[I wrote this last week, but am just getting around to publishing it.]
My son is leaving today. He has been home for the holidays since the 23rd of December. I am ready for him to go back. But I am choking up and feel teary. This is motherhood, isn't it?
We constantly live with 2 voices waging war inside our heads. The one voice is looking out for us and our wants and needs. The other voice is looking out for what is best for our child, what they want, what they need. Right after I had Stephen, I remember saying, "I never thought I was a selfish person until I had a baby." And I think it is true. I wasn't a particularly selfish person, but I just had the one voice in my head. Life was so much simpler.
For the past 19 years, the "Mom voice" was the loudest and demanded the most attention. Not that the "Me Voice" didn't shout and scream, but she just so often lost the fight. As my children entered adolescents, "Mom voice" started taking some breaks. Don't get me wrong, it still had a lot to say, but there were more periods when things were going smoothly. In that period "Me Voice" started making noises. "Hey, why don't you go to the movies tonight? Kids are gone for the night!" And little by little she became stronger and stronger.
Then the kids leave for college. The "Mom voice" becomes frantic at the idea that she will no longer be needed and starts making the "Me voice" feel guilty for the thoughts and plans she had started making in the last year. Sometimes "Mom voice" wins still and we stay over-involved in our grown kids' lives. Hopefully, the "Mom voice" realizes that she is still needed, but it is her time to rest and give "me voice" more air-time.