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Zen Mama Wannabe » Blog Archive » When You Realize What is Missing is YOU
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When You Realize What is Missing is YOU

A friend of mine is a bit lost.  She has been in the “Mommy Business” too long.  She has forgotten who SHE really is – other than a mother of 3 beautiful girls, wife to 1 somewhat demanding husband, and Playgroup Coordinator for the Moms Club she belongs to.  She loves being a mother, she loves her husband (the Moms Club position she could take or leave, I think) but over one too many glasses bottles of wine she confessed the secret many women carry around with them:  she has lost herself and doesn’t know WHERE to look – and is not even sure she has the time or energy to try.  Sound at all familiar?

When my son was 16 months old, we hired a babysitter for the first time so we could attend this high profile charity dinner.  My husband needed to go for business purposes; I desperately just wanted to get really dressed up and go out.  I was 6 feet away from Warren Beatty when I spotted a guy used to work with.  I hurried over to him (excited to know someone) and barged into the group of people he was talking with.  Introductions were made via name and titles (and they all had big titles) and then there was me (Mrs. Stay at Home Mom).  One woman took the time to gush how she just LOVED women who stayed at home with their kids and how being a Mother was so important, but that took all of 5 seconds and then I was quickly dismissed.  I remember feeling so shocked that I could be deemed so unimportant, as if being a Mom meant I had nothing of interest to say.  H-e-l-l-o.  I read the papers, I know what is going on in the world.  I’m informed.  I have opinions.  Nope – I had become instantly invisible (even in my killer black dress). 

My friend had her moment at a recent dinner party, where her husband’s boss (in an attempt to make conversation) loudly asked, “And what is it YOU do?  Besides looking out for those pretty girls of yours?”  Yes – well, there it is.  The Million Dollar Question. 

Oh, I would have said how I was actively involved in charity work and how I am on the Board of one organization and help out as much as I can,” our other friend piped in.  Yeah?  Well, then you sound like one of THOSE women, the insecure ones that are trying too hard to show the world just how important they really are.  Besides, that wasn’t the point.  It wasn’t so much the embarrassment of being asked the question – it was more the shock at realizing she didn’t know the answer for herself.  Who is she?  What does she do?  What is her passion?  How does she identify herself with motherhood taken out of the equation?

The question doesn’t throw you into a tailspin when you know the answer.  But she didn’t know (in fact, she didn't even know that she didn't know until right then on the spot)!  Her oldest child is about to turn 16.  That is a LONG time of being (solely) focused on the mother/wife stuff.  It’s not really surprising she lost herself along the way.  What is surprising is that more of us don't at one time or another (or maybe we are just not as honest with ourselves). 

So kudos to my friend for not brushing it off, for not thinking the boss was an insensitive out-of-touch jerk, and then just going on with her life.  She was brave enough to admit it made her pause.  It made her think.  She recognized something was missing:  HER! 

She is going on a quest this year to find herself.  And I am going to help her!  My bookshelves are full of great resources, just waiting to be looked at again after so long (sadly, since becoming a mother, my reading material has been primarily kid focused and I think it is time to move on – or at least get it more in balance).  Besides, that is what we do when our friends are in need.  And quite frankly, this Zen Mama Wannabe has no doubt that I too will learn a (much needed) thing or two along the way. 

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One Response to “When You Realize What is Missing is YOU”

  1. callieandbatido Says:
    January 2nd, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    I know exactly how your friend feels Zen Mama. I wonder how many of us feel the same way?

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