On Monday morning I got up, got dressed like usual – skirt, hair curled, lipstick – and began the self-talk about my next venture as a soon-to-be first time mom – the stay-at-home-mom’s Bible study group.
What if they think I’m too old?
What if I’m overdressed?
What if they say, “No wonder . . . she doesn’t have any children yet!”
What if they continue to say, “It’s because she has only one, just wait!”
What if we have nothing in common?
What if they think I just don’t “get it”?
I always thought that I would fit in perfectly with this group of women. I always dreamed of being a stay-at-home-mom, and at 35 years old my dream is coming true.
But this morning as I tried to predict what the other women would be wearing, what they would think of me, and how they would react to the fact that this is only my first baby, and I’m 35, and she won’t even be here until October, I began to feel the need to rehearse my story. To come up with some excuses. To prove my worth.
Well, I have a graduate degree.
And I got to enjoy fourteen years living the high life in the city.
Now I’m an
I have years of experience and wisdom.
I know what the “real world” is like.
As I got in the car and pulled out of the driveway I recognized my insecure self who was driving the car. I’ve been recognizing her more quickly lately before her words really take root and get the best of us.
I thanked God for revealing her to me, then I asked for forgiveness and reminded myself that He is the only one who gives me my worth.
I knew that secretly I was really just jealous. After all, that was supposed to be my life.
I pulled up to the house of the woman hosting the Bible study group in my four-door Toyota Camry. The driveway was lined with minivans, so I parked on the street. “What am I doing here”, I thought to myself, as I strolled up to the door.
I rang the doorbell, and could hear the yelling and running and commotion of the children. The hostess opened the door with a smile and her baby on her hip and invited me in.
I felt the immediate need to spew my story all over the floor. I was so out-of-place.
“I was single for a long time. I didn’t want to be. I didn’t have a choice. I wanted your life. Then I married a man who was dying. He had to have a heart transplant. I know I don’t look like you. I know I’m inexperienced and immature and bright-eyed with how perfect motherhood’s going to be when it’s really not. But will you still let me in anyways?”
And I had overdressed. Now they were thinking, “Of course she has time to shower and shave and put on jewelry”.
As the morning went on we talked about our Bible lesson for the week while they fixed snacks and wiped noses and caught falls. I just sat there and relaxed.
Then there was the comment.
“I just don’t think deeply”, the woman said honestly, “I don’t know if I am just too tired or lazy or what, but I just have a hard time answering these questions about the Bible lesson because I’m at home all the time, and I don’t think very deeply anymore”.
I have always thought that it’s the enemy’s lie that tells homemakers they lose themselves or no longer have deep thoughts when they are at home raising their children.
In my mind I began to freak out. Suddenly I could feel a slow leak in my bones of my true self – without titles. “But all I do is think!” I thought to myself. “I’m an introvert and to me the world in complicated and misunderstood and a mismatched mess if I don’t think.”
As much as I say “It will never happen to me“, maybe it’s true. Maybe motherhood does strip you of your personhood. Maybe there’s no hope.
For the first time I felt the subtle drip, drip, drip of myself. It scares me. I don’t like it.
Did you lose your personhood when you became a mother? I would love to hear your thoughts, opinions, and advice!
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