But it was ok. I felt old beyond my years. I was ready. I was willing. I was excited. This is what everyone talked about. What everyone promised would complete me as a person. It would change me forever. And it has. In a lot of positive ways. But having kids does not complete me as a person.
Now hold up....don't lose your shit. Hear me out.
That may sound like a selfish comment. It sounds selfish because some cultures wrap their entire being around their children. Their entire identity is wrapped on being a wife and a mother.
Is that such a bad thing? Isn't your world supposed to be your children? That is heroic. That is self-less. But I think deep down if you are being honest with yourself you need more than that.
It doesn't mean you don't need your children. I think my entire world would shatter if I lost my children. My world revolves around my children. Both in my everyday life and in my heart. Anyone who thinks differently is completely ignorant. But if you haven't formed your own identity,your own person, you can never fill that with another person no matter how hard you try. Trust me, I’ve tried it.
At age 20 I had no idea who I was as a person. I thought I did. I thought I had it all figured out. And it looked like I had my shit together. No one knows the heart of another person. The pain or the sorrows. The hurt or the emptiness.
When you come to the realization that you never figured out who you were on your own as a person, that shatters your world. Some people may paint you as a terrible mother when you venture out to the path of self-discovery. As someone who looks out for the needs of yourself instead of the needs of your children. But you can't pay attention them.
"If you are too busy judging a person you don't have time to love them." -Gandhi
Children are smart. They pick up on so much. They can tell when there is a shell of a person moving through the day to days. They need a mother who knows who she is. Who can be an example of what living your life really means.
I could bake cookies all day long. I could nuke those chicken nuggets every damn day. I could take them to soccer practice and braid their hair. Every.damn.day. I don't want them to look at their mother and say all I remember is that she baked me cookies. She did everything for everyone else all of the time. I never got to know her. I never got to know her wants. Her needs. Her dreams. Her fears. Her regrets.
I want them to say….I know who she is independently of me. My mom loves life enough to live it. She can roll the window down, belt her favorite song at the top of her lungs and doesn’t give a damn if the wind messes up her hair. She tells crude jokes, curses too much and maybe can get a little crazy from time to time. But that’s my mom. Weird quirks and all. My mom loves deep but she hurts deep too. My mom loves me but I know when I leave to go out on my own it won't crash her world. I have the freedom to be me because she has the freedom to be herself. If they could say that when its all said and done then its all worth it. It's done and no one can say boo to change that.
I could worry how people view me. I could worry about how it hurts those I love. My friend at the gym who doesn't mince words at all told me the other day. He said, “You need to stop being a little bitch. Just be fucking happy. It’s not that hard to be happy. Stop worrying about if others are happy. You’re not responsible for that.”
So I’m going to take his advice. I’m going to stop being a little bitch. I'm not taking responsibility for making others happy. I'm not going to put myself on the back burner anymore. I'm not going to worry if being me offends others.
I'm on a path to finding out who Ashley is. Not the wife. Not the mother. Not the social worker. Just Ashley. If that's selfish then I guess I'm selfish.
You put things in boxes, not people. I refuse to be in someone's box because they put me there.