It's all about ME | The Life of K: It's all about ME

Friday, February 26, 2010

It's all about ME

When I was in high school I often got rides to and from school with a friend who lived on the same street as me. Her mom was a music teacher at the school and was quite popular with the students.

One afternoon, I was in the van with my friend and her mom and my friend's older sister and one of her sister's friends. Looking back, I would have to say that I was shy, especially with kids older than me. The sister's friend was a boy two grades ahead of me. I did not say a single word that trip.

This guy had just broken up with his girlfriend and was, most likely, trying to cheer himself up and was saying that he couldn't truly love this girl if he couldn't love himself. Such big words for a teenager, but they couldn't be more true.

I often think of that day, packed in the van with all those people, and those words from that boy. They still ring true. You can't love someone else before you learn to love yourself.

I had relationships in high school and the beginning of university that weren't great. They might have seemed great at the time and I was happy, but then the relationship ends and I got the chance to look back to see what went wrong. Maybe I changed who I was a little to suit the other person or I let them walk all over me. There are tons of mistakes people make in relationships, tons of mistakes I've made and I'm sure you have too. You look back and shake your head. But the best thing you can do for yourself is be truthful about what went wrong and what you will or won't do next time. Learn from your mistakes.

I think a lot of the problems in my past relationships had nothing to do with "us" but with me. I wasn't ready to fully commit because I didn't love myself. If I break it down further, I didn't really know myself. In high school especially, I was always busy with one sport or another, involved in school things like student's council, had a full course load and was go go go. It meant that I didn't have a lot of time to myself, time to figure out what made me happy. What made me smile. What my good qualities were and what were the bad ones.

I sort of fell into relationships but I gave them my full attention. I knew so much about the other person, what they liked and didn't like, how they acted, what they wanted to be when they grew up. What about me? It took me years to even look at myself in a mirror and really see myself. It took me a long time to realize what I will and won't accept in a relationship. How I want to be treated, how I deserve to be treated.

Thankfully I found J and he has helped me with a lot of this, though not consciously. He is supportive and loving and willing to let me be myself. He doesn't make fun of me for how I pronounce certain words or the fact that I lovelovelove little construction trucks.

The most recent struggle I've faced is figuring out who I am now that I have a kid. I do not want to be "Baby J's mom". I am so much more than a mother, but being a mother is so much of who I am. It's a tricky one for sure. Now that Baby J is a little older and I'm no longer breast feeding, I can leave him. We can be apart, yet it happens so rarely. But it needs to happen. I need time to be me, just me, not a mother, not somebody's wife, just me.

J loves to snowboard and with his new board and boots he's been wanting to go a lot this winter. I'm glad he found something he loves, but every time he takes a day off work and heads to the hill, I wonder why I can't just take a day off. My job doesn't work that way. It's an inequality that frustrates me though I'm not sure I would change it if I could.

We talk about the inequality a lot. Our jobs are both important but so very different. Any parent who stays at home with their baby will tell you that they love it and it's hard. It is hard because you are responsible for that little person, their well-being, what they eat, their play, their learning, their cleanliness. And because you're home, you're also expected to keep the house clean, the laundry done, the dishes washed. Because you don't have to work in the morning, you're the one who gets up in the middle of the night when the baby cries.

I'm not the first person to have a baby and I'm certainly not the only one in this situation. It's my reality right now and I'm only telling you all this to explain that sometimes I get overwhelmed. Sometimes I just want to walk out the door and be myself. Sometimes J gets home from work and before he can get his coat off I've handed him the baby and gone upstairs to be by myself.

This past week was busy with stuff: I had three hour-long government exams and had my parents come over to watch the kid while I wrote (they were emailed to me), we had dinner with friends one night and had another friend stop by another night. J went snowboarding Thursday because of all the fresh snow and got home early afternoon. When I was done my third exam, he looked at me and said "Why don't you go out?" Yes, why don't I?

I jumped in the car and I drove. By myself. I bought some clothes. Just for me. I went to a bookstore and used a gift certificate. Just for me. I was only gone a couple of hours but I was positively refreshed by the time I got home. Everybody needs to love themselves and spend time alone. I can be a much better mother and wife if I'm happy. If that means I need to jump in the car and go away for a couple of hours, then that's what I'm going to do.

It's all about me so it can be all about you too.

3 comments:

  1. I have too much 'me' time ... I'd like to have a little bit of someone else time, for a change. :(

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  2. I hear ya. That can be really hard.

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  3. Oh I know exactly what you mean! It drives me nuts when husband is home on a day off but I am still running around getting my daily chores done. I sometimes say hello where is my day off!! Plus with babysitting during the day I feel that I have a job, my mom job, and then tending to the house. It's a hard job alright!!

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