There are days when I think if I expressed my true frustrations, those who listened to my words might never have children of their own. That could be a blessing, but it could be a great disservice. Someone posted on Facebook today that when a woman becomes a mother she is no longer the picture but becomes the frame. Other people posted how sweet that was. Why? Why do they think that is sweet? Why is it sweet to give so much of yourself that you disappear, become someone you are not, to make others comfortable. I do not think it is sweet. I think it is horrifying and not to be done. Of course, I am speaking from my own personal experience here and I am older. I am fast moving beyond the raising of children to the trying to figure out who I am and where did I go part of life.
I love my kids. I loved raising them and watching them grow up. I loved seeing them overcome challenges and rise to occasions and shine in so many ways. I have not loved watching them suffer, not have a liked suffering along with them. I really hate that part.
Tonight I wrote each of my children a letter just for them. In one, I passed on a warning my own mother gave to me 23 years ago. Mom told me not to do what she had done with her life. Too late. I did it in spades and then some. I just hope I live longer than Mom so I can come out on the other side of parenthood knowing who I am and having a life that has some meaning to me and for me when I am then invisible frame for my children. It is once again, a time when I am so grateful for my friends, my girlfriends and my friends who are men. Those adults in my life who see me for who I am and love me anyway. Those friends who make a point to let me know I am loved and appreciated, because some days you really need that extra effort. Next year, for Mother’s Day, I hope I am in a beautiful place with absolutely no contact with the outside world. Then I will not have to feel like the disappearing frame in the lives of my children.