How did I get here? A question I ask myself daily. I look in the mirror and think “dang, life, what have you done!?” I have done a lot, and it is tiring to think about how far I have come. When I was younger, when my children were younger, I would try so hard to “find myself”, I would endlessly look for something to do, something to give me a label other than mother and wife. I was never much of a crafter, or a baker, I never had a niche, something I could call my own. I was drowning in my children and my husband’s lives and I felt I was losing more of myself by the second. On top of that there is so much pressure as a mother, wife, woman to do more. My house should be clean, you should spend more time volunteering, make sure to spend time with your friends, and for heaven’s sake: work out and lose weight! I was always on a mission to look good, feel good, and be good. But wait: was I not good already?! Apparently not, and anything I tried to do seemed juvenile, and an immature attempt to be an adult. These were all things I would fail at, I was always known for starting something I never could finish, I never finished college (I barely started), I never finished all those scrap books I was supposed to do, at one point I even started training to be a doula, it was absurd how hard I was trying, and failing. It was New Year’s Eve a couple years ago I realized I hadn’t made my resolution, you know the same one every year: I am going to go to church every Sunday and be a better catholic, I am going to lose weight and be healthier, I am going to be a better mother and wife and save money this year, and IT’S GOING TO BE MY YEAR!!! That was my year, just not the way I usually did things. I made one resolution, one single vow to myself: I called it the “I don’t wanna” resolution. I decided that if I tried to do any of those old things when I really didn’t want to I wouldn’t make an excuse, I wouldn’t try to force myself, I would just say, “you know what, I don’t wanna… so I am not gonna” if anyone tried to give me advice for my excuses, I was going to be brutally honest and say: “nah, I just didn’t want to” this was the only resolution that stuck, and the only one that I would ever need again. I stripped all those expectations away, all the stress because we are just setting ourselves up for failure and once I did that, it was when I found my true self. I never lost it, it was always there but it gets so buried deep under our own expectations, it’s not the kids or the spouse. It’s not the job or the adulating. It’s the pressures we put on ourselves to be someone. That was when I sat quietly and understood that life was fun and in that glorious first year was when I started to mature. I knew then that I was no longer a child, I was no longer pretending to adult but I was just here and I was just me and that was enough. And that is the start of how I got here.
Our expectations of keeping up with everyone around us is hurting us and our relationships with others. I read so many posts and see so much attitude about how we only post the good things which makes us seem perfect, social networking is where we can control our image so then the rest of us have to pretend to keep up. I understand that this is common, for people to flash their little happy families, all their successes and the great things in their lives. Are they not supposed to? Though the hash tag “blessed” annoys the piss out of me, I would rather see all this than people’s dirty laundry, they are just keeping it classy, they are choosing to share with everyone the ups in their lives, and this really makes them to blame? Maybe it is time we take the blame for always trying to keep up with everyone around us. This is how I feel about “mommy blogs”. Honestly, I am kind of getting sick of reading the same blog over and over about how to make your own natural diaper rash creams and “fun slime to make with your kids.” I am sick of reading about how to get organized in life, and how to stop yelling at them to hang up their towels for the umpteenth hundredth time in one week, how you shouldn’t flip your goddamned lid because even after telling them for the umpteenth time you have to pick up their towels for them. I am tired being told to be more of a patient spouse and how if I spend more time catering to his needs it will make me a happier wife. Why? Because I am going to read it, feel terrible because I like to set my life bar real low (like really, really, low). So, after I read these, then realize I am doing life all wrong, reconstruct my life to get better at it, then fail within the same day and feel even worse about my situation. This is the cycle of a modern-day woman. If we strip the nonsense from our lives, our own expectations and excuses, we are left with only ourselves, then we can focus on what we need, we can start to really enjoy life. That is how I took a year off. Did I lose any weight, save any more money, or make it to church any more? Did my life become any more organized? No, I didn’t, but I realize I am good enough, all on my own, and I quit stressing about the crap. I grew more in that year than I had in the rest of my adulthood, I sat back, enjoyed my job, my husband, my children, my life and found myself by doing nothing at all. But how did I get here, to The Band Wife Life Blog? Give me a week to gather some more words and mesmerize you all with more bull shit, I’ll get back with you.