I live in a bubble. I created birthed this bubble for myself and now I’m not entirely sure how to get out.
I recently had lunch with a college friend who does not have kids. Later, as I was mentally recapping our conversation (which I frequently do when I have the rare opportunity to talk to other adults), it dawned on me that I had steered much of our conversation towards issues or ideas related to kids. That’s when I knew for sure that my life and all the people, things and ideas in it had gotten very small. So small in fact that it all fits into a bubble.
When I say small, I do not mean unimportant. I take my role as a caretaker, nurturer and educator of four humans very seriously. I realize that the choices I make for them and the examples I set for them will likely impact their entire lives. It is the significance of motherhood that makes how small I’ve allowed it to become so concerning.
Even when it’s not about the tiny humans in my life, it’s about me better preparing myself for their betterment. I buy clothes that make it easier for me to play with them or I read books that help me parent them. Or worse yet, it’s about me escaping the monotony that is caring for them. Accordingly, my “me time” doesn’t include “big” issues so I fall into even smaller things like bad TV and Facebook. Then the circle of smallness repeats itself, I parent, I commiserate with other parents, I escape with parents, then I parent some more.
Being a stay at home mom is my privilege, but I’m afraid I’ve let my privilege change my perspective and therefore my actions. I’m afraid my bubble is creating one for them as well. How do they become curious about the universe when I am so focused on a tiny part of it? How do they appreciate the perspectives of others when I prioritize theirs? How do they become self-confident adults when my sense of self is so tied up in them? Is obsessing about all of this just making it worse?
Perhaps this is just a phase, like being a teenager. Maybe, hopefully one day soon, I will wake up and my bubble will have burst. Honestly, I know it’s gonna take more than a good night’s sleep, but I think that’s where I’ll start.