Rolls of Roles

Roles

This week’s Spin Cycle Assignment: Roles. Mother, father, sister, brother, daughter, son, teacher, clerk, cashier, hero, damsel.. We all have roles. What’s your role? Favorite role? Least favorite? Role you feel obligated to play? What role defines you best? What role do you want to redefine? 

Me & #1

Roles – I’ve been thinking about that a LOT this past week. Especially since we just got the news that our baby bird, #3, is leaving the nest and our nest will officially empty (‘cept of course for me and Hubby). I’m not sure how to react to that news or how I feel about it. Hubby, of course, literally had a panic attack. It’s one thing knowing it’s probably gonna happen soon, but, given a date (in less than two weeks) makes it really sink in (along with the ensuing panic). 

Me holding my firstborn @ about 2 wks old

One of the roles I have always loved is that of being a mother. I love my kids with all my heart. I put my heart and soul into being a mom. Before Hubby and I got married, all I wanted to be was a wife and mother. I tried to be the best wife in the world and unfortunately for him, once we had kids, my attention shifted to my kids and being the best mom in the world. Sorry, honey, you know… priorities! 

Taking on my role as wife

When we start out as parents, we are the sole care-givers for our kids. I don’t think we ever really got a baby sitter for our kids until #1 was almost 3. We had gone on a couple of trips for my husband’s work and my sister had kept them but other than that, I think I can count on one hand and have fingers left over, the number of times we left them with a sitter until after #1 was 3. After that, we had one neighbor family that had a little girl about #1’s age that we would “trade” sitting services with. Basically it was play dates where I’d drop #1 and #2 at this neighbor’s house to play and I’d get my shopping or whatever done and vice versa. She would sometimes leave her youngest daughter and her son at our house so she could go to her classes or whatever she needed to do. She did have an older daughter who was 15 or 16 and she babysat for us occasionally. You can read about one of those instances here

#1

#2

#3

Until #1 was in kindergarten that was about the only time I left them with someone. Then once she was in kindergarten, one of her best friend’s moms would trade out sitting services and when they started dance and gymnastics, we had other parents that we would trade out with occasionally. Pretty much though my kids were with me. I shopped with them, we went out to eat with them or if we didn’t we just stayed home. I loved being with my kids and never wanted to be away from them. 

Then, when #2 started Pre-K, I started back to work. I had a friend pick them up from school and watch them until I got off work. I really tried not to work full time until she started actual kindergarten. And that was when I got pregnant with #3. So, after she was born, we moved to Virginia and I stayed at home again. Through the move to Tennessee and back to Georgia I stayed at home with my kids and I loved being a stay at home mom. After we moved back to Georgia I started an at home day care just so I could be at home with my kids. I seriously never understood the moms I knew that couldn’t wait to go to work to get away from their kids. I didn’t go back to work outside the home until #3 was in Pre-K and didn’t go back full time until she was in kindergarten. The only reason I stopped the in home day care was that I wanted to be free to participate in my kids activities and having an in home day care tied me down to where I couldn’t. 

I actively volunteered for everything my kids were in. I was the quintessential involved parent. If they needed someone to take over a committee for the PTA, I did it. If they needed someone to bake cookies or cupcakes for the bake sales, I did it. If they needed someone to volunteer in the classroom or office at the school, I did it. Until I went back to work fulltime I did whatever they needed me to do. Then I really missed it. I tried to stay local so that I could get off at a decent hour so that I could still be involved. So, my role as a mom, morphed and shifted as the kids got older, to chauffeur, gopher, PTA mom, cook, coach…. Whatever was needed, that’s what I wanted to be…. as long as I was involved. They older my kids got, and the less they needed me (i.e. they got their own licenses, cars, lives) the more I could feel the loss. It would physically hurt me sometimes to think my kids didn’t NEED me like they used to. 

