A really funny thing happened not too long ago. My doctor suggested that I "get a hobby" (apparently other than my planner...) to help with my anxiety and depression. So I did.
I became a mom.
Ok, so I had always been a mom Well, not like always, always. But for the past 17 years, I have been a very inactive mother. Yes, I love my children. I just never believed that I had to dive too deeply into their activities and immerse myself in the world of "other moms".
Now let me explain what I mean by "other moms":
I was a young mother. Abbi was born when I was 19. When we enrolled her in pre-school, it was a pick up/drop off type deal. Because the kids were so small, we had to go in the building and wait by their classrooms until they were released and came out. That's where I discovered "other moms"
NOTE: Pauline Gaines has a fantastic article that goes way more in depth right here.
Now, maybe it was my age. I was young and mostly they were in their late 20's, early 30's. Not that I took issue with that or anything. It was just really awkward. I still hadn't really found myself and resented being known only as "Abbi's mom". I felt that I was a person, with a name, a face and a life outside of my child. Apparently these "other moms" gave up their entire life and centered themselves around their kids.
Since I was different; young, aloof and a bit off-putting, these moms never spoke to me and instead clucked like hens in their little clique circle. Usually glances were thrown my way and giggling would ensue. If I glanced their way or walked by when they were talking, they would hush each other and look away from me. I really hated that.
So I decided then and there that I was never, ever, E V E R going to become an "other mom". I was never going to become a van driving, disney music blaring, Caillou watching, mom freak. I was absolutely not going to be known as somebody's mom for the rest of my life.
Fast forward 10 years.
Now I had Lily. I was not only 10 years older but also 10 years wiser. I settled. I relaxed. I was still very determined to keep my identity loud and proud, but I had also found that identity. I discovered myself and in that process I realized that being a mom was part of that identity.
So how does this relate to "getting a hobby"; per my doctors instructions?
Well, it started when Lily decided to become a Daisy (learn more). In order for her to be in girl scouts, we needed a leader. And a leader needs a co-leader. So a co-leader I became (see how I keep my troop organized here). Here I found myself partially in charge of 6 adorable little girls. And I also discovered that I loved it.
I loved it so much that I became a "super mom" for Lily's elementary school. Now every Tuesday find myself over at WE helping out in her 1st grade class. I adore those kids. I love them like my own. They run up and hug me when I come in and they high five me when they do something amazing. Each one knows I am "Lily's Mom" and that's ok. Really, it's ok.
NOTE: Sheila McCraith has a book you will fall in live with! Check out her website here. I highly recommend taking a peek at the book. It really helped me understand what I was up to and how to get a better handle on myself and remain in control.
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So yeah. That hobby I picked up? I decided to become an actively involved mom. I am still becoming an involved mom. It's more than just playing with them at home, watching movies (see our favorites here) or reading with them at bed time. There's more to parenting than trips to the park or running to classes and lessons. I participate now.
Somehow, all of this managed to fill a void I never even knew I had. And maybe my words can encourage you to give it a try. You don't have to become president of the PTO or top of the call tree to become more involved. Just try out volunteering once a month. Or even just for big school parties. Think about co-coaching or just staying at practice instead of running errands while your kid is occupied with lessons/classes/events. C'mon, give it a try!
Think about it; how active are you in your child's life? Are you an involved mom? Maybe you think it's not for you but I bet if you try it out, you'll find out how much you enjoy it.
Questions? Comments? Do you agree or disagree with what I have said in this post? Why or why not? Let me know below and let's talk about what makes us involved moms!
See you in the next post