I feel that way sometimes about being a young mother. I got married at 22 and had my first child when I was 23, which is not way young but it is relatively young considering that most mothers I meet at the playground have infants and are in their mid to late thirties. Instead of pursuing my career or, more accurately, starting my career, I made the decision to be a stay-at-home mom.
This year I'll be 28. I have no desire to go to any reunions although it's 10 years since I graduated from high school. I feel like I don't have anything to show for those 10 years except the fact that I'm fertile and can carry children to term and take reasonable care of them. Many of my counterparts are up and coming professionals now--lawyers, doctors, engineers and teachers. Getting on Facebook is a trip sometimes reading what everyone is doing at the moment. What could I write? Changing yet another diaper? Breaking up yet another sibling spat? Negotiating yet again with a cranky four year old what we will have for lunch when all he wants is cake?
Motherhood suits me and I enjoy being here full-time with my children. Really, I do. But sometimes I wonder how life would have been different if I'd made a different choice. I never did get to have my own motorcycle and wouldn't dream of doing that now with children. Never did get to travel and sure as hell don't want to with kids. Never did get all the partying out of my system. Never did get to live on my own. Never did get to where I thought I would be career-wise right now. You don't get the youthfulness and vibrancy of your 20s back and I'm spending most of it--if not all of it-- on other people. That's tough to handle sometimes.
I was grocery shopping at Whole Foods yesterday and saw two well-dressed, albeit weaved out, sisters clearly on their lunch break. It's hard to describe how I felt pushing my two babies, rocking Birkenstocks and trying to keep Z1 from destroying the flower display. I felt like they were looking at me sort of out of pity . . . or disdain. I know it was in my head. I know it was. They probably didn't even notice me. But I wanted to switch places for a minute--have on a nicely tailored suit, stockings, and heels on. Feel chic and successful.
I think I have another summer cold. It started off as allergies and I think progressed to a cold. I miss being able to just lie down and sleep because I'm tired and I need to so that my body can fully recuperate. I miss being able to just focus on me. And at a time when it seems like so many of my peers are super-focused on themselves, I can't help but feel a little jealousy and wonder what the hell I was thinking.
Anyway, more good reasons to stay off Facebook.
ETA: Got the fall edition of Brain, Child Magazine and there was a section about what you've lost and what you've gained as a mother. It put a lot into perspective. Glad I subscribed.