It really made me take a step back and evaluate what kind of mother I want to be. Why did it take me nearly eight years and a trip to Vegas to identify what kind of mom I want to be?
When I was pregnant with Real Boy, I knew I wouldn't breastfeed. I knew I would try my darnedest not to be attached to him. By attached, I mean literally attached. I knew I would have to go back to work six weeks after giving birth and deploy when he was around eight months. Is it a good reason not to breastfeed? I don't know and quite frankly, it's too late to care. As they say, it is what it is.
Of course I still formed a bond with him. I mean, have you seen this kid? He's amazing. However, I just didn't want to feel tied down. For us this meant no cosleeping or picking him up at every single cry. I was and still am all about schedule, schedule, schedule. I have been told by those wise mothers who know everything about being a parent that my neurotic scheduling means I practice convenience parenting. Get off the gas bitches! Ain't nothin' convenient about parenting.
For those of you who think doing the opposite of attachment parenting equals convenience parenting, you're an idiot. People seem to think people who sleep train or let their baby cry for 30 seconds are somehow neglecting their children. That is not the case. It is just a different method of helping a child obtain independence. It's all the same fucking thing.
Tangent over. My point is, as a working mother I have been so focused on the schedule and the fostering of independence that I forgot about relaxing. You know, all that stop and smell the roses hoopla. Seriously, it has been out of control. I've been so focused on trying to make things perfect and on time, I completely lost perspective.
This is what Las Vegas taught me: Stop caring about trying to do it all. Take a breath. Stop overanalyzing. Enjoy. Keep calm and fucking carry on.
I know my children love me and without a doubt I adore them, but we've just been going through the motions of life. Wake up, go to school/work, come home, eat, sleep. Lather, rinse, repeat.
How damn pathetic is that? I am trying to be the best, happiest person I can be, yet I'm not nearly there. I've spent too much time trying to be supermom, superwife and superemployee. And again the mommy guilt enters, stumping my happiness growth.
I didn't breastfeed. I didn't stay home with the kids. I didn't play long enough with the kids today. I didn't feed them gluten-free, organic, free-range, whole grain, anything-from-Trader-Joe's food today. It seems I've been overextending myself in an effort to win some imaginary My-Life-Is-Awesome-And-I've-Got-My-Shit-Together contest. I'm done playing catch up.
I don't want to be that wacky mom who is always trying to be hip, nor do I want to be friends with my children. I simply want us all to relax and not take every damn thing so seriously. I'm done caring about what others say about my parenting or lifestyle. It is time to look at my little family and only consider what is best for us to attain happiness. It may have taken my eight years to get here, but I made it. As blogger Doyin of Daddy Doin' Work says, I'm "Achieving happy," one deep breath at a time.
Viva Las Vegas.