my expressed desire to write. Drats!

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  7. I do often fantasize about the shape my body would be in had I not had children, totally. Since I have my kids only half the time I think the fantasies or NOT having children haven't occurred because I partially know what stretches of time without them feels like, though their toys/laundry/etc. still remain at my house!

    Beautifully written :)

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    Replies
    1. As much as I love having my kids around, I have to say that I miss those "free" weekends. I think I must be having a mid-parenting-life crisis or something.

      Thank you so much for reading!

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  8. I know I would have been happy without kids, but I'm glad they're here anyway.

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    Replies
    1. Yep. You and me both! Now that they're here, we love 'em.

      Thank you for reading!

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  9. Reading along, I realized that you were describing exactly what it is like when your children are grown and on their own. Really! It's just like that! (Mine were stepkids, and I eat Paleo, so I have a flat stomach, but otherwise, you nailed it!) Even your free writing is awesome. You just caught a glimpse of your future! Also, you have crossed the Rubicon into guilt-free living, apparently. A definite must-be place for parents.

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    Replies
    1. Ahhh! I am psychic, perhaps?? Thanks for the insight, dear Becky. And thank you for pointing out that NOT feeling guilt is a step forward, not back. ♥

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  10. When my kids were younger I would spend almost every spring/summer evening taking them to ball practice or to their ball games.
    We live near the interstate and I couldn't count the times I dreamed I could just get on exit ramp and just drive anywhere but the ball parks. I couldn't wait til they got older and could drive themselves where ever they needed to be.
    Now they are grown and I have a grand child ~ guess what??
    I would love to go back to those hectic days of dirty dishes in the sink, laundry piled up and the house being a total mess.
    It seems strange not being needed and it is lonely.
    Humm who woudda thunk? ;)

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