I know now, that they will always NEED me in SOME aspect, but not like they used to. I remember the time, before boyfriends and husbands, when we were their world and their source of knowledge for whatever they needed. How do I do this? How do I cook this? How do I fix this? And Hubby and I were always ready to give them whatever answer they needed. And it made us feel good, needed, appreciated, and wanted. 

August 2008

I’ll never forget the first time Hubby became the NON expert in #1’s world. She had asked our opinion on something. I can’t even remember now what it was. Hubby told her his opinion and she kind of poo pooed the idea like she didn’t really believe it was correct. Hubby was beside himself that she actually HESITATED to take his advice. The next day she called and told us her boyfriend (who is now her husband) had given her the solution to her problem. We asked her what his solution was and it was the EXACT same solution hubby had given her the day before that she had scoffed at, BUT…. Now that BF had suggested the very same scenario….the answer was golden. Hubby was CRUSHED…..crushed I tell you! He could not believe that she took his (BF) word as gold (the very same words he had given her) over his own. I just looked at him and said “You’ve been replaced.” 

 

That was the beginning of the end as he saw it. He wasn’t the most important man in her life anymore and I wasn’t the most important person to her anymore. Our love had become secondary to someone else’s. Not that we had not wanted this for our children all along, but, still it’s a hard pill to swallow to become secondary in their lives when you have always been primary. 

You always want your children to be happy and healthy and sometimes that means stepping back and getting out of their way so they can spread their wings and fly off into the sunset. Soar on the wings of eagles instead of being carried by us carry them. You want your children to be strong and independent and self sufficient but that doesn’t mean that watching them attain that ultimate goal is easy. It doesn’t mean that you don’t want them to still “need” you every once in a while. 

strong, independent, beautiful women

I tell you, I look at my mom and dad now and I am in such awe of them. They did this six times. This is SO hard. How the heck do you “let go” six times? I’m having a heck of a time with three. It’s one of those times when I feel it most appropriate to say “It hurts so good.” I know feel what that means now. It feels so good to see them become independent and NOT need you but it hurts so much at the same time. I love my girls with all my heart and will always be here for them if and when they need me. I want them to be strong independent women and to have wonderful lives and be wonderful moms to THEIR kids. And nothing can replace that nurturing desire in me to be a mom…. Except maybe to be a grandma? Hint, hint #1 (most totally awesome badass daughter/person ever)  🙂

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About pegbur7

South of the Mason/Dixon Line
This entry was posted in Stories About My Kids, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to Rolls of Roles

  1. terrepruitt says:

    I think being a mom is the most difficult job in the world. Because you have to hold on loosely.

    I have never felt up to it.

    I send you a big hug as you go through this sad/happy time!

  2. You’re a wonderful mother – the fact that you CAN let go and aren’t desperately holding on means, in my opinion, that your girls will keep on needing you and will never break away completely.

    As a current daughter, far from being a mother, I can still empathize. I see my own mother’s happy but sad expressions every time my brother calls from Virginia. I see the way it hurts her if she can’t help him or me with something. It hurts me to see how much it hurts her, if that makes sense.

  3. suzicate says:

    Awe, so sweet. You’re a great mom, and you will survive. You will love your new role as gramma even more…hint, hint when #1 awesome badass reads this!

  4. “I seriously never understood the moms I knew that couldn’t wait to go to work to get away from their kids.”
    I get grouped with those women all the time since I do work full time, but oh, the excitement I feel when it’s almost five, not to get out of the office, but to get a hug from my favorite “pick me up!” when I see her. I don’t think I’ll ever understand those moms either.
    You’re linked and you have raised some beautiful daughters!

    • pegbur7 says:

      I worked full time after they were in school and couldn’t wait until I got off to see them and thanks for the compliments on my beautiful daughters. I agree with you on that but I might be a little biased!

  5. Although I adored my kids, (and still do), I’ve never felt the complete JOY I get from the grandkids. I always felt so responsible as a parent that it was a scary ride. With the grandchildren it’s pure joy! As a single parent, it was so heavy some times. I raised them the best I could, but God knows I made mistakes.

