As if I had misplaced the mommy dress code somewhere and was afraid of some sort of punishment for not fitting the mold. Fitting the mold has never really been my thing, so it seems silly to me that it's even a passing thought sometimes. I am complicated. I talked a while back about being frustrated by the labels that go with being a mother and lately they're on my mind again.
I have never considered myself a stay at home mom because it wasn't my choice. Let me be perfectly clear, I am not saying I regret having time with Riley just that I never got to pick one way or the other. My body chose for me or more acturately comitted the final in a long line of betrayals sputtering out like a used car. Just like I never got to choose how many children to have, because my body chose for me. It doesn't make these decisions wrong or bad, but they're not mine. Shouldn't these be the things I have control over at least at 28?
My body fell apart, so I never got to debate the pros and cons of being a working mom. I'm relieved not to have had one more thing to torture myself about, but I miss working so much. I'm not sure how I would have decided if I had floated glowingly through pregnancy. Leaving me with a little extra weight and my vacation days used up during maternity leave as my only souvenirs instead of being fired because I spent more time throwing up then at my desk, almost 7mo of house (or bedroom) arrest and a deteriorating physical state.
I know that if my body had been stronger, I would have wanted more babies. That part hurts alot, but at least I understood the reality of that going into the pregnancy. I knew even before I conceived that I could only endure pregnancy once. I didn't have a full grasp of how incapacitating gestating a human would be for me, but I understood it would be a one time deal.
What I did not understand was how much worse the pain would get. What I did not understand was that there would be multiple surgeries to contend with while my baby was under a year. What I could not accept was how long and gruesome the healing process would be. What I couldn't grasp was how permanently my life would be changed, no matter what I did or did not do fix, my orthopedic problems and pain.
I honestly thought that once the ordeal of pregnancy was finished I would feel better and better. I thought everything would go back to the way it was, not before the pain I've harbored for so long, but before I really started to fall apart at least. I had never really considered things getting worse.
I don't know if I would have been happily working up to my due date if I'd had a different body, but I'd like to think so. I'm sure I would have been just as blissfully happy and as hopelessly in love with Riley, that wouldn't change. I wonder what I would have done next if I'd had a choice because it would have been a diffcult decision. Being a grow-up is so full of "no right answer" situations it's head spinning. I know it's not really constructive to ponder such things.
I guess I am a stay at home mom by default. Luckily for me there's Riley because without her I would just be a stay at home person. A lonely, hurting no little goof balls to distract her lady. Somehow we've made it this far (with a lot of help).
I hope the things that can change will. I hope the next series of wrenches thrown into the works change things for the better. I hope that I can recover more of the sense of self that working towards my dreams gave me once. I don't want my life to stay this small forever. Putting on my own shoes by myself can be my grandest goal for now, but I hope I'm laughing about that someday.