I don’t believe Jennifer Lizza.
You might know Jennifer as author of the blog Outsmarted Mommy. She’s cornered by two sons and a husband. Even a dude like me knows it takes more than three boys to outsmart a mom. I suspect a ploy to set up a sneak attack.
There’s nothing sneaky about Jennifer’s blog, though.
It all started with a letter to her boys. She tossed away life in corporate America for a life of slippers, finger paint and exceptional writing. Motherhood Mondays examine aspects of being a mom, and J-Liz also has a funny side. Really, it’s called My Funny Side.
Today, she’s here to tell about what she’s lost as a mother.
No, not her religion or innocence, although those are at risk, too, for parents. You’ll see what I’m talking about. Give her a warm welcome on the CD. And don’t forget to get those kid-taken selfies in for the contest by Friday. We have only two contestants so far!
The Five Things I’ve Lost As a Mother
There are certain situations in life that people say you won’t understand until you do it. You know, like scuba diving. You know that it requires you to dive down deep into the ocean to experience beautiful sea life up close and personal but you may not know that you are going to have a full on panic attack once you get down there and think HOLY CRAP SHARKS LIVE HERE…that is until you do it. How about running a marathon? Sure you know it requires you to run 26.2 miles (seriously on your feet) but you may not realize just how mentally and physically challenging it actually is until you get to mile 14 and want to call a taxi. Parenthood is certainly one of those situations. I thought I knew exactly what I was in for until I realized I didn’t.
Just like anything rewarding in life you have to lose some things along the way to reap the benefits. When I became a mom I realized there would be some things in my life that would change, I don’t think however that I realized I would change. I’m in my 6th year of this motherhood journey and I can tell you that I’ve lost some things along the way and I’m not sure that I will ever get them back. Here are the top five:
- Vanity. It’s gone. I used to be a woman who would have delayed a work
meeting because when I woke up the power was out and I was unable to blow dry my hair. (Yes this actually happened). I would have never skipped my weekly manicure. My hair was always highlighted and cut and my clothes were perfectly put together. Two weeks into motherhood I realized that woman was long gone. I was lucky if my hair was washed let alone blow dried. My boys are five and two now and I can tell you I sport a pony tail, no makeup and workout gear 6 out of 7 days of the week. There’s just no time for vanity when you’re a mother. The kids needs come first and as long as I don’t look like a bum I’m doing alright.
- Sanity. I’m not insane all the time, but life as a mother can be super busy and stressful. It’s a big juggling act and there are times that my boys seem to be running the circus.
- A perfectly clean and organized house. Before I had children my friends often
teased me and called me Monica Gellar. For all of you non Friends fans her character was a complete neat freak. I’ve always been someone who likes things in their place. I like my floors gleaming and my laundry immediately folded and put away. I often look around my house at night after the boys are in bed and think to myself holy crap my old self would have slapped my new self. Don’t get me wrong I still clean, fold laundry and scrub toilets but I have let go of the idea of my house looking like the cover of the latest Home & Garden magazine. It’s just not happening. When you have kids it seems like only one or two rooms are actually clean and organized at a time. Fingerprints magically appear on everything and laundry multiplies while you sleep. It’s a constant uphill battle.
- Silence. I’ve lost the silence in my house. I’ve lost the silence in my brain. There is
no longer quiet time. There is no such thing as time to reflect. There is constant kid chatter, questions, whining, fighting, & laughter. When the quiet comes it’s because my exhausted brain has shut down for the night and gone to sleep.
- Naivety. I’ve lost my naivety about the world. I used to only see the good in everyone and everything. Something changes when you have children though. It’s like this protective force of nature that tells you to open your eyes and your ears and see the world for what it is so you can protect them.
I can tell you though while I’ve lost some things I’ve gained so much more. Motherhood gives you great perspective on yourself and on life. I’m perfectly content without makeup. I don’t need to be in control all the time. Sanity is overrated. My house is not going to appear on the next Hoarders so I’m doing alright. Silence doesn’t work for me anymore. My husband took the kids out one day to give me a break and I sat for a minute in my empty, silent house. I could hear the refrigerator running. All I could think was wow I miss the laughter. Silence is lonely. The sound of my family is home to me. As for my naivety, I’m okay with the fact that I lost that. I am not okay allowing my boys to lose it just yet. Naivety and innocence are their right as kids. In order for them to have their innocence I had to lose some of mine. Motherhood is about give and take. I give them my love and they take it, but wow the love they pay me back with is nothing short of amazing.
Before having children Jennifer thought being a stay at home mom would be a walk in the park. Now that she’s doing it she realizes it’s more like a run in a zoo (without cages for the animals). She traded in her salary for sloppy kisses, corporate lunches for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and sales meetings for finger painting sessions. Her two boys outsmart her on a daily basis although in her defense it could be the lack of sleep. She writes to stay sane on her blog Outsmarted Mommy and has been featured on Mamapedia, Scary Mommy and iVillage Australia. She is also a contributor for Felicity Huffman’s What The Flicka? Her children are not the least bit impressed they just want to know what’s for dinner. You can follow Jennifer on Facebook, Twitter and Google +.