My husband and I live in a city with no immediate family and very few relatives at all. We are seldom without the baby.
In 8 months, I’ve been without him, maybe eight times.
So when I get those rare opportunities to fly solo, I pounce on them with little shame.
I don’t talk about the baby ceaselessly.
I don’t feel panicked that something might be wrong. I don’t even Facetime him half the times.
I do me, and that is a privilege I have completely because of my support system.
My husband makes sacrifices and prioritizes trips home to Chicago for me when he’s busy working. And when I’m there, I don’t worry about my son, Donovan, because I don’t have to. I trust my mom, aunt and first cousins with him completely.
I can list my demands without being politically correct and happily micromanage Donovan’s dietary needs without judgment – well with little judgment and many jokes.
My family simply gets it because they get me.
Refusing to lose myself in becoming a new mom | Honeycomb Moms | My support team’s flyer than yours. This is my mom, aunt and I at the wedding. BRADLEY MURRAY / firstname.lastname@example.org
Even if they deem my parenting wants ridiculous, they still respect them (outside of one unapproved watermelon tasting).
So when one of my closest friends wanted to celebrate her nuptials with a huge party, I had the freedom to go and completely let my hair down without having to worry about my child.
He was with his big cousins, and I knew he was OK.
I got my hair done, sipped mimosas through makeup appointments with other friends and took photo after photo. We talked about everything from fashion to the struggle of being members of the itty bitty t**** committee.
What we seldom talked about, however, was parenting.
I didn’t realize how much I needed that.
Donovan really can feel like a little bundle of everything good and pure in the world. Who doesn’t want to spend every day wrapping herself around what’s good and pure?
My husband and I just beam watching him grow each day and reach new milestones.
Sometimes I forget about me all together, and that’s where God comes in. He shows me I am human. I get tired. I get hungry. I get disappointed and impatient.
I have wants and desires outside of my child.
I still crave seafood and a good cocktail from time to time. I want to lie on the beach and travel to new places.
I want to date my husband, to laugh uncontrollably at our favorite comedy spot and to recap our days alone together in bed. I want to be nearer, always nearer to the people I love.
I am a daughter, a wife, a sister and a friend.
I have responsibilities to people other than the little person currently whining in his crib. My sorority sisters and I are still planning our 10-year reunion trip. I have three besties turning 30 over the next few months, and someone has to nudge the group into finalizing plans for our annual Christmas grab bag.
I am a whole and complete person, and it’s taken me precisely 29 years to get to this point. I don’t want to trade myself in for my son.
I want to become a better version of myself for him.