    I was pleased and proud the day I could let them leave the nest and say “fly little birds, fly!”. The funny thing is, they flew, but they kept coming back for about 4 or 5 years. LOL! They flew all right, but then got tired of flying and just came home!

    Your daughters never really leave you Peg. With boys, it’s a little different. When they marry, their wives’ family takes first place. With my daughter it’s the same. She’s still Mama’s girl and always will be. John is still my heart but he shares it now. Girls keep a part of them with Mom forever!

  6. Well put. Motherhood is the only job if, done corrrectly, we work ourselves right out of it.
    But they always need us in some way.

  7. Ron says:

    OMG, this brought tears to my eyes…

    “and sometimes that means stepping back and getting out of their way so they can spread their wings and fly off into the sunset.”

    Even though I’m not a parent, I know this has to be bittersweet. To watch them fly, but to also let go.

    I remember when my landlord’s daughter got married and could feel she and her husbands joy and sadness when their daughter left that night to begin her new life with her new husband. I actually cried for them.

    I can tell, just from knowing you in this short time, that you are a WONDERFUL mother and that you love every minute of it. And your husband too!

    Great post, Peg!

    Hope you had a great day, dear lady!
    X

    • pegbur7 says:

      Awwww thanks Ron. This a wonderful yet bittersweet time for us. I love every minute of being a mom and think I’ll love being a grandma even more (cause then I can give them back! LOL) I’m proud that my girls have grown up to be beautiful strong young women. Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

  8. My little boy is only seven but I can already feel that little *ping* as little pieces of my mommy-ing become obsolete. I am lucky enough to work at home so I don’t think I’ll look back and say, “damn, if only I had appreciated it at the time,” but I have to admit, I don’t think I’m going to let go gracefully. I will let go, though, and feel the same sting of sadness you’re feeling now.

    Thanks so much for sharing … those are some gorgeous girls, by the way!

  9. Sabu says:

    I love you so much Momma!! I’ll always need you in my life. You’re the best mother I could’ve ever hoped for. Even though the nest is soon to be empty, you can know that our hearts are always full with love for you and dad. P.S. I’m waiting for #1 to hop on it too – I want to be an auntie :O)

    • pegbur7 says:

      Awww, Sabu… you make me cry…. but in a good way! I love you guys so much it hurts sometimes. I’m glad you appreciate my efforts at least! 🙂

  10. Jane says:

    What a wonderful mother you are! The role fits! And the pic of you holding #1 at 2wks old is positively precious!

  11. eri says:

    awww this is so sweet mama! sorry to empty out your nest but you and daddy are welcome to visit anytime 🙂 and i agree with sara yall are the best parents i could have asked for!ben actually gets a little jealous he thinks you are the sweetest person ever. thank you for everything you’ve done for me i love you soooo much! p.s. i can’t believe you’re actually calling nikki most awesome badass daughter thats a little offensive! p.p.s she better take a hint i wanna be an autie too!!!

  12. NikNik says:

    So, I am a lil behind on my reading since we’ve been outta town. Thanks mama- you have me crying at work!!! I think you guys have been damn near perfect as parents (minus the 2 am talks about crack- hehehe)!!! I am so very thankful that we girls have yall as role models. Hopefully Hubs and I can be half the parents you guys have been- one day. Thanks for all the hinting- Ma, Suzi, Sabu, Eri- I think I got the picture. I’ll have a baby as soon as I am a grown up and one of yall moves in to be a full time nanny!

    • pegbur7 says:

      So, when you want me to move in? 😉 Since I’m not working… ya know…. Were we supposed to wait until we were grown ups? Dang! F-d up again! I’m still not grown up!

      And only Craktac talks on an as needed basis!

  13. Pingback: The 600! « Square Peg in a Round Hole

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