Spontaneity and motherhood do not go hand in hand. As much as I enjoy being a mom, it is difficult to make impulsive plans and commitments. Leaving the house even just to run one errand can be the biggest undertaking.
Before I had my son, I was an impulsive adventure seeker, constantly needing to be on the move and going somewhere.
While I was pregnant, part of me believed that kind of lifestyle could continue. However, nothing and no one can truly prepare you for the demands of motherhood. It didn’t take long for me to realize how wrong I was. Newborns and toddlers are portable but they need consistency and schedules. Therefore, the adventure seeker in me became sidelined. Recently, four years after my son was born, I escaped for a weekend away with a group of college friends. Out of this group of friends, I am the only one married and with a child. Some of my friends don’t want children or are not yet in a place in their lives where they can have them. So, I found myself surrounded by people who live the adventure seeker lifestyle I used to live. As a result, for one long weekend, I was spontaneous again.
We stayed up well past midnight, drinking, talking, and cooking. We slept in past nine and devoured fancy breakfasts. We hiked mountains, jumped off the roof into snow drifts, had bonfires, and shot off fireworks. At 7 pm on Saturday evening, we decided to drive two hours up the coast to get lobster rolls at a restaurant that we read about in the New York Times. After we filled our bellies with seafood, we found ourselves at a hip nightclub, taking tequila shots and shutting down the bar. We walked the city streets until we found a nice hotel to spend the night. We woke up at 9:30 and stumbled out in search of donuts and coffee. For one magical weekend, I remembered who I once was. Pieces of me came back to life, ideas percolated in my mind, and I cried and I laughed as though I hadn’t in 4 years. But alas, the weekend ended. On my three-hour drive home, I cried. I cried for many reasons,
I felt guilty, I missed my son, but I didn’t feel quite ready to return to the all-encompassing role of mommy duty.
I felt envious of my childless, unattached friends and their ability to be spontaneous and daring.
Finally, I felt mournful over the old me, the me I had lost and forgotten through the daily demands of motherhood and being a wife. I let big elephant tears fall down my cheeks. I remembered my dreams, my hopes and felt even more guilty for forgetting them. I mourned my adventure seeking, happy, free-spirited youthful self, the one I never really got to say goodbye to because I never thought she would leave.
Motherhood, as many know, requires sacrifice. You devote almost your entire existence to another being. In no way do I regret my choices and the path I have taken.
I love being a mom. But it is an all-consuming job that can cause you to forget who you are and that you even are someone.
My weekend away allowed me to remember. I can still be carefree and spontaneous. I can still have dreams and hopes. Sometimes you just have to take off the mom jeans and put on your dancing shoes to remind yourself of who you are and who you will always be. Although parts of who I was are gone, there is more to me than I ever thought possible. Take it from a reformed spontaneous individual: Motherhood is by far the greatest adventure.