Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Mommy and Me Drop Out

I have been contemplating whether or not I will re-enroll in Mommy and Me Classes. I began attending when Vincent was almost 4 months old; this was a time of transition as well as trouble for me. I was awkwardly adjusting to my new role as a mother; a new mother to a colic baby no less. My days were spent frazzled and unkempt, often walking up and down the street with my screaming infant in a sling. Looking back, it almost makes me want to cry because it was, literally, hands down, the most trying time of my life. Through all the turmoil I had endured in my young life, this was the tip top of the meltdown moment. I had felt lonely and isolated, as my husband was working very long hours on top of a very long commute. Most days he would come home to find that Vincent has already been put down for the night, so I was factually raising Vincent on my own Monday-Friday. I joined Mommy and Me classes with the hopes of regaining a sense of normalcy in my chaotic life. I wanted, so desperately, the opportunity to sit down and talk with other moms, listen to their own personal struggles and realize that I wasn’t alone. Unfortunately, mostly all I learned from the other moms in the class was that a.) I was the only discontented mother in the world or b.) damn, people know how to put on a happy face when their inside world is crumbling around them.

I will never forget the day when I just blurted out “I’m not that happy”, followed with “and my doctor prescribed me (GASP) anti-depressants”. I could feel the look of pity and confusion in their eyes before I even glanced back up at them. Maybe they weren’t just putting on an act, maybe they were that happy that I was just a freak who couldn’t get her shit together, because the look on their faces showed genuine disbelief that any mother could be unhappy in her role. Mind you, I was the youngest woman in the class, by quite a few years too. Although we never spoke of our ages, it was obvious. Can I say that without sounding rude? Sorry, but true. I was married at 23, pregnant at 24 and a mom by 25. Maybe these women felt perfectly content with their new mommy name because they were older, had experienced more of life and were completely 100% ready to settle down and do nothing but that. I, on the other hand, was struggling and still do struggle sometimes with the concept of growing up too fast, saying goodbye to the freedom I once had, the rebel wear I wore so fucking well. Do I feel like I have missed out on some grand parties, unforgettable concerts or long days at the beach to be at home with my son? Sure, of course, although the latter has always been and will continue to be more worth it than anything else. But I had very limited freedom with my no bottle-taking mama’s boy. Even though Vincent was a planned pregnancy, I was incredibly na├»ve about what having a baby was really going to be like, so I was shocked at the level of responsibility and dedication it took.

After my “Hi, my name is Emily and my doctor thinks I’m depressed” speech at Mommy and Me, my sister called me Debbie Downer and we had a good laugh about it. I eventually stopped going because I felt I just wasn’t vibin’ with the other moms the way I had originally intended to. But after a months-long absence from the Mommy and Me world, I am thinking about making a comeback. Vincent is almost a year and I really do see him wanting to play and interact with other children his age. There is only so much I can give him here alone with him all day. Plus, I don’t think I’m too much of a Debbie Downer anymore. I can chat it up with the best of them, swapping funny stories about playing peek-a-boo and our baby’s first word, or the way Vincent is obsessed with having his butt sniffed. Yes, he loves it and he laughs hysterically when you put your nose near his butt. He is mature beyond his years, let me tell you! I’ll always keep it real and bitch when I’m having a shitty day and they can stare at me as if I’m a blood sucking alien from a planet far far away, but I think it’ll be good for Vincent, and in turn, may be good for me, and in turn may be good for my husband. Happy Wife, Happy Life, as we like to say.