There are few things more precious in the world to me than hearing my sons call for me. Thing 1 calls me "Mom". Thing 2 calls me "Mommy".
But for 27+ years, I was not "Mom" or "Mommy" or "Ma-ma" or "Thing 1 & Thing 2's mom", I was just Amber.
For the first few years of my sons' lives, I think I was fairly typical of many of today's parents, allowing my whole life to be consumed by loving my kids. I worked full time, but when I wasn't at work, I was at home with my kids. Taking care of my kids. Loving my kids. Playing with my kids.
My scrapbooking supplies went untouched. My sewing machine gathered dust. My softball mitt languished somewhere in a box in the garage. Forgotten. Probably more than 75% of my Facebook posts had something to do with my kids or parenting. (Much to the annoyance of I'm sure about 99% of my Facebook friends.)
It makes sense in many ways really. Becoming a parent truly changes your life. The who you were before becomes transformed. Suddenly things that seemed important before no longer seem important. You have new priorities. A new identity. New prerogatives. Add that to a hearty dose of working mother's guilt, and you have a recipe for a woman who begins to spend every spare moment with or about her children, not feeling she deserves any time for herself.
But now my boys are older. They will be 5 soon. They attend preschool. They have friends. They are incredibly more independent. I can see that they are slowly developing lives outside of me, outside of my husband, and our little family.
And this is a good thing. Watching their independence reassures to me that they deserve their little lives away from me, away from being the sons. And that I deserve some time away from them, away from being the mom.
Over the last year, I have started scrapbooking again. I have started sewing again. I have gone to crafting workshops on a Saturday. I've even looked into weekend long scrapbook retreats. I joined a co-ed softball team. I have un-apologetically been getting involved with activities that are just for me. Me.
And on a sunny afternoon when Superman takes the boys over to the baseball game, and he calls and asks if I want to meet them there on my way home from work. And then he tries to guilty me into saying yes by putting Thing 2 on the phone and saying "Please mommy, we want you to come watch baseball with us." I feel perfectly fine saying "No thanks. Maybe next time honey." And maybe next time I will go. But this time, I will use that free time to do something I want to do instead.
Because while I'm still Thing 1's "Mom" and Thing 2's "Mommy", I'm also Amber. And I can't forget about